Book Review: One Wish Away by Kelley Lynn

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):
Be careful what you wish for…

Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She's too busy planning to follow in her father's footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery. 

When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.

Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star.

This book had an abysmally large amount of typos. For example:
Nirvana, recently released another album, the first one... (unneeded comma).
"That someone in this room lead their team to a win at the State Academic Decathlon Competition." (wrong tense - "led" is past and "lead" is present).
He shakes is really old flip phone. (Assuming 'is' is 'his'.)
"Tell the Altair's..." (no apostrophe needed).
"We're very careful" Dad assures me... (missing comma)
"the boy's track team" (pretty sure this is supposed to be a track TEAM of boys, not one boy's track team. boys' track team [wrong apostrophe placement] - same in that come to the girl's games.)
I wonder why my Dad didn't come/that our Dad had picked me up/so my Dad has the ability ("Dad" is not supposed to be capitalized in these contexts - it's a proper noun when she is addressing him, but "my dad" should not have any capitalization. This occurs more often than just these instances, but if I included them all there would be too many to mention).
Also, on page 8 there is a backwards quotation mark.
The list goes on and on, but for the sake of getting to other parts of the review I'll just leave it at that. Needless to say, all of these typos will not help the book's rating.

This book also had very short paragraphs and abnormally short sentences. For example:
It's the eighth astronomy book I've searched, not to mention all the online research I did before I resorted to physical books. Not like anyone would really know what I'm talking about. Or care.
The above quote is only a minor representation of the abruptness of broken sentences. The last two sentences of that paragraph should have been combined for the purposes of flow. This is a pattern that is present throughout the entire novel.
I look past my reflection in the window, out to the night sky.
I guess if they don't want to talk about what's on their mind, I might as well ask them questions about what's on mine.
Those two paragraphs are right next to each other. The first one has one sentence, and the next only has two. Yes, short paragraphs are and can be effective, but when the story is literally only made up of short sentences and short paragraphs, the effect is lost and it interrupts the flow as readers move through the piece. Again, these are just quick examples of what is present throughout the novel.

The narration also heavily relied on telling rather than showing. For example:
she looks like she's going to say something else: what in her expression tells readers this? Readers cannot see this, and this looks different on every person's face. Is it in the eyes? The eyebrows? A hesitation shown by a scowl? This is entirely unknown to readers, who are forced to create their own mental image.
she says defiantly: Again, is it shown in the eyes? Crossing her arms? Does she take a step forward with a fist raised? Considering her niece is in handcuffs, at least some body language should be expected.
in a tone that portrays his desire for this to be over: most likely his tone is not the only contributor to this feeling. Maybe he moves his hand in the air like he's dismissing them, or shrugs his shoulders. Once more readers have no idea what they are supposed to see.

Considering the opening began with a victory of the state decathlon, it's very odd that this almost never comes up throughout the rest of the course of the novel. It should have had a much larger role than just serving to attempt to draw readers into the story. Therefore, a strange disconnect is created, making the beginning not very relevant to the rest of the story.

Darren is actually a wonderful character, and the way he and Lyra show their affection for each other before admitting their feelings is very realistic. However, after admitting their feelings it started to feel weird, and the pacing went a bit too quickly once they confessed to each other. The hints at his lack of money (which should have played a larger role in the story) and other aspects of his character were well done.

As for the story itself, in terms of world building the effects of each wish on the reality were well cataloged, explained, and noticed by the characters. The story was consistent with itself in terms of information; each character was very true to himself or herself throughout every situation. This is one of the greatest strengths of this novel; unfortunately, it is overshadowed by many other issues.

Finally, the novel ended on a cliffhanger. Normally this is fine, but there is no indication that another book will follow. Considering everything that happened, readers (including myself) probably feel cheated by this ending and expected more. The cliffhanger felt like a cop-out because whatever followed was too difficult to write. However, this may merely just be one reviewer's opinion.

Overall, the world building is solid and the characters are solid, but the story was not told well. The big picture idea is there, but the details should have been more thoroughly edited. Therefore, this novel will receive a two-jellyfish rating.

Please leave some thoughts below! I love hearing from you guys!

*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. In no way was my opinion influenced by this fact.

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