26 November 2015

Early Review: Chasing Midnight by Courtney King Walker

Chasing Midnight
by Courtney King Walker.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Retelling.
Publication: January 12th 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.
Sixteen-year-old Mackenzie knows life is always better for the lucky ones—the problem is, she’s never been one. But when Mackenzie finally gets her wish, she quickly realizes the royal life isn’t exactly what she had in mind. And her dream prince is nothing close to charming! With running shoes as glass slippers, this modern retelling of Cinderella is an enchanting and entertaining read.

“Be careful what you wish for. . . . A modern Cinderella story that will charm its way into your heart and make you second-guess the grass you think is greener.” — Jennifer Murgia, author of Forest of Whispers

Reviewed by Kelly

I think this is more like “A Christmas Carol” not in the Christmas setting with a Cinderella ending than a Retelling of Cinderella. MacKenzie Love gets her very own fairy Godmother in the form of a “Bird Lady” as MacKenzie has come to know her. Kenzie has a brother who has terrible asthma that is a great brother, a set of younger boy twins who are all over the place, an older brother in college whom she begs to come home on the weekends, and eternally optimistic father and a healthy eating and great cook and caterer mother. She has the bestest best friend ever too. She loves her family. They don’t have a lot of money and rent their home but it is a good life. She works at an old record store that has a baby grand in the back for piano lessons as well. Which she loves to play but doesn’t think she is that good at it. While working there one day, Cale comes in. He is easy on the eyes and they can banter back and forth with ease. Her heart races while he is there, but she still thinks she wants James Odera, one of the "lucky ones". Then the eccentric Bird Lady comes in with a clock charm on her neck and asks her what she wishes. Then she leaves her charm necklace for MacKenzie.

That same evening one of the twins breaks his arm. So MacKenzie goes to the catering event in her mother’s place that is at the home of one of “the lucky ones”, the rich people that live up on the hill with her dream boyfriend James. She is slightly humiliated there. She also finds out that Cale is one of the “lucky ones” too as he is there. But the others don’t want him there. He doesn’t act the part of a “lucky one”. Meaning he lives a normal life; he has chores to do. He wears normal clothes, none of the name brand stuff.

Later that night Spencer has an awful almost deadly asthma attack while her parents are at the hospital. MacKenzie panics and doesn’t know what to do. Her parents return in time to take him to the ER. But now MacKenzie wants her wish to heal Spencer along with the other ones she made, one of them also being to be a “lucky one”.

The next morning she wakes up as one of the lucky ones. She is in the same big home as the one she worked in the night before. But her family is different and her little brother twins were never born. There are lots of things that are different. Including Spencer, who is now healthy but they aren’t close now. Her dad is not the happy go lucky dad anymore and works nonstop. Her mother works too but not as a caterer. And her big wish of being James’ girlfriend is true. The question is- Is it what she really wants? The Bird Lady makes a few appearances in her eccentric way but MacKenzie has to figure things out on her own. And then there’s Cale. He keeps getting in the way between her and James. But she enjoys Cale’s company.

Now she has to figure out what’s really important and what’s really a silly wish.
It was a cute story. I loved the characters. Well except maybe most of the Lucky Ones. They are rude in my opinion. I loved how MacKenzie handled most things and how much she cares for her family and friend Aly and figures out what really matters in the end. Her adventure was a fun one. I loved the Bird Lady! I hope there will be another story with her in it. Kenzie also has some work ethics even when being a "lucky one".

If I were in her shoes, there is a pun to it when you read the book, I don't know what I would have done. I would want my brother healthy too. But I think Kenzie had already caught Cale's attention before her wish. I wonder if she knew that would she still have made that wish? What would you wish for?

So, if you like Cinderella, The Christmas Carol, finding out what is important, family, fantasy, and finding a romance of your own then this might be for you.

Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. She is the author of the young adult novel, ON THE FRINGE, and middle grade novel MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN. Her next YA novel, CHASING MIDNIGHT, will be published January 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media.

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