Book Review:  When You Wish Upon a Star, by Elizabeth Lim  

Image belongs to Disney.

Title: When You Wish Upon a Star
Author: Elizabeth Lim    
Narrated by: Carlotta Brentan
Genre: Fantasy    
Rating:  4 out of 5

“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight . . . ” so begins the wish that changes everything—for Geppetto, for the Blue Fairy, and for a little puppet named Pinocchio. The Blue Fairy isn’t supposed to grant wishes in the small village of Pariva, but something about this one awakens some long-buried flicker within. Perhaps it’s the hope she senses beneath the old man’s loneliness.

Or maybe it’s the fact that long ago, before she was the Blue Fairy, she was a young woman named Chiara from this very village, one with a simple wish: to help others find happiness. Her sister Ilaria always teased her for this, for she had big dreams to leave their sleepy village and become a world-renowned opera singer. The two were close, despite their differences. While Ilaria would give anything to have a fairy grant her wish, Chiara didn’t believe in the lore for which their village was famous.

Forty years later, Chiara, now the Blue Fairy, defies the rules of magic to help an old friend. But she’s discovered by the Scarlet Fairy, formerly Ilaria, who, amid a decades-long grudge, holds the transgression against her sister. They decide to settle things through a good old-fashioned bet, with Pinocchio and Geppetto’s fate hanging in the balance.

Will the sisters find a way back to one another? Or is this, like many matters of the heart, a gamble that comes with strings?

I really liked the narrator of this audiobook. I enjoyed her different voices and her varying inflections. I loved the relationship between Chiara and Ilaria and how close they were growing up—but I honestly didn’t care for Ilaria much. She was so selfish and self-absorbed that I had real trouble relating to her. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Pinocchio, so I came to this story with fresh eyes, and I enjoyed this new take on an old Disney classic.

Elizabeth Lim lives in New York City. When You Wish Upon a Star is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Disney in exchange for an honest review.)


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