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The Mirror Broken Wish (The Mirror, 1) af…
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The Mirror Broken Wish (The Mirror, 1) (udgave 2020)

af Julie C. Dao (Forfatter), Julie Dao (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
392508,988 (4.33)Ingen
Medlem:cschulz
Titel:The Mirror Broken Wish (The Mirror, 1)
Forfattere:Julie C. Dao (Forfatter)
Andre forfattere:Julie Dao (Forfatter)
Info:Disney-Hyperion (2020), 320 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Brazos Donations, ARC

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The Mirror Broken Wish (The Mirror (1)) af Julie C. Dao

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Literary Merit: Excellent
Characterization: Excellent
Recommended: Yes
Level: Middle or High School

I had a feeling when I first picked this book up that I would really like it, and it certainly did not disappoint! In the Author’s Note at the end, Dao mentions being heavily inspired by both Disney and classic fairy tales, and I think it really shows in this work. While reading, I caught many references to classic fairy tales, which almost felt like little Easter eggs for fairy tale nerds like myself. The book also focused on a strong female friendship, which I thought was excellent, and kept me wanting more as I read.

Broken Wish focuses on a few characters, but begins with a friendship between a young woman named Agnes and a witch named Mathilda. The year is 1848, and Agnes and her husband have just moved to the small town of Hanau, Germany, where they hope to make a new start. Agnes is quick to befriend the local witch Mathilda, but soon realizes that the witch has been completely ostracized by the other members of the town for pulling several pranks on those who have harmed her. Mathilda, learning that Agnes wishes to have a child, offers to give her a potion to help her conceive, but asks for her continued support and friendship in return. Agnes’s husband, however, fears they will also be ostracized by the townsfolk, and begs his wife to end the friendship as soon as she takes the potion. Agnes reluctantly agrees, and eventually Mathilda moves deep into the North Woods where normal humans dare not to tread.

As punishment for her broken promise, Agnes’s daughter Elva discovers she has powers of her own at a very young age, having the ability to peer into reflective surfaces and see the future. Though her parents have begged her to hide her magic for fear of what the townspeople will do to her, Elva shares this knowledge with her fiancé Willem, who appears to accept her for who she is. When Elva discovers the letters Mathilda wrote to her mother, she seeks out the witch in the North Woods to make amends... and to ask for the witch’s help in controlling her fledgling powers. Will their friendship be enough to break the curse on Elva’s family, or will doom and gloom follow wherever they go due to Agnes’s broken promise?

Like I said before, this book is full of fun references to fairy tales, from the glass coffin at the end of the book to the bright red shoes and enchanted mirror that Mathilda give to Elva. While I’ll admit I’m not an expert on fairy tales, I picked up on quite a few little Easter eggs throughout, and loved that this book felt like reading a classic fairy tale. While it initially seems to be historical fantasy (based on the 1800s German setting), I was relieved to see that no actual history plays a part in the story. The Grimm brothers are mentioned briefly near the beginning of the story, but this book requires no previous historical knowledge to properly understand, which I appreciated.

I also loved the strong theme of female friendship throughout, as YA is a genre in which more female friendships are desperately needed. While Agnes eventually chooses popularity over her friendship, Elva forms a deep bond with Mathilda, strengthened by the way they are both judged and ostracized from society for their magical abilities. While Elva is able to blend in by hiding her powers, Mathilda refuses to do so, choosing to be herself rather than conforming to societal norms. In this way, much of this story seems like a feminist take on fairy tales, as one woman chooses to be independent while the other sees the best in everyone. Both characters are strong in their own ways, and form a sort of “opposites attract” friendship throughout the story.

Another thing this story handles well is the romance. While I initially rooted for Willem and Elva, Willem slowly reveals his true colors as the story progresses. Continuing with the feminist theme, Willem turns out to be using Elva for her abilities, threatening to out her to the entire town if she refuses to marry him and go along with his “circus scheme.” Willem, like the rest of the people in this small town, view any woman who is different as a dangerous threat, reminiscent of real historical events like the Salem Witch Trials. In the end, Elva stands up for herself, realizing that not everyone in her life has the best intentions as she previously thought. As a whole, the story focuses much more on the family relationships and friendships Elva develops than the romance, which is a refreshing change in fantasy YA.

Speaking of familial relationships, I found Elva’s relationship to her younger brother Cay to be extremely sweet and touching. Cay is extremely supportive of his older sister, viewing her magic as a gift and wanting to help her explore it further. Throughout the book, he expresses interest in finding a magical wishing well to improve their situation, while also begging Elva to share her secrets with him. In the end, it is fear for Cay’s safety that leads Elva to break her own promise with Mathilda, setting off a chain of events that alter the entire story. This utter devotion to family was both realistic and touching, and I love that a lot of the focus was put on this aspect of Elva’s life. Cay is living proof that someone who is different can find unconditional love, and I’m excited to see where his story leads in future books.

Though Elva’s ultimate fate is a tragic one (though I hope this might change in future books), I admired her decision to take matters into her own hands and shape her own destiny. In the end, both she and Mathilda choose to be unapologetically themselves, though they do so in different ways. Mathilda prefers to self-isolate and keep to herself, while Elva longs to use her abilities to help people and walk among society. Elva takes a lot of agency in her own life throughout this story, which is awesome to see from a female character living in the 1800s. While I hope Mathilda and Cay are able to resurrect her in future books, I found her arc to be extremely satisfying, and love her as a strong female character. The story appears to be hinting at more, as this is the first in a series, so I will wait with baited breath to see where this story goes next.

I would recommend this book to fans of both fantasy and fairy tales, especially those who love strong female protagonists and healthy female friendships in literature. It’s fun, well-written, and suspenseful, and I found myself really rooting for these characters as the story progressed. Best of all, this book is devoid of any foul language or sexual content, making it a good pick for younger teens as well. I look forward to seeing what Julie Dao writes next, as this book was a delight from beginning to end. ( )
  SWONroyal | Jul 18, 2020 |
Thanks to Disney Publishing Worldwide for this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Broken Wish is about Elva, a sixteen-year-old girl who can see snippets of the future. She has tried to hide it her whole life, but when she realizes that she can use it for good, she starts to purposely use her powers. She seeks out “The Witch Of The North Woods” wanting answers to all of her questions. They soon become very good friends, and teach each other a lot about the magic world and the human world.

I loved Broken Wish. The plot was interesting, and so were the characters. The magic was woven into the story in a really neat way. The consequences and rules for the magic were believable and fascinating. My favorite character was definitely Mathilda, Elva’s friend and suspected witch. She was slowly built into the story, and became Elva’s loveable mentor. One of the things I liked most about Broken Wish was that most of the books that take place in the 1800’s were written in the 1800’s, which means they're somewhat hard to understand since they were written in a different time period. Broken Wish however, was very easy to follow.

My only problem with the book was the anti-climactic ending and the cliffhanger. See, if you are expecting something really big at the end, then you're not really gonna get much out of it and the book will just end on you. But, when you look back, you realize there was a really big climax, you just hadn’t noticed it because it was too short. Then, there’s the cliffhanger. Now I don’t have anything against cliffhangers, but it’s really confusing when you read the synopsis for the next book and think: WHAT? See, we don’t get another book for a year, so I think that Julie C. Dao shouldn’t have put a solo book ending on the first book in a four-part series.

But, overall, Broken Wish was an amazing, appealing, and captivating book that almost anyone who likes dark fairy tales will love. ( )
  Books_With_Antonio | Jun 14, 2020 |
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