Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (277 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen– do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.

Rose Gardner has visions. She’s been punished by her mother, derided by friends and most people think she’s weird. So she doesn’t talk about them anymore. However, when the next customer at DMV sits down and she looks at him, she sees herself in a vision. She’s on the couch at home and she’s dead…

Ms. Swank starts the book with a great first sentence: “It all started when I saw myself dead.” She had my attention and she kept it until the end of the book. This is a great read. Rose is naïve, has never been kissed even though she’s twenty-four, and her mother still tells her what to do. She thinks about moving out but she doesn’t know where, nor can she leave her mother alone. Rose