Thursday, April 29, 2021

Broken Wish (The Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao - OPTIONAL

Broken Wish (The Mirror #1) by Julie C. Dao
, 311 pages. Hyperion (Disney), 2020. $19. 

Language: PG (3 swears, 0 Fs); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG 



16yo Elva is a farm girl who sees visions of things that always come true. She doesn’t know why it happens or what it means, but she does know it’s not something she should talk about. She’s grown up with talk of a family curse and wonders if she has something to do with that curse. Then one day, she finds some old letters between her mother and a mysterious woman named Mathilda who seems to have a history with her family. Desperate to find answers, Elva seeks out Mathilda in her hidden cottage in the woods looking for insight into why she’s so different. Mathilda reveals to Elva that she’s a witch and her visions are evidence of her magical powers. Mathilda agrees to teach her how to use her powers, but warns her of the danger of misusing them. When things start to fall apart for Elva, she tries to use her powers to alter the past, with terrible consequences. 

This book was okay overall and I think it’s fine for younger readers. The characters are compelling and the story is interesting. There’s a little bit of romance, some mystery, and an element of danger, all of which make it a good enough book. It’s a little bit predictable and formulaic at times, but I don’t think younger readers would notice or care. What I didn’t like was the moralizing message that felt overly preachy. Elva wants to help Mathilda find acceptance from the wider society and goes on a long diatribe to her family about how important it is for people to be who they are and for everyone to accept each other, no matter what. It’s a good message, but it felt clumsy and contrived. It turned me off to the rest of the story. The ratings are for a few uses of god and some danger and mortal peril. 

 Reviewer: Andrea R 

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