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Just One Wish    by Janette Rallison order for
Just One Wish
by Janette Rallison
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Parts of Janette Rallison's latest novel, Just One Wish, are pure teenage fantasy, while other are harsh reality. These combine to create a story that will make you laugh, cry, swoon, and seethe.

Ever since Annika Truman's younger brother Jeremy was diagnosed with cancer, Annika (who has given up on God) has done everything she can to make him well. After reading about the powers of positive thinking, Annika feels that if she can just get Jeremy to believe in wishes, he will pull through his upcoming surgery just fine. Unfortunately, her plan to get him to wish for the Teen Robin Hood action figure he was been wanting backfires and he wishes for Teen Robin Hood himself. With only a few days until his surgery, Annika knows she must make Jeremy's wish come true, so she sets off for LA to try to convince Steve Raleigh, the hot actor who plays Teen Robin Hood, to pay a visit to her brother. Things do not go exactly as planned, and it turns into a race against time to get home to be with her brother before his big surgery.

Annika is a smart, strong, and determined protagonist who is not afraid to do what it takes to help her younger brother, even if it is possibly the stupidest thing she has ever done in her life. This immediately endears her to many readers' hearts. Jeremy is also about the sweetest six-year-old imaginable, which helps the reader feel Annika's pain. Forming characters is where Rallison really excels. The downside to the book is the pacing. The plot progresses along nicely, and then runs into a road bump that slows everything down to prevent the story from resolving too soon. A little more even action and Just One Wish would be a must read.

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