Book Review: The Wish List by Jane Costello

The Wish List by Jane CostelloThe Wish List: What it is about

What the publishers say: “There are six months left of Emma Reiss’s twenties. . . and she has some unfinished business.

Emma and her friends are about to turn thirty, and for Emma it’s a defining moment. Defined, that is, by her having achieved none of the things she’d imagined she would.
Her career is all wrong, her love life is a desert and that penthouse apartment she pictured herself in simply never materialised. Moreover, she’s never jumped out of a plane, hasn’t met the man she’s going to marry, has never slept under the stars, or snogged anyone famous – just some of the aspirations on a list she and her friends compiled fifteen years ago.

As an endless round of birthday parties sees Emma hurtle towards her own thirtieth, she sets about addressing these issues. But, as she discovers with hilarious consequences, some of them are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

The Wish List: What I thought

This was a great chick-lit that I enjoyed reading. It was an unsolicited review book from Simon & Schuster and somehow they always arrive at a convenient time. I was about to make a long car journey, and this kind of book is ideal (given that I wasn’t driving, that is). It’s an easy read and the story isn’t too complex to follow – so I can still keep half an eye on the navigation system (my husband usually ignores it and relies on me to repeat what Tammy (as we call her) just said).

In this book, the focus wasn’t rigidly on Emma’s wish list. That way, the book didn’t follow a particular scheme in which one item is highlighted and ticked off, followed by the next one, etc. That can get rather cumbersome after a while. In contrast, in The Wish List, the items on the list almost happen to be tackled. Sometimes Emma takes special actions to work on the wish (e.g., she asks her ex-boyfriend for guitar lessons) while on other occasions she is aided by friends, rather casually (e.g., “Didn’t you say you wanted to do X? Well, a friend of mine…”). And so, before you know it, you reach the end of the story and the end of the wish list.

Emma was a reasonably normal person (not empty-headed like you sometimes see in chick-lit). She does quite funny things, sometimes, e.g., she tries to make sure someone doesn’t spot her, but what she does has the effect that she is spotted after all, but then in some compromising situation that would not have happened if she hadn’t tried to hide. That sort of thing. Sometimes hilarious, but never over the top.

It is very fluently written and an easy read. To me, this is a very good chic-lit, à la the better books of Sophie Kinsella. Certainly worth a read if you’re a fan of this genre.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Number of pages: 484

First published: 2013

I got this: for review from the publishers, Simon & Schuster UK

Genre: contemporary fiction, chick-lit

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

11 Responses to Book Review: The Wish List by Jane Costello

  1. Isi says:

    Sounds great, Judith. I can perfectly identify with the main character. I’m just 30, my life is over and it isn’t like I wanted to be😯
    So I have to read this book! I like chik-lit ver much, I have to say.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I do like chick-lit, too, Isi. In small amounts. This book was a really good chick-lit so I think you will like it too. My advice: read the book and make your own wishlist! Do you know Day Zero project? It lets you make an online wishlist to work on. I have one, but I haven’t done anything on it for a while.

  2. Isi says:

    No, I don’t know what it is. Is it like help-self? You have make a list and try to achieve your goals?

    • Leeswammes says:

      Not really self-help. Just make a list, and keep track online what you’ve done. It’s really the same as making a list on a piece of paper – but online you can share your list with others.

  3. Katrien says:

    I haven’t read a chick-lit for a few months, but I’m certainly planning on reading one next week!

  4. I have seen loads of people enjoying this one. I will make a note of it for when I next crave chick-lit.

  5. Book Blather says:

    Ah, the no I wasn’t hiding, I was just watering this plant while in my pyjamas, awkward moments. lol. Very Bridget Jones! Sounds like a good book.🙂

  6. Sounds like a fun book, Judith, one I would certainly enjoy. Thanks for your review.

  7. Laurie C says:

    You had me until the end, when I saw “484 pages”!

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