Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry

Posted January 20, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 1 Comment

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Wishes and Wellingtons

Wishes and Wellingtons

by Julie Berry

Publisher: Audible Studios on September 25, 2018
Genre: Boarding School, Fantasy
Target Age Group: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

Maeve Merritt chafes at the rigid rules at her London boarding school for “Upright Young Ladies.” When punishment forces her to sort through the trash, she finds a sardine tin that houses a foul-tempered djinni with no intention of submitting to a schoolgirl as his master.

Soon an orphan boy from the charitable home next door, a mysterious tall man in ginger whiskers, a disgruntled school worker, and a take-no-prisoners business tycoon are in hot pursuit of Maeve and her magical discovery. It’ll take all of her quick thinking and sass to set matters right. Maeve Merritt is one feisty heroine you won’t soon forget.

 

You really can’t help but love Maeve Merritt.  She’s got dreams and she’s a bit troublesome and holds grudges but also, she’s a good friend and a nice person.  Ragtag collections of misfits and lovable characters are some of the best protagonists, because you can’t help but cheer them on.

And it’s our characters – Maeve, Alice, and Tommy – that make Wishes and Wellingtons absolutely charming.  We’ve got Maeve – our lovable tomboy with snark and big dreams.  Tommy, the proud orphans with a kind heart.  Alice, who is sweet and humble and clever.  They’re not the most original character types, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable.  These familiar tropes are well-done within their own parameters, and because this book feels like younger YA, I don’t think they needed to be any more complicated than they were.

The plot here was pretty predictable.  Maeve finds a genie and proceeds to somewhat misuse her wishes because genies are tricky like that and it happens.  The ending rolls out precisely the way I thought it was going to, finding an ending among all the easily avoidable obstacles.  I knew pretty early on that the story would be predictable, so I didn’t go in looking for a complicated tale.  Instead, I decided just to try and enjoy the journey.  And I did, more or less.  It wasn’t a long book.  It was an easy read.

Wishes and Wellingtons is an Audible original, which means the only way anyone has access to this story is through an Audible membership.  I got it as one of my free monthly originals last year.  I think that this book would be really successful with young readers who are interested in fantasy or magical realism.  That’s one of the bummers about these Audible originals to me – it limits the audience.  Wishes and Wellingtons would be a good fit for children, middle graders, and young adults.  Because of the direction YA has taken the last few years, offering more and more mature characters, it feels more like MG but I feel like, properly, this should be YA.

Generally, this was a cute book.  I would recommend it for the audiences I mentioned above.  I can’t say that I would re-read it, necessarily, but it felt similar to Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos and gave me more of what I would have wanted in good storytelling.  If there were more books in this series, I’d probably check them out from sheer enjoyment of the characters and casual curiosity, but nothing high priority.  It was cute and fun, and if you’re looking for an audiobook that’s good for a car ride with young teens, this one isn’t bad!

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★
Plot: ★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★ 1/2
Narrator: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★

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Have you thought about what you’d wish for if you had three wishes from a genie?  I have contingency plans for all sorts of impossible things like this.  I’d love to hear what your wishes would be in the comments!

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