Oh dear, Rose…what has become of us? Our brand shiny new blog format and all those deadlines I gave you – shot to smithereens and it’s only March!
But you are sick and I’m going to give you a leave-pass for Cloudwish because quite frankly I don’t think it’ll be your cup of tea. So, to my thoughts…
First up, let me just say this post will include major spoilers.
I liked the whole idea of the magic vial that Van Oc believed made Billy fall in love with her. Her fear that his feelings were generated by the vial was a constant throughout the book. She even went as far as to chase up the writer who gave her the vial to ask her what the deal was. Ultimately, the vial seems like it wasn’t responsible for anything. But this left me with the big question – that Van Oc puzzled over as well – what made Billy notice her after years of barely registering her existence? I wondered whether, alluding to the title, the whole story was kind of wish fulfillment. Because even though I wasn’t Asian, I was a quiet, nerdy goody-to-shoes who lusted after the A-League guys who I knew I’d never get…and I didn’t. So maybe this is a book for all those quiet, nerds out there to revel in in a fairy tale kind of way.
But my major beef with this story was this: Girl likes boy, Boy likes girl, boy and girl get together and (although not everyone likes it) they stay together. I kept waiting for things to go pear-shaped, for Billy to reveal himself as an arse, for them to break up because Van Oc decided she had to dedicate herself to her study or her art or anything really. But nope. It was all pretty plain sailing. Yes, there were some uber bitches (Billy’s friends), some folks to be won over (Van Oc’s friends), some strict parents to be avoided (both sides) – but nothing really stood in the way of their love. It almost felt like there should be a second book.
I should say, one thing I did enjoy was the sub-plot with Van Oc’s mum attending post-traumatic shock meetings and reuniting with her sister. This felt quite realistic and Van Oc’s whole having to parent the parent thing, I thought was well wrought and would be a familiar idea for some readers.
Next up, Lili Wilkinson’s The Boundless Sublime – and given you’re a bit of a Lili fangirl, Rose, there will be no excuses. You have been told 😊