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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Seven years after the disappearance of Esme's mother, Esme's father is ready to move on. The same can't be said about his daughter, Esme doesn't want him to marry someone else, but her objections are being ignored. When her father and his new wife leave Esme at home while going on honeymoon together, Esme decides to investigate the mysterious vanishing. Her search leads her to Aeolia, an enchanted world she accesses by accident. There Esme finds the first clues about her mother's actions before she was never seen again. Will she be able to get some much needed answers?

Esme stays in Esperance, a beautiful canal city plagued by earthquakes. Esme isn't well liked at home because of her mother, but here her mother was popular and Esme soon finds two allies. Daniel and Lillian are kind to Esme and they help her with her mission. Esme never expected to find such good friends. While getting to know more about Aeolia's history Esme discovers her mother had an entire life there, she only knew part of the woman she so admired. What was her mother hiding and why did she disappear?

Esme's Wish is a gripping magical story. Esme is a fantastic main character. She's smart, gentle and caring. She's never given up on her mother and her loyalty knows no bounds. I was incredibly curious about each truth she unravels. Esme is having a great adventure and I enjoyed every single moment of it. She's a resilient and determined girl and she constantly conquers her fears, which is something I admired about her. She's a fantastic main character and it was a joy to read her story. I really liked reading about her friendship with Lillian and Daniel, they have such a heartwarming bond, which for me was one of the best parts of the book.

Elizabeth Foster's writing has a nice easy flow. She has fabulous world building skills and I was impressed by her vivid descriptions of Aeolia and the mesmerizing way she writes about magic. Esme's Wish is filled with surprising twists and turns and I loved searching for clues together with the brave Esme. Esme's Wish is a terrific beginning of a series and I can't wait to read more about Esme and her friends. Elizabeth Foster completely enchanted me with her wonderful story and I look forward to the next one.

Advice

If you love magical YA filled with friendship and mystery, Esme's Wish is an absolute must-read.

About Elizabeth Foster

I was born in Brisbane, Australia, and now live in Sydney. Apart from writing and reading, which take up most of my time, I love walking, travelling and playing piano (badly).

As a child, I was called Dizzy Lizzy – which I regarded as an insult all my life, until I started writing! Now, daydreaming is a central part of what I do. My favourite childhood books included the Chronicles of Narnia and Enid Blyton’s adventure stories. I was such an avid reader that my godfather gave me the complete works of Shakespeare when I was ten. (Still haven’t read them all…) My reading tastes nowadays are eclectic, ranging from classic authors such as Jane Austen, to the works of modern YA writers, including J.K. Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Melina Marchetta and Maggie Stiefvater.

I love movies almost as much as books. Dreamlike films – such as the works of Hayao Miyazaki – hugely appeal to me, as do any clever psychological films and TV series which revolve around female characters, such as Buffy and Veronica Mars.

I used to enjoy writing as a child, but then I grew up and was sadly waylaid by more serious pursuits. Reading to my own kids reminded me of how much I missed getting lost in other worlds, and once I started writing again, I couldn’t stop. I am also fascinated with people’s motivations and personalities, and now I get to explore them on the page. I am a member of the SCBWI, the CBCA, and a reviewer for CBCA’s Reading Time.

Links

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram


Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

As a child one of my favourite things was getting lost in fictional worlds, but never once did I think I would write a novel of my own! I came to writing rather late in life, approaching the task with an odd mix of zero confidence and single-minded obsession. Now, though, I can’t imagine doing anything else! In my spare time, I like to read, watch TV and films, and spend time in nature. Walking the beautiful foreshores of Sydney Harbour is one of my favourite things to do.

2) Esme is looking for clues about her mother’s disappearance. What’s your inspiration behind writing a YA family mystery?

Early on I knew that Esme’s mother would be missing and the mystery naturally evolved from that. As a mother myself, I really value my relationships with my children, two of whom are now adults. I have experienced that push-pull between mother and teenager three times now. As kids grow into adults and separate from their parents, the process can be a painful one, but that invisible thread of love is still there – an interesting dynamic to explore.

