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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Iwishacana/Acanawishi by Larissa Hinton

TITLE: Iwishacana/Acanawishi  AUTHOR: Larissa Hinton
PUB DATE: 8/12/11                     FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: from author in exchange for an honest review

Where rules are meant to be broken Anissa is constantly on the run from the police and can't seem to stay out of trouble.Secrets are meant to be keptUntil Anissa hides Florence in her bedroom and her mother finds out. There's only one thing left to do: Send her to Juvenile Cop Camp to erase all of her crimes on her record.And everything is not what it seemsThere's only one problem: Anissa is innocent.Welcome to Iwishacana.

ONE WORD: Ka-few-ZING! (confusing)

MY REVIEW: I was asked to review this book and agreed because it has a super unique title, a pretty cover and a very intriguing synopsis. Well, unfortunately these three things, no matter how shiny and interesting they are, can make up for the disappointing story and execution.

Normally, I’d add my brief summary here but honestly the book left me so confused and perplexed that I’m not entirely sure what it’s about. I suppose the basic plot is this: a teenager named Anissa, who lives in our world, uses a magic ring to visit the world of Iwishacana where people can have or do anything they want simply by making a wish. But for some reason Anissa is wanted by the police in this magical world and is sent to Juvenile Cop Camp in order to get her record erased…got that?

So, I’ll admit the idea of Iwishacana, a place where dreams literally come true, is really awesome and original. Unfortunately, this idea and the story it has inspired just isn’t well executed. The idea has so much potential, but the story just falls very short. This is a short read, at only 97 pages, but it felt longer.

One of the most obvious and distracting issues I found were basic grammar mistakes, and these were abundant. This book definitely needs an editor. And if grammar issues were the only issues I found then this book would have definitely gotten a higher rating. But, unfortunately I had issue with the storyline, characters, and romance…things which, pretty much make a book a book.

When the book begins, we are immediately plopped into Anissa’s story and life without any explanation or backstory. The world of Iwishacana is presented to readers, but never explained. Nor is it developed. The world building is severely lacking. I was very confused as to why this world exists, why Anissa can travel back and forth between worlds, and whether its existence is universally known. These unanswered questions were very distracting.

The dialogue, especially the humor, throughout the book fell flat and felt unnatural and very awkward.

The main characters, Anissa and her love interest/friend Florence, are quite flat and one dimensional. Florence is arrogant, pushy, and not the least bit swoon-worthy. Anissa always claims that she hates the spoiled brats of Iwishacana, but she’s pretty much just like them. She’s vain, annoying, and her “assertiveness” comes across as more rude than fierce. I couldn’t relate to Anissa, nor did I find her very likable.

The romance between Anissa and Florence floundered beyond even the sometimes exciting “will they/won’t they” stage. Yes, there was some amusing flirting between the two, but I think my dislike of the characters kept me from enjoying the romance.

The whole scenario of Anissa attending Cop Camp didn’t really work, simply because Cop Camp seemed more like a ritzy private school than a camp for juvenile delinquents. Now, I can understand why the author placed her character in this setting, but the setting and the overall plot mystery just didn’t mesh well. And the plot and storyline itself kind of meandered until the end. But, there is a pretty cool climatic fight scene toward the end, which made things a bit more interesting.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: This book just did not work for me. There were too many issues and too little development of any kind for me to enjoy Iwishacana/Acanawishi. I will not be reading any future books in the series, but I will give this book an extra half star for an original idea with potential.
1.5 / 5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase: Amazon 

Before you decide if this is a book you want to read or not please be sure to check out other reviews on Goodreads, especially the more positive reviews, to get opinions from all sides. Just because this book didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you :)

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