May 8, 2017

The Wishing Heart Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


The Wishing Heart
Author: J.C. Welker
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen


With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel’s been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her defective heart. 

But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni’s vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical mobster in the city wants the vase for himself. 

Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker. 

But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline’s freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel’s heart…
Whatever natural tendency toward hope Anjeline once possessed had manifested itself into something harder on her face. Her eyes were far away, like she had thoughts on bigger things than just freedom. “This isn’t like your books,” she said as though Rebel were naive. “They’re stories that know nothing about life. People are thornier than what those things tell you. Good doesn’t always win. Light doesn’t always burn away the darkness.” Rebel pressed her lips into a hard line. “Maybe it’s you who knows nothing about people. Darkness exists because light casts a shadow. That’s life...painful and beautiful all at the same time.” Books might have not told her everything about magic, but they taught her how to see it in all things. Anjeline’s lips twitched. “Painful but beautiful. Sounds more like human love.” “Now that, I wouldn’t know,” she said sarcastically, but she meant it. She took a cold breath, feeling for her pendant resting on her chest. There was a black void in her heart, where the love of a parent, the love of anyone, had never occupied. Golden eyes met hers, Anjeline contemplating her with that look. “You’ve always been without kin?” Rebel nodded, turning aside from the fascinated gaze roaming over her. “So, you’ve never been loved?” The question wasn’t just about family. Rebel shrunk from those words, unable to stop from gravitating toward the ones living in the back of her mind. Believing herself, maybe, to not be worthy of it, or anything good. That black void had yawned so wide she used to think gathering stolen treasures could fill it. She used to put rocks under her pillow, wishing for them to turn into diamonds. But she was a book no one wanted to open. A riddle no one dared to answer. A lost girl no one desired to find. Her heart was tired of not being useful to anyone— especially herself. She was tired of being a captive to her own flesh. With a shake of her head, she didn’t reply. But as Anjeline gazed at her with that look, as though something tied them together, her chest hummed with...what, exactly? She tried willing it away but it spread deeper. She rubbed at her bruises, as if calming the ones within. Her numb hands shook, and she rummaged in the satchel for her pills. Anjeline persisted to stare, unbothered by the cold. Lucky her. “Stop staring at me,” she said. Anjeline clicked her tongue. “You could just ask me.” “For what?” “For warmth.” Rebel glanced up in both sheepishness and stubbornness. Taking that for an invitation, Anjeline moved closer. “I’m fine...” “I can hear your teeth rattling.” “I’m...” Anjeline put a finger against Rebel’s lips. “Shh. If you’re frozen, neither of us will get our wish.” The light in her palm danced, and she placed a hand atop Rebel’s. The air throbbed between them. It crackled and purred, and Rebel startled as her blood hummed at the touch. Wisps of sultry light danced across her arms, snaking around her legs and torso in a shroud of warmth.

The Wishing Heart is a solid new addition to the young adult fantasy genre. Although it's components aren't wholly original, the author wove them together in a fresh way to make the book unique. Especially considering the LGBTQ aspect woven into the story. A lot of readers are making it a point to read more diverse fiction - and this definitely fits into that category. I think it's a great contribution to what's usually a more contemporary fiction filled category. Rebel, the main character, is an orphaned thief with a heart problem. She's always felt alone and has wanted nothing more than to feel like she belonged - that she had a home. She's smart, determined, agile, and skilled. I like that the author gave her flaws too - like her heart condition, her sad backstory and wish for a family and love. It made her more realistic and easier to identify with, which was actually a bit harder for me than I had hoped.

The main reason for this was due to the point of view the author chose to use for the book. The third person always makes it harder for me to slip into the character's world and lose myself inside of it. It's one of the reasons that I'm not such a big fan of that style. I almost always prefer the first person POV, and this was no exception. I'm almost certain that if the story had been done in the first person, I would have had a much different experience. All of the aspects of the novel had potential for me to love it, but the writing style broke the deal. I loved the various fantasy and paranormal aspects throughout - the different creatures, their whole underworld that happens right beneath the surface of the normal world, and just the overall plot was great. The author uses vivid imagery and detailed descriptions to bring Rebel and her world to life for the reader, which is another factor I loved about the book. Honestly, I really wanted to love this story. And I know I would have, if it had been written in another style. This is solely my own personal opinion and other readers will not have the same issues as I did. I definitely recommend it for fans of YA fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, and even contemporary.  

J.C. WELKER is a YA Fantasy author who’s been, among other things, a fashion designer, a graphic designer, a filmmaker and a kickboxer (seriously).

She’s best known for writing and producing the documentary short films focusing on homeless Iraq vets and LGBTQ+ issues in the military, which was selected by the North Texas Film Festival and featured on CURRENT TV. Her recent novel placed first in the paranormal category of the 2016 YARWA Rosemary Awards, and she continues to work towards giving a voice to stories that are needed, while facing magic and monsters along the way.

Author: Links:
Twitter: @jcwelker

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