Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Enjoying the Bustle of Manhattan with "Wishful Thinking" by Kami Wicoff!

Who among us doesn't wish that they could be in more than one place at a time?

Divorced mother-of-two Jennifer Sharpe is burning the candle at both ends. Working a job with incredible demands on her time, sleeping on the sofa bed in her tiny apartment because her ex-husband is "pursuing his acting career" and not paying support, and left with little time for her children or a social life, she often wishes that she could be in more than one place at a time. When she loses her phone one night and finds it outside of her apartment door the next morning with a mysterious new app installed called "Wishful Thinking", Jennifer finds that she can do just that. With the help of her app-creating neighbor, physicist Dr. Diane Sexton, suddenly Jennifer is able to work until 8 pm every night and be home with her children in the evening at the same time. Jennifer is living the dream, even able to pursue a relationship with her son's handsome and charismatic guitar teacher in thanks to the app's time travel properties, but then the realities of time travel start to make themselves knows to her. She finds herself exhausted much of the time, unable to remember important details about friends, and she finds herself aging more quickly due to the multiple times that she lives each hour of each day. She, along with her best friend, know that she needs to stop using the app. But will Jennifer be able to cope without the app? Will she be able to find a balance that allows her to live happily ever after?

I love the concept of Wishful Thinking and I found myself absorbed in the plot early on. It was hard not to like Jennifer Sharpe. It was clear from the beginning that she adored her two small boys and would do anything for them, but it was also apparent that she had no choice but to work punishing hours in order to support them single-handedly and put food on the table. I think that any working mother, divorced or otherwise, can relate to how Jennifer feels. That is likely why I found myself so taken with this story from the very beginning! I miss the days when I was able to volunteer at my sons' schools or read them an extra chapter or two at night before bed, but being a working parent certainly puts time constraints on day-to-day life. This is likely why I found the app Wishful Thinking such a fun concept. Imagine being able to be in two places at once! Hard at work until 8 pm, while being home with your family at the same time! However as with any good story about time travel, I knew that things would, at some point, go spectacularly wrong. They did, but with an important lesson to go along with the mishaps. Is there such thing as being too much? Doing too much? I believe that there is. We, as women, as mothers, as employees, tend to try to be everywhere at once. We aim for perfection, and we often exhaust and disappoint ourselves in the process. Perhaps it is time for us to step back and just be, to allow ourselves to be the best that we can be, and to remind ourselves that it is ok for us to be less than perfect from time to time. That is what I took away from Wishful Thinking.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wishful Thinking. I enjoyed the writing style, the underlying message, and all of the characters. I enjoyed getting to know Jennifer as well as getting to know her best friend and Dr. Diane Sexton. The characters came alive on the pages and I related to each of them in some way. They were all doing their best to find their own happiness, and I appreciated them for that. While the concept of the time-travel app was fascinating, what I really appreciated was the underlying theme- we are all perfect as we are, and that it is more important for us to find balance in our lives than to burn out trying to do it all. This was a thought-provoking read, and one that I will definitely be recommending.

Are you participating in the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge? If not, follow along here! You may even win the grand prize!

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