Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review: Sticks and Stones (The Wish Makers #1) by Shawn McGuire + Q&A

Title: Sticks and Stones (The Wish Makers, #1
Author: Shawn McGuire
Year: © 2014
My Ratings: ♥♥♥♥♥
Pages: 259
Genre: Fiction 
Format: Paperback; Signed 
Sources: Author
Publishers: Brown Bag Books
ISBN 13: 9780996103510



                      ☆Sticks and Stones☆

Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her. 

The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.

Enter Desiree, a hippie from Woodstock serving a fifty-year indenture as a Wish Mistress (aka a genie). Years of only granting and never receiving her own wish have left Desiree bitter. Arranging for Mandy to right her biggest wrong – the exact thing Desiree would wish for – only makes things worse.

Still, Desiree does her job and grants the wish and happiness arrives for Mandy in the form of Lexi, her childhood imaginary friend come to life. Magical wishes have conditions though: Once started, the wish cannot be altered or revoked. Also, once Mandy is truly content with her life again, Lexi must go back to where she came from. However, the longer Lexi is alive the more she loves being alive, and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way.

                         ☆My Thoughts☆ 

In, Sticks and Stones we follow along our main character "Mandy". When Mandy broke a rule her 16 year old sister passed away so Mandy has to do whats right in order to avoid this consequence from happening again. Its made people repel against her because, they feel as if she's better than everyone and Ethan her crush. Unhappy Mandy makes a wish and it comes true from her imaginary childhood friend Lexi. When the wish is made there is no turning back, but Lexi wants to stay alive.

McGuire is a great writer. She kept me wanting more to happen, but I'm sad I don't have the rest of the books to continue on. Now this was a great book to start of this new year. I loved the climax when Lexi won't stop at nothing to get what she wants. Lexi was my favourite character. She is very persistent and will not stop to get her way. Mandy was also a great add because of the drama circling her way. On a scale of 1-10 this book ranks a 10 being the best. 

Ethan, was a great add to the story and McGuire has a beautiful writing style. She makes you feel as if you are in the story. This book wasn't to over descriptive and I still could use my imagination to pin point what happen. This book is at the top of the list of "great fiction" stories. I highly recommend this book or this series to anyone looking for something different to try reading. This book was so good its hard to put down.



                      ☆Shawn McGuire☆

Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult novels that blend contemporary settings and issues with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that's episode IV) as a kid. She couldn't wait for the next movie to come out so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then.

Her books deal with harder topics (dating violence, death of a sibling, divorce, substance abuse, runaways, etc.) because she believes it is important to talk about these things. Those kinds of topics can be hard to handle and a bit overwhelming, so she infuses a bit of humor in her work as well because she also believes that a sense of humor can help you get through just about anything.

Shawn lives in Colorado with her family where she loves to read, cook and bake, craft, decorate her house, and spend time hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.


1.What inspired you to write this book?

I wrote the very first version of STICKS AND STONES about eight years ago so I honestly don't remember what the original inspiration was! That version was a middle grade novel and it was sort of a mess as far as the plot went. So I tucked it away and wrote some other things. The characters kept talking to me though. I had an idea for the plot that would raise it to a YA which was for the main character's (Mandy) issue to center around the death of her sister years earlier. When I re-wrote the book my inspiration was my niece. She was killed ten years ago while crossing the street. So the aftermath of what happened to my family after her death was my motivation during the writing.

2. How many books have you written?

I've published two and the third in "The Wish Makers" series comes out in January! I've written probably ten novels. I have ideas to revive a couple of them.

3. What year did your book become published?

STICKS AND STONES released on June 13, 2014, two days before my birthday! BREAK MY BONES (#2) came out on September 1, 2014. NEVER HURT ME (#3) has a planned release of January 15, 2015.

4. Who is your favourite character?

Desiree, the hippie genie in the series. She is a really complex character and every time I write about her, she gets deeper and more complex. Writers talk about how sometimes a character will speak to them. Desiree totally spoke to me. She was only supposed to be a minor character, the genie that shows up to grant a wish and cause a little chaos, but she kept telling me she had more to say. She's grown to the point where the overall series arc is her story. I love Desiree and I'm so glad she was so persistent!

 5. Why did you choose to write books?

I've been writing since I was...twelve? I write mostly to share my views on things and it's great fun! I can be someone else, I can be somewhere else.

6. Who is your favourite author?

Oh, so many. I don't think I have one favorite author. I read widely so it really depends on my mood at the time. For a cozy, contemporary YA book I love Sarah Dessen. (I think of my series as a Sarah Dessen story with a bit of magic mixed in.) For an adult magical realism tale, Sarah Addison Allen is fantastic. For a book with an odd twist, you can't get much better than Neil Gaiman or Stephen King.

7. How many books do you plan on publishing?

There are five books planned in The Wish Makers series. Past that, I intend to continue writing and publishing for as long as I have ideas for stories.

8. Will you ever co-write?

Sure, I'd be open to co-write.

9. Was it easy getting your books published?

No, not at all. I tried to get a traditional contract for many years but could never find the right fit. My books are a little different from what the traditional publishers publish, but they're good stories and I believe in them enough that I decided to go the indie route. That is a great fit for me because I get to tell my story the way I want and I get to maintain control over things like the covers. I love my covers!


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