Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Years ago, a reclusive mega-bestselling children’s author quit writing under mysterious circumstances. Suddenly he resurfaces with a brand-new book and a one-of-a-kind competition, offering a prize that will change the winner’s life in this absorbing and whimsical novel.

Make a wish. . . .

Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson. Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, who was left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents. Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability.

But be careful what you wish for. . . .

Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest at his home on the real Clock Island, and Lucy is one of the four lucky contestants chosen to compete to win the one and only copy.

For Lucy, the chance of winning the most sought-after book in the world means everything to her and Christopher. But first she must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, the illustrator of the Clock Island books. Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.

. . . You might just get it.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 30, 2023
 by Ballantine Books
5/5 stars

This was my June book of the month pick, which I read in less than 48 hours.

This is Meg Shaffer's debut novel and my goodness not only is she off to a great start but she has also set the bar high for each subsequence book. It’s not often that I read a book that fast so that tells you how I felt.

The Wishing Game is about wishes, it has a magical feel, and it revolves around childrens author Jack Masterson who turned into a recluse 6 years ago.

Lucy Hart is only 26 years old, a kindergarten teachers aide with a strong connection to a seven-year-old parentless boy. She would love to adopt him, to be his mom.  Not only a daunting prospect about according to officials its an impossible task for her to even think about achieving.

There are many aspects about this book that I enjoyed. Between the literary theme, which is always a plus for bookworms.  The magical vibes of Clock Island where Lucy and three other competitors are drawn. To win the grand prize they compete against each other with riddles being theme. The prize will change everyone lives and there is only one winner with no 2nd or 3rd place prizes.

The Wishing Game is a story of wishes, confronting fears and stepping out of ones comfort zones. It's also about family and what makes a family.  

There are no negatives for me in this story, definitely a book I will be recommending.

This book was part of my 2023 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge #43

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