Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wish You Were Here by Catherine Clark

Ariel (no, not the little mermaid) Flack is obsessed with
exactly two things: skittles (who wouldn't be?) and
sending postcards home to Gloves, her cat, and Dylan, her
almost-sort of-kinda boyfriend. After her dad gambles the
family's life savings away (not to mention Ariel and her
little sister's college money) and embezzles from his
company, her family's dilemma is splashed across the cover
of newspapers everywhere. Soon after, Ariel's mom divorces
her gambling husband and like only a self-help author can,
drags her reluctant two daughters, Ariel and Zena, into a
weeklong bus tour called Leisure Lee's. Sound bad? You
haven't heard the worst of it. In an attempt to give her
daughters a "responsible male figure" in their lives,
their eccentric uncle, who has a bizarre phobia of
squirrels, is along for the ride as well with their
grandparents too. Just when everything seems to be awful
(who wants to spend a week in a small space with a
gazillion senior citizens?), Ariel discovers the other
reluctant teen on board - Andre. Together, they plot to
escape their "prison" and Ariel decides that maybe, just
maybe - mind you, things aren't so bad after all. In this
wonderful bit of realistic fiction, the characters come
alive and well, this is as "fantasterrific as it gets,

Told from the view of a sixteen-year old girl,
Ariel Flack, the tone is cheerful but sometimes angry. Her
voice is slightly bitter, but Ariel has a positive outlook
on things and can be funny. It wasn't my favorite book -
it left me kinda bored and I think some of the characters
were a bit stereotyped and there was a little less detail
than I would have liked. Catherine Clark's meaning in the
story seems to be that you can always find hope no matter
what situation you are in, and she addressed that fairly
well. I would recommend it to other people because, even
though it wasn't my favorite sort of book, it is a decent
read. Although I think Clark's other books, such as The
Alison Rules draw you in more, Wish You Were Here is a
fun, quick read for people of all ages.


Reviewer City, State and Country: Canton,
Michigan United States of America