Book Review | “Wishful Thinking” by Kamy Wicoff #SRC2015 No.2

Posted Tuesday, 30 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2015

I quite happily am spending Summer soaking through the lovely discoveries I am making through the annual BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge! This particular Summer challenge has become quite dear to me due to how wicked lovely my local library has been in giving me an added layer of joy whilst BookSparks has coordinated the blog tours attached to the reading challenge in such a way to continue to *surprise!* me by finding books arriving by Post I was not even sure would be posted! (full story revealed on this post)

This marks my second review out of ten, and although I was originally meant to post my ruminations on Monday, the 29th of June, I needed the extra hours to fully immerse myself into Wishful Thinking! Partially due to a slow-shift back into reading after my illness and partially due to a *major!* upgrade my blog undertook over the weekend yielding to a few wonky tech issues that left me unable to blog.

My next review for #SRC2015 was meant to appear on Thursday, however, I believe it will be closer to Saturday, as I equally need more time to fully embrace my next summer read! I am hoping after I post #SRC2015 No.3, I’ll be back on track with my pre-booked schedule!

It was such a joy to snuggle into this novel – it nearly felt autobiographical, too! Wicoff is definitely an author I want to keep my eyes on and continue to see where her bookish endeavours take us!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.
Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I originally found BookSparks PR last Spring, when I came upon the Summer Reading Challenge a bit too late in the game. I hadn’t forgotten about it, and was going to re-contact them this Spring to see if I could join the challenge this year instead. Coincidentally, before I sorted this out, I was contacted by one of their publicists about Linda Lafferty’s Renaissance historical novel, “The Sheperdess of Siena”. 

At the time when I was confirmed to be a part of the #SRC2015 official blog tour schedule, we were not able to get confirmation on which books we selected to review on our respective blogs would be sent to us by the publishers and/or publicist at BookSparks, thereby I submitted purchase requests at my local library for all *10!* books I selected to read and review.

I elected to read “Wishful Thinking” via the complimentary copy I received by BookSparks as the library copy arrived just after this lovely book arrived by postal mail. By participating in the #SRC2015 challenge I am reading the novels in exchange for my honest reviews; whether I am receiving a complimentary copy or borrowing them through my local library. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Review | “Wishful Thinking” by Kamy Wicoff #SRC2015 No.2Wishful Thinking
by Kamy Wicoff
Source: Direct from Publicist

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Women's Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, Magical Realism, Time Travel Fiction, Quantum Physics


Published by She Writes Press

on 21st April, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 384

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

written by Kamy Wicoff | Site | @kwicoff | Facebook | Instagram

Published By:She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
originated from She Writes (@shewritesdotcom)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLCGoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #WishfulThinking & #SRC2015

Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Wishful Thinking via CSPTrade2

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

My selection process for #SRC2015:

When I joined the #SRC2015 blog tour, I wanted to select stories that not only would challenge my mind but be of the cut of fiction that would stand out to me as inspiring and inventive story-telling. The selections I decided to make were towards the writers whose novels were underlit by themes that gave me a hearty entreaty to characters whose lives either broke out of the norm or took me a full step outside the sphere of where I regularly alight in my reading queue.

Wishful Thinking appealed to me because of it’s quirky premise (a fairy godmother whose really a physicist?!) and a single Mum!? I love stories like these, as there was a quirky Indie film I loved called “Three Wishes” I think it was? About a young woman who worked in a bookstore but suddenly had her ‘wishes’ being fulfilled by a secret benefactor!? And, of course, anyone who has found the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Altherton knows what I know about serendipitous surprises whereas if you’ve read Lemongrass Hope you proceed with measurable caution!

This one felt light with a heap of heart inside it and which stood out to me.

My Review of Wishful Thinking:

Wicoff is a writer who condenses such a hearty amount of character focus into a printed page, you dearly feel as if your following up with a well-known friend whose life simply derailed in your absence. Jennifer Sharpe is at the apex of a major life shift jettisoning herself into a lifepath not of her choosing with events boggling her reality with their upturnt logical presence; an ex-husband who prefers superficial upgrades to his person vs spending quality time with his sons whilst the family cat is perpetually sick. Wishful Thinking begins on the fringes of a stream of conscience awareness by the spirit of a woman who is vainly attempting to piece together a semblance of ‘self’ and ‘family’ in a routine of monotonous motions of everyday living.

