Book Review: Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes

*This review is part of Denise Grover Swank's blog tour hosted by CLP Blog Tours.

Rose Gardner has had visions all her life. They are usually mundane, but she is considered the freak of Henryetta, Arkansas, even by her own overbearing, controlling mother. Rose has never seen a vision of herself before until she sees herself dead on her mother’s sofa. With the knowledge of her apparent impending doom, she works up the courage to stand up to her mother after twenty four years of being treated horribly like a “demon-possessed” child. After arguing with her mother so loudly that the neighbors could hear, Rose leaves the house for the day to get away. When she returns, she finds that her vision has come true, except that her mother is the one who has been murdered on the sofa. Rose becomes the number one suspect in her mother’s murder because of their argument earlier in the day. With the police threatening to arrest her, she turns to her older sister, Violet, for help. She also receives some help from her mysterious next door neighbor, Joe, who is attractive but secretive and possibly dangerous. Rose must figure out who is after her and her family, but she must also start living her life instead of hiding like an outcast. She makes a list of what she wants to accomplish and hasn’t had the chance to before because of her mother. Rose lacks life experience and courage, but she desperately wants to change. That is her biggest wish.  

Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes is truly a gem. It is surprising that it was self-published and not bought by a traditional publisher. This novel is a romantic paranormal mystery with elements of women’s fiction. It is somewhat difficult to categorize it, but very easy to love it. The writing flows well and is filled with suspense. There are unexpected twists and turns that will leave readers wondering how it will all turn out. The characters are so well written that they seem like real people. Rose’s innocence is refreshing and a definite change of pace from other female main characters. She has not done a lot of the things people take for granted because of her strict upbringing, like dancing, for example. Readers will root for her and hope that her twenty eight and half wishes come true. This novel is a fantastic read that many will love. Hopefully, the next book in the series will be out soon. 

Denise Grover Swank started her first novel in the fourth grade, making it to page seventy on her wide ruled spiral notebook before she stopped. She continued writing in high school and attempted several novels in her twenties before life got in the way of writing. Denise rediscovered her love of writing when she started her blog There’s Always Room for One More. In the fall of 2009, she participated in National Novel Writing Month, which led her to writing and finishing Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes. Denise lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She has six children, two dogs, and an overactive imagination. You can find out more about Denise and her other books at and you can connect with her on Twitter.    

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