The debut offering from author Faith Harkey is perfect for readers ten and up. A lovely story and ready to please readers of all ages, although the target audience is from age 10 through 14.
A solidly southern, folksy tale follows 12 year old Genuine Sweet in her tiny town of Sass, Georgia. Going in to this story, you need to know three things: Genuine is twelve, she has a gift for granting wishes, and her life is not perfect.
With an alcoholic and unemployed father, a dead mother and an ailing Grandmother that told her of her gift, money is tight in thehousehold, and Genuine has more to worry about than just who needs a wish. Until she shares her story with her new friend Jura, and they decide to barter Genuine’s wish granting for staples and basics that they need.
When that goes well, the girls start to grant wishes online, and things are moving along well until the demand starts to explode. With the boy she likes not giving her a second look while the weird boy is seemingly unshakable and her Grandmother starting to recover, Genuine thinks things are looking up. But then, a woman who’s wish from Genuine’s mother did not work reappears, and things start to get more complicated. With her Grandmother’s death, Genuine takes a chance and makes one last wish, and uses it for herself.
A lovely story narrated in Genuine’s voice brings magical realism to a story that is laden with difficult moments, but never crosses the line to become maudlin or overwhelming. Genuine is kind and good-hearted, with a steely determination to protect those she loves and use her abilities to improve many lives. Her one misstep, using her own gift for herself brought a new series of complications to her life. Throughout the story, Genuine learns lessons about love, life, responsibility and her own ability to encourage personal empowerment in others.
A lovely narrative that is easily read while presenting issues and a story that are complex and multi-layered. Suitable for readers ten and older, despite the rather juvenile cover. Magical realism is particularly strong and the wish giving is unexplained until the end, a particularly clever device that brings home the lessons that Genuine learns in a new way.
Title: Genuine Sweet
Author: Faith Harkey
Genre: Children's Literature, Coming of Age, Magical Realism
Published by: Clarion Books
Published on: 7 April, 2015
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
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Twelve-year-old Genuine Sweet, of tiny Sass, Georgia, can grant any wish . . . except her own. It's a peculiar predicament, considering how much she could use a few wishes. New friends help Genuine give her family a boost--and then she takes her gift global! Life finally seems to be on the mend. But when she's faced with unexpected trouble that no amount of wishing can fix, Genuine must puzzle out the difference between wishing for a better life and building one.
Told in the engaging, irresistible voice of Genuine Sweet herself, Faith Harkey's debut novel spins a remarkable tale of a small-town girl with big-time magic and an even bigger heart.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.