Right then, right in the midst of the chaos which consumes Jennifer on a daily basis, between owning her life’s choices and struggling to find ‘balance’ as a Mum – she became the recipient of a gift she never expected would be plausible much less addressed to her and hand-delivered! There is a social commentary underscoring the plot, as there is a bit of a segue to lay a pensive hat upon the necessity of technology and how it plays such a central role in our lives as once it’s misplaced or taken from our point of focus; some of us tread water as if we’ve forgotten how to swim. In particular, there is an addressing on the dire need of having our hips attached to digital gadgetry (i.e. a cell phone) to such an extent that we cannot function without it. Cellular and/or portable technologic gadgets have become so common place in some people’s lives, they forget how to live ‘unplugged’ and away from their devices. How to recognise how time passes without the instant connection to ‘the world at large’ and how to cope without instant gratification.

The satire Wicoff stitched into her novel is bang-on brilliant – it’s the kind of comical humour you’d expect from a newly divorcee whose not entirely in love with the direction of her life nor how her life is dictating her actions. How can you not find yourself smirking as you read her in complete duress over the standards she’s set so high for herself and her sons; they are starting to buckle under the line she drew where she believes their achievements should be measured against? It’s not that she’s convinced there is a line, it’s more where she feels society and the pressures of her peers are placing their standards against her own. She’s a woman being interrupted within her hours to sort through a muck of despairing thoughts whilst trying to be the jack-of-all-trades to her children; where being a superhero for them should trump all other goals she’s facing day to day. She falls short, of course, and therein lies her greatest guilt. How does a mother find a career more important than her children? How does a career rise in importance to motherhood? Her thoughts become your thoughts as you trudge through the quagmire with Jennifer seeking not only solace but a bit of a release from what is expected when your simply trying to ‘live through’ rather than ‘live well’.

Quite a clever extension of the story to tie-in the book cover art with the gift Jennifer receives from the mysterious scientist of whom she never knew she’d crossed paths with previously much less was in a position to lose her cellular long enough to be gifted something quite extraordinary. I had a feeling the art on the book cover was a bit of a clue towards the mystery of the novel, but it’s how the words within the text match keenly to the artwork where I found myself happily rejoicing that She Writes Press definitely ‘gets how readers love finding continuity’ between cover art and story-lines.

Curiosity is a tricky vice – do you give into your personal curious nature when someone hands you a gift with a note attached not to open the gift until you contact them? How you react when someone unseen gives you a bone of exemption from your personal chaotic life is the hypothesis you entreat inside whilst consuming Wishful Thinking! I liked how there is a measure of truth and consequence when Jennifer is caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar!

Dr. Diane Sexton fits the niche perfectly as an eccentric scientist who writes her own story in how she pursues both her scientific interests and the path she takes to live her life. She’s an expert in her own right yet she has a bit of a lacking in regards to relating to others outside the vein of her field. She became keen on Jennifer and her young sons due to how she felt attracted to seeing how a modern working mother could juggle career and mumhood; thus, this spark of interest leads her to being willing to share a secret of innovation. Sexton to me, came across as a character who was not being as forthright honest with Jennifer as much as Sexton is writ to lead you to believe. Sexton tucks things close to her chest so to speak – she only endeavours to reveal what she feels is pertinent to say rather than giving Jennifer full transparency on her gift.

The most interesting turn within the narrative is how there were two delightfully strong lead characters etching out of the novel’s heart: for me Dr. Sexton is equally as compelling to read about (if at times moreso) as Jennifer. In many ways, Sexton’s story-line and the struggles she openly had with resolving her partner’s insecurities to embracing their relationship felt heart-centered. Wicoff gave Sexton such a rounding of character to be ferreted out in-between the harried bits of internal dialogue Jennifer is having with herself over the vexations of her own life bent against an unwilling acceptance of time and the shifting inability to forestall how time knits our hours together; Wicoff gave me such an endearing story threaded out of love and a passion for science.

