Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams

Lundquist, Jenny. The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams 
February 12th 2019 by Aladdin
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Audrey, Grace, and Harlow's fathers played high school baseball together in their small town, and thre three grew up as friends. This ended when the factory owned by Harlow's family, and managed by Audrey's father, burned to the ground. Grace father, a firefighter, thought that Audrey's father was in the building, and lost his life trying to save him. The entire community has felt the loss of the company, with the lack of jobs, and also are cool toward Audrey and Harlow's families. Audrey's mother (who had previously struggled with depression) has left town, Grace's mother is all set to move to California, and Harlow's parents are working very hard to find investors to help reopen a factory. When all three girls get "pumpki grams" on the eve of the town Carnival of Wishes and Dreams instructing them to meet at midnight on the Ferris wheel, each girl wonders who might have sent the message. They all go, although Grace is grounded and sneaks out, Harlow feels a need to go in disguise, and Audrey is hanging out with Julia, posting pictures on social media that paint a much brighter picture of her life than is true. During the course of the carnival, secrets are revealed, relationships are examined, and closure is sought.
Strengths: The names amused me greatly (Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jean Harlow? Only Harlow is specifically mentioned.), and I was able to keep all three characters separate when the narrative changed. That's not something all writers are able to accomplish. The setting and the auxiliary characters were interesting as well, and there is some light romance. The effect of one factory on a town's economy and morale is interestingly portrayed.
Weaknesses: This was quite angst filled; the writing was so well done that I started to feel anxious myself!
What I really think: This looks like it should be magical realism but really isn't. Carnival books don't so well in my school, even carnivals that AREN'T completely creepy, so I am debating purchase.
Ms. Yingling

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