Title: You Wish
Author: Lia Weston
Published: March 27th 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Sometimes imagination is not enough.
Thomas Lash grants secret wishes . . . on-screen, that is.
White wedding gone horribly wrong and need to swap the groom? Never went to university but must have a graduation photo? Need to create a fake family for that job interview? Problem solved with expert Photoshopping and Tom’s peculiar ability to know exactly what you desire. Tom never says no, even when giving grieving parents the chance to see what the lives of their lost children may have looked like.
But where do you draw the line . . . and what happens when the fantasy Tom sees on-screen starts to bleed into his real life?
You Wish, the third novel penned by Australian author Lia Weston and the first I have read by this author, taps into our very current obsession as a society with perfectionism, especially of the images we project onto social media. It is a highly relevant and topical point of basing a book and I’m glad the very talented Lia Weston has tackled this topic. Although there are some serious points to You Wish, it is all carefully balanced with Weston’s cynical tone.
Imagination and appearances are the main feature of You Wish, the new novel from Lia Weston. Thomas Lash is a genie in bottle, he is able to grant wishes, hopes and fantasies most people only dream of achieving. He is a tech expert, using his top notch skills in the photoshopping field to devise perfect images for his clients. It is air brushing at another level and the more Thomas creates, the more successful he becomes. No job or request seems too hard for Thomas. He seems to have a special gift, a gift in knowing what people desire most from the images they want to project. However, Thomas begins to realise he must draw the line somewhere, especially when the severity of what he is doing morally begins to seep into his own life. The question is, can Thomas continue to create these images or will his conscience catch up with him and convince him what he is doing is wrong?
I loved spending time with You Wish and the character of Thomas Lash over the days I devoted to reading this new book. It was a welcome experience to be introduced to a new (to me) Australian writer, with such bright and original story concept. I really liked how Lia Weston chose to situate her new and third novel on a different style of art, photographic illusions.
As I tend to champion Australian female writers, it surprises me that I haven’t got to Lia Weston’s work up until You Wish. After thoroughly enjoying my reading experience of Lia Weston’s latest, I have made a firm commitment to chase up and read my copy of Those Pleasant Girls. I have nothing but praise for Weston’s writing style, it is current, fresh, sardonic in places and reflective at the same time. As a whole, I was impressed by You Wish, it was very well written and it has a consistent flowing quality to it.
Lia Weston chooses to examine a set of interesting issues and themes in You Wish. I appreciated the focus on our technology driven world, social media, our selfie obsession and our desire to project false, but often perfect images to the outside world. There is plenty to ponder on while reading this book. Personally, You Wish encouraged me to take a step back and consider my own desires, in terms of the images I wish to or have released to the outside world. Morality is a point of contention in this book and it something that I, along with the main character of Thomas, wrestled with at many points in this novel. A book that makes you think this way is certainly going to gain my attention and You Wish did this precisely!
Readers of You Wish will love the lead, Thomas Lash. Thomas has some loveable characteristics and his relationships are just great to follow. I did enjoy the funny and often difficult binds Thomas and his company managed to get themselves into. While some were hard, others did leave me sniggering! It is impossible not to get caught up in the full life of Thomas Lash and those who surround him. Hats off to Lia Weston for creating a memorable lead. By the close of You Wish, the audience will find it extremely hard not to hope that Thomas will succeed in all he sets out to accomplish.
I found You Wish to be a real genre bender, which was simply refreshing. It contains some comedic elements, some futuristic/fantasy based concepts, magical ‘fairy godmother’ like whimsy, a little intrigue and even a touch of sentiment with the romance elements included. With such a fresh and very topical concept driving this novel, it is with confidence that I recommend You Wish to readers far and wide.
You Wish by Lia Weston was published on March 27th 2018 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of You Wish, Lia Weston visit here.
*I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
You Wish is book #27 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge