ARC BOOK REVIEW: The Wishing Game by Meg Shafer


Publication Date: May 30, 2023
Format: E-book
Genre:  Fantasy/Action Adventure

Publisher: Ballantine Books
 279 pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


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.


I received this book free from the publisher through netgalley.  I am leaving this review voluntarily. 

If you are a fan of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this is a great re-imagining only instead of candy its books.  This is a beautifully written story about wishing and dreams and manifesting your wishes.  Each of the people invited to Clock Island to participate in a game to win the latest Clock Island book had been there before as children.  Each one has a story and hoped that the Mastermind could help them. Now they are grown, many of them successful and some like Lucy struggling to move beyond her past. She wishes for only 1 thing to be the mother of a foster child who lost his parents to drugs.  

I cried the whole last 1/4 of the book, I don't know if I'm just an emotional basket case or the book just touched something in me but I loved this book.  It was a like a big hug.  If you loved books as a kid and remember that feeling of wanting to be a part of it then you have the feeling of this book. 

The imagery painted by the author of the island, the book covers, and the characters was beautifully done. Now I want to read these imaginary books! 

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