I simply couldn’t put Wishful Thinking down and it will long be regaled as one of my ‘unputdownable’ reads for 2015. Once you make your full entreaty into this world, this vacuum of space where your empathy for Jennifer’s choices and Sexton’s dire hope to be united with her soul’s equal truly leave a mark on your own heart’s pulse point. There is an authentic voice within Wishful Thinking (a truism if you will) connecting the narrative to a sophisticated undertone of life affecting art. Even before I realised there was confirmation of this within the author’s note (her acknowledgements follow the Epilogue), I felt it quite alarmingly real and definitively honest as I read her novel.

I might not have appreciated the stronger words which were peppered through the novel, but it is the gift of reading Wicoff’s testament on modern contemporary life interspersed with a full-on drama involving ethics and science – where it’s hard to find fault with the novel, except to say, you’ll want to read it straight through until you reach the very last page! Even if you do not have the hours to do this, you’ll find yourself betwixt against time to do it anyway!

A debut novel from a forty-something who has a heap to say:

whilst proving how diversity in fiction isn’t complicated!

Introspective and self-aware characters are the most endearing and yet one of the most difficult characters to bring to the page where a reader can truly feel emphatically connected to their plight. Most singletons (such as I) I’m quite certain are not as attached to singleton and/or divorcee motion pictures but the truth of the matter is two films, no! three films came to mind at different intervals of my reading of Wishful Thinking: “Working Girl”, “Baby Boom”, “Must Love Dogs”, and “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Ha. Four films, then! The truth is Wicoff has etched a likeness of awareness and honesty inside her lead character that is present in these other stories: women who are awakening to the realisation that for whichever reason their on the apex of a life shift.

A shift in both time, place, setting, and way of living – to live more authentically or to succumb to a never ending routine of predictability which could lead to indifference. At the same time, having diverse characters populate your story where they are organically present without feeling as though they were inserted to have a novel remain inclusive of a melting pot cast is equally commendable. I’ve been openly supportive and following the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign whilst attempting to blog about the writers who are getting the balance right inside their stories.

Wicoff has cleverly given Jennifer a best friend who is of Indian (from India) descent and her co-workers are African-American, which provide a bit of friction for Jennifer. Friction in how there are cross-cultural differences that cannot be helped but also, where in a situation similar to the project Jennifer is working on might provide awkward conversations. It’s an interesting addition to seeing how social commentary and social hot topics can become interwoven into a contemporary novel. I felt she had the characters speak for themselves and owned their truths without giving me a reason to feel they were weren’t organically included.

The pace set within Wishful Thinking is contrasted against personal journal entries by Jennifer, as the chapter titles give a bit of a hint towards what your going to find inside the chapter, but then, the diary format of Jennifer reflecting back on her experiences, travels (in time), and the chaotic fusion of trying to outdo her own original intentions towards resolving the absence of balance in her life allow us to dig closer to her heart and conscience. I appreciated how air apparent this novel is bang-on accurate for today’s 21st Century world – so very current, there are shout-out mentions of modern life references any singleton, Mum, or divorcee will recognise – including the cheeky humour of how hitting the ‘re-set’ on your dating life isn’t quite what you thought it would be!

Wicoff has an intensity about her novel; where there is a yearning itch to allow us to travel through Jennifer’s shoes in order to understand the greater scope of where the story is taking us. So much so, there is a fork in the time continuum where you start to notice how your nearly siding with Alicia not Jennifer, as far as which Mum has managed to live a life she will not regret. It’s a story that asks the bigger questions (i.e. of life, of living, of mumhood, of personal sanctity of wellness, career vs life at home, etc) wrapped inside a time-travel suspense plot!

The reason I tweeted this as I was reading the story, is because the suspense arc of Wishful Thinking lies within the invisible border between where science, conscience, and morality intervene. There is an ethical undernote to the story, which fits within the paradigm of science because most of the best innovators and inventors (inasmuch as physicists) walk either in line with their ethics or regret choices they made lateron in their career if their conscience regretted their paths. It takes on a visceral experiment to extract what would happen if you could bend time to your will whilst bending time outside it’s own neutral existence.

Why seeing Science threading into cross-genre releases is pure joy:

Whilst devouring the text at a rate of speed that surprised me, as I haven’t quite been myself this June; I started to recognise a shift in my preferences for reading science fact inside fictional realms. A part of me will continue to advocate for science fiction as it’s my genre of choice and the traditional roots of where my own writings took flight; however, there is this new focus on bridging the gap between science fiction and women’s fiction (and/or Romance). Where theories of quantum physics are finding themselves tracking into the mainstream sphere of literature; opening up a new mecca of choices for geeks who love to read Rom and strong stories centered on a woman’s POV can take new notice of the writers who are giving us stimulating reads.

I started to reflect inside my mind of the stories that are encouraging this shifting trend, a few of which I am still on the fringes of being able to read myself! The works of Rhoda Baxter one of the authors of ChocLitUK who is on my ChocLit Next Reads List came to mind, as she writes Rom with a quirky science thread of inclusion where her characters strongly represent the world of science with the underscore joy of sorting out their lives outside the pursuit of science. C.A. Gray has found a way to take quantum physics into the reality of Sci-Fantasy within the setting of Young Adult fiction equal to the writings of Adrienne Quintana whose debut novel Eruption re-defined how science and fantasy are merging together symbiotically.

Visit my reviews of:

C.A. Gray | Intangible Review

Invincible Review

*Impossible forthcoming

Adrienne Quintana | Eruption Review

On the other side of the spectrum, writers such as Paul Mark Tag and Deborah Heal are curving out a niche for themselves for bringing science into the forefront of stories that might otherwise have been identified under a different genre heading. Tag writes compelling modern thrillers with a full-on bent towards emerging science whereas Heal writes INSPY novels which tackle aspects of time travel through a portal as unique as Wicoff.

This reminds me directly of why I appreciated reading Sarah Tranter’s (another ChocLitUK author) Romancing the Soul due to how it asks a novel question about how far your willing to accept reincarnation; a theory of thought as difficult to find contemporary acceptance and tolerance similar to the notion to ‘travel through time’. The Rom author who gave her readers a hearty chew on time travel realities is ChocLit author Amanda James; who left the ‘details’ hidden from her readers eyes and thus, gave us a heap to ponder about at the conclusion of the story! Prior to having learnt there was a sequel, I was definitely curious about the ‘behind the travel’ particulars!

Visit my reviews of:

Paul Mark Tag | Category 5 Review

*Prophecy & White Thaw forthcoming

Deborah Heal | Time And Again Review

*Unclaimed Legacy & Every Hill and Mountain forthcoming

Sarah Tranter | Romancing the Soul Review

Amanda James | A Stitch in Time Review

*Cross Stitch forthcoming

The ingenious way Wicoff stitched biographical sketches of real-life women scientists was a pure bliss for me to find because I oft-times feel the women who led such a strong charge in science are overlooked by both history and readers alike. I wanted to mention this inclusion of loveliness but finding a full-on page dedicated to the scientists on Wicoff site was wicked sweet, too! Towards the end of Summer, (early September) I will be reading whilst blogging my impressions on two collections of biographies about women scientists; as I was reading Wishful Thinking I was full of gratitude to Wicoff to give me such a brilliant precursor of those future readings! I’ll relate on those upcoming reviews why women in science were incredibly inspiring to me, but in case you were curious which books I’m referencing they are the duology companions: Magnificent Minds (Synopsis) + Remarkable Minds (Synopsis) writ by one of the founders of Tumblehome Learning, Penny Noyce. I previously was introduced to this science-centered publisher through my readerly joy having The Walking Fish alight in my hands!

It’s a wicked good time to be a bookish geeky girl who is passionate about science!

I nearly didn’t write-in a ‘Fly in the Ointment’:

Generally speaking, my dear hearted readers know where I stand on the grounds of vulgarity in literature, as I am not shy in regards to calling out an author for excessive use or even unnecessary use if I feel a story can carry-on without the inclusions. This is one of those novels where the stronger words felt connected to the state of mind (both psychologically and emotional) to the lead character; she was writ with an edgy introspective angle — edgy because she’s sorting out why she’s not happier than she appears and introspective due to the nature of her headspace charting out the avenues of how her life is in a constant state of flux.

There are certain examples of works where strong language doesn’t burn my eyes nor ferret out a response other than to simply say, for whichever reason, it worked inside this story. Wishful Thinking is my fourth (not that I’m keeping track!) novel where I felt the stronger bits were warranted due to the manner in which we arrive inside Jennifer’s life; or more to the point, the ‘time’ we visit her is opportune to her emotional state. The inclusions are so random you could blink and miss the naughty words completely! I do admit I could have done without the two on page forty; oy vie. I do wish writers of contemporary stories could take up a challenge to exclude vulgarity and see how well the stories lift to a height of enjoyment without their use at all. Alas, my own little ‘wishful thinking’; no pun intended, truly!

About a quarter of the way through the novel, I realised I had to mention the words although random do repetitively appear moving forward through the text. I think what bothered me is that Wicoff has such a strong narrative voice for contemporary angst of a modern working single Mum that it diminished a bit of the joy I had whilst reading because each harsh word became a ranklement of ‘ugh’ flittering onto the page. A word that stood out to me from the beautiful turns of phrase and the laugh out loud hysterical satire that I believe is Wicoff’s trademark!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This book review is courtesy of: BookSparks

{ click the banner for more information on #SRC2015! }

#SRC2015 BookSparks Blog Tour Banner provided for the tour hosts and used with permission.

This is my second review for #SRC2015!

#SRC2015 No. 1 : The Grown-Ups by Robin Antalek (review)

#SRC2015 No. 3 : Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave *review forthcoming!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Readers | Books Bloggers : Impressions of Wishful Thinking via #SRC2015:

{ a quick search + the twitterverse provided me the road map! }

This is not an ordered list as I simply found links in succession of each other. There are supposedly close to 50 book bloggers per title during #SRC2015; therefore this is an abridged list of reviewers. This doesn’t count the fact the reading challenge is open to the public for those who are either borrowing the books via their local libraries and/or purchasing copies outright to read and review for their own edification and joy. Be sure to follow the #SRC2015 tag on Twitter to find more opinions.

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Julie Valerie’s Blog

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Kissin Blue Karen

#SRC2015 Review: Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Ink Berry Books

Enjoying the bustle of Manhattan with “Wishful Thinking” by Kamy Wicoff | The Book Chick

#SRC2015: Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Just Another Girl and her Books

Book Review: Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Uptite Mamas

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Read Baby Read

Review Wishful Thinking | OnDBookShelf

+

Clever spotlight by a friend of the authors & personal notes on the story

Author Interview with Kamy Wicoff | She Knows

 Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | 5 Minutes for Books

Personal antidotes intermixed with review of Wishful Thinking | Working Moms Break

Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Tiff Talks Books

Blog Tour: Wishful Thinking by Kamy Wicoff | Every Free Chance Books

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.
Let’s get to know more about SHE WRITES PRESS
& the Creative Economists behind it!

She Writes Press | Platform for Women Writers via Brooke Warner

Technically there are two strong women anchouring their creativity and innovation into She Writes; Ms Warner is partnered with today’s featured author Kamy Wicoff. Both of whom have embraced that the timing which arrives in our lives to launch our professional endeavours isn’t always in the time-frame we originally fore-think to occur, but timing has a way of arriving by it’s own accord at a moment where even the universe winks out a smile how kismet it is to arrive when you least expect it.

As a writer whose a thirty-something 2nd Year Book Blogger (living in the season of being a blogger) well aware of the fact her ‘time’ to publish will be as a forty-something, finding other kindred spirits who are wicked happy creative economists redefining the niche where our stories are breathed into life is soul lifting. They remind me of the writers behind The Prime Writers – our lives are only limited by our attitude and approach to live within our dreams which eclipse the impossible.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.
Be sure to visit my Bookish Events for (2015)
to see what I’m hosting next during #SRC2015!

Reader Interactive Question:

If you could bend time and effectively erase the faults of having to live within the reality of where time and memory exist, would you be tempted to use the new technology!?

Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

{SOURCES: The #SRC2015 badges (“Wishful Thinking” blog tour, Jane Green as Host of #SRC2015 and the regular ‘blog tour’) and the #SRC2015 bookmark were all provided by BookSparks and used with permission. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Book Excerpt was able to be embedded due to codes provided by Scribd. Buy links on Scribd are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SRC2015 | BookSparks

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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