3) She accidentally ends up in a different would, can you tell a bit more about Aeolia and how you created this world?


I started writing after reading the Harry Potter series with my kids. I missed that world so much that I wanted to create one of my own. I adore oceans, islands, Venice, and mythology, so I decided to combine all those things and Aeolia was born.

4) You write about a strong and clever girl, what’s so important about fabulous female main characters?

I grew up reading lots of books with male protagonists – there was little else around. It was only when female characters started to become more common that I realised what I had missed out on. Women make up half the world’s population and literature should reflect that.

5) Can you describe the main characters of Esme’s Wish in eight words each?

Esme: Strong, persistent, curious, smart, courageous, guarded, stubborn, caring.

Daniel: Adventurous, clever, loyal, funny, brave, daring, tactless, impulsive.

Lillian: Hardworking, warm, creative, generous, ambitious, fretful, obstinate, sensitive.

6) You write about wonderful magic, what does magic mean to you?

Magic is an escape into a world of ‘what-ifs’. What if we could breathe underwater? What if we could walk across it? Magic stretches our limits and turns the impossible into the possible. Hopefully it can inspire us to reach for the stars in real life too.

7) You love stories, how do you make sure your world is filled with them as much as possible?

I love to write, read and talk about books – so my world is pretty much filled to the brim with stories! 

8) You love reading with your kids, what’s the most important thing when it comes to introducing children to books and what’s the most wonderful?

Always have a book at hand – whether at home or out. Read together – make time for it and make it part of your family tradition. If your kids are reluctant readers try comics or graphic novels. My boys devoured the Asterix series when they were young.

There are so many wonderful things about introducing books to kids that I can’t just choose one! Seeing kids develop a love for reading at an early age is so satisfying, knowing that they are developing a habit from which they will gain so much at every stage of life. Apart from being a fantastic education tool, reading can act as a refuge and a salve when adolescence and adulthood roll around. Books can also help kids develop empathy for others, and even serve as a cheap form of travel!

9) Esme’s Wish is a story about friendship and family. What do both of these beautiful subjects mean to you?

Romance is often a focus in YA novels, which is great for older teens. However, it is the bonds of friendship and family that pull younger teens through the difficult early years of adolescence, and focused on these elements in Esme’s Wish. Friendship and family, to me, are a bulwark against the craziness life can sometimes fling at you. In saying that, not everyone has great friends or good family situations. Fiction can be a way to explore what we are missing, what we want, what we need, as well as maybe help fill some gaps and give hope for the future.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I’m presently writing the sequel to Esme’s Wish, entitled Esme’s Gift, the second of three books planned for the trilogy. I have a few ideas floating around for more (unrelated) books after this series but nothing concrete at this stage.

Thank you so much for your great questions. I’ve really enjoyed answering them!

Giveaway

Three lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of Esme's Wish by Elizabeth Foster.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

8 comments:

  1. Esme's Wish sounds like a wonderful YA fantasy with mystery, magic and self-discovery.

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  2. love the cover, and the book sounds like a fantastic venture into another world!

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  3. Many thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  4. Michelle FergusonApril 9, 2018 at 8:02 PM

    This book looks like an interesting read, fingers crossed

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  5. Wow, I love the sound of this. Magical beautiful land with a dash of Venice? Yes, please! ;) I loved reading the Harry Potter books along with my own kids (now teens) (we periodically re-read them and re-watch the films, haha!) and my boys also love the Asterix series - all of us do, so clever and funny! :D Escaping into dreamy magical lands is the best part of TA fantasy books, which is my favourite genre. :D Great work, keep it up and have a lovely 2018! :)) xx

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  6. Wow, look at that cover. It makes me want to go and invesstigate without even reading the description. Now enjoying the fantasy novels as I was guilty of not reading them as much as other genres. Leaving dreary old England for a new land sounds an idea way to escape the cold and the wet.

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  7. Oh, Asterix, that takes me back! My Dad had all the copies of The Adventures of Tintin from when it started back in the 30s to the 70s!

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