Saturday 7 April 2018

Book Review: You Wish (Contemporary Fiction)

You Wish 

You Wish by Lia Weston

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Publication date: 27th March 2018
Pages: 320
Format read: paperback
Source: publisher


 Sometimes imagination is not enough.

Thomas Lash grants secret wishes . . . on-screen, that is.

White wedding gone horribly wrong and need to swap the groom? Never went to university but must have a graduation photo? Need to create a fake family for that job interview? Problem solved with expert Photoshopping and Tom's peculiar ability to know exactly what you desire. Tom never says no, even when giving grieving parents the chance to see what the lives of their lost children may have looked like.

But where do you draw the line . . . and what happens when the fantasy Tom sees on-screen starts to bleed into his real life?

                                                         My thoughts 

This book is seriously funny, thought provoking and did I say seriously funny.
I’m a bit crushed that now I’m finished I have to leave Tom behind.

Ignis Fatuus – A deceptive hope, an illusion that misleads. IF is born.

Tom, co founder of IF, makes personal photo albums for clients projecting their dreams and wishes through airbrushing and photo-shopping. Tom with his knack of reading people can produce exactly what they wished for. No request is too extreme and although Tom does find the idea morally challenging his clients leave with photos of the life they dreamed of, not what reality gave them.
But what happens when Tom’s work life bleeds into his home life and he is no longer sure what is real and what is fake.

The author uses narrative intrusion to draw the reader in and feel a connection with Tom. His friends think he is a bit strange, afraid of commitment and reluctant to grow up. The reader sees a different Tom. He is sensitive, an introvert. He burdens himself with everyone’s problems. Tom feels he is not accepted by others. He is an observer and this quality has enabled him to read people effectively which also sets him apart from others.
”That thing you do. Do that thing. It’s that weird gift you have.”
People are always asking him to read a room and it invariably gets him into trouble.

The story is multi-layered with many small plots weaving throughout with themes of family, friendship and morality.
Tom’s mother, Amanda Lash, best-selling author, inspirational figure and YouTube celebrity is swamped by fans wherever she goes. His father is reticent and withdrawn which is cause for much speculation. His teenage sister, Genevieve, is having trouble with her own feelings and reaches out to Tom. Their relationship and closeness is touching to read.

Weston’s writing is taut, fast and satirical. The characters are well developed and believably flawed. The concept of the story is thought provoking and challenging. Innocent on the surface but how far do you go and what are the consequences. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as Weston finds humour in the everyday.
Highly recommended! Readers are in for a roller coaster ride as Tom battles his parents, his girlfriend, his sister, his colleagues, his best-friend but mostly his morals.

With my thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for my copy to read and review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

                                                   About the author

Lia Weston is a fiction writer. Her debut novel, THE FORTUNES OF RUBY WHITE, was published by Simon & Schuster Australia in 2010. Her second novel, THOSE PLEASANT GIRLS, was published with Pan Macmillan in May 2017. YOU WISH, Lia's third novel, is out in April 2018. In between wrestling with plot points and procrastinating instead of writing her synopsis, Lia runs a bicycle shop with her husband Pete and works as a freelance copy-editor. 

This review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge   


  1. This sounds like a really great 5* read.

    1. Highly recommended. It wasn’t what I was expecting. Very funny and great characterisation.

  2. I like the sound of this one - I enjoy clever humor

  3. What an interesting idea! And the name of his company is genius!

    1. It is interesting. The author has done a few interviews where she explains how the idea of the story came around. It’s set in Australia but I think the humour would have a broad appeal.

  4. I really like the cover for this book. Great review!

  5. Great review! The book sounds very interesting.

  6. I love a book that makes me think. Great review