This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Victoria Sutton
As a fellow ‘Liver bird’ I have a definite soft spot for Jane Costello and her novels. She quickly became a heroine of mine when I read that she wrote her first novel Bridesmaids whilst on maternity leave. It is always nice to read something set outside the traditional London location, and obviously for me the Liverpool settings of Costello’s novels are especially exciting. I love how the locations are places that I know and frequent. In actual fact I am writing this review on the Mersey promenade very close to where the main character of The Wish List lives…
Emma Reiss is fast approaching thirty and having the usual sort of life crisis most of us have as we approach a landmark birthday. Not all of us react to quite the same extreme though! What makes things worse is that she stumbles across a ‘Wish List’ she wrote with her friends when they were fifteen and she is disappointed by how little of it she has actually achieved. It makes her wonder if she hasn’t been brave enough in her life and so she resolves to complete as much of the list as she can in the six months leading up to her thirtieth birthday…
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As Emma sets off on her path to fulfilment she finds herself in the sort of situations we might also have found ourselves in. Like turning up to an event in the wrong dress code, not remembering quite what happened the night before and daring friends to snog soap stars on a night out! Emma is somehow able to get herself into all sorts of difficult situations and make them as toe-curlingly embarrassing as possible! She even managed to embarrass me when a laugh out load moment made me snort coffee out of my nostril as I was reading. In a packed Costa.
Her friends Cally and Asha and sister Marianne each play their own equally important supporting roles whilst providing entertaining subplots full of drama, humour and feeling meaning you grow to also care for them. I especially loved their nights out together in Liverpool’s premier destinations. The dialogue flowed so well I felt as though I had been invited along and it made me yearn after a night out with the girls myself. As for the men there is no doubt that Matt is the hero to root for with a lot more depth than the one-dimensional Rob.
I adore Jane’s fast-paced witty style. The short chapters trick you into thinking just one more won’t take long only to look at the clock to find whole hours have passed by! Emma especially resonated with me not (unfortunately) because I’m about to turn thirty but as I approach (gulp) thirty-six the realisation I’m actually nearer forty is causing me to seriously consider creating my own list… In fact if you were thinking of making a ‘Wish List’ yourself then reading this book should be at the top of it!