Review: Wishbones by Virginia Macgregor

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1) To get her mum healthy again
2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year’s Eve to find her mother – one of Britain’s most obese women- in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum’s life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problems run deeper than just her mum’s unhealthy appetite.

Going into Virginia Macgregor's Wishbones, I wasn't sure if I was going to love it or hate it. It wasn't exactly my normal read but the subject matter as well as Feather's name caught my attention.

As it turns out, Wishbones is the type of book that I love to come across but rarely do: a book that truly takes me by surprise in the best way possible. Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, Wishbones had me hooked from the first word until the very last.

My favorite aspect of Wishbones? Feather, the main character. 

At the start of the story, Feather is slightly timid, simply focused on taking care of her mother, hanging out with her best friend, and improving her swimming technique. After the scare of New Year's Eve, however, Feather decides that things need to change for her mother, and with that, the rebirth of Feather occurs.

Over the course of this book, Feather becomes determined, fearless, and relentless, starting a series of plans to help her mother become healthy again and to find out what exactly trigged her all those years ago. While some of Feather's plans were abrasive and rash, it was easy to see that Feather meant well,  that she truly just loved her mother and wanted her to have a long, healthy life. I admired that about her. I know from personal experience - as I'm sure many people do - that it's incredibly hard to see someone close to you health deteriorate, you want to help them so badly but at the same time there's only so much you can do and say...it's basically the expression of "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." I thought Virginia did a fanatic job of capturing this frustration as well as hope through the voice of Feather.

In addition to Feather, Virginia introduces a whole cast of other characters. I loved seeing the different personalities of Feather's small town. From the glamorous yet mysterious Mrs Zas to the stern, seemingly angry Rev Cootes to the mysterious newcomer, all were well developed and really brought the town and book to life. I enjoyed seeing how each of this characters added to Feather's story as well as added their own subplots in as well.

The plot of this book focused on two very different types of eating disorders - anorexia and obesity. Both are hard topics but I thought Virginia did a great job of approaching them. She didn't make this an "after-school special" type of book nor did she act like there was this ultimate cure all to these characters' problems. Instead, she made it true-life, believable....she showed the ups and downs to weight loss and weight gain...and most importantly, she showed that there is no one solution or cure all. Instead, dealing with this issues means different things to different people, and that sometimes truly helping doesn't mean coming up with a 10-step plan but offering a listening ear as well as love and kindness. Also, surprising to me, there was a mystery in this as well. I don't want to say much about it in fear of spoiling anything, but it really brought some good suspense towards the end, as I tried to figure out what exactly Feather's mom was hiding.

In all, Wishbones is a book that is perfect for young adults and adults alike. Ultimately a coming-of-age tale at its heart, Virginia Macgregor's Wishbones perfectly captures one girl's transformative year.

Grade: B+

Wishbones (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble) is now out!

Source: Publisher - thanks Laura at HarperCollins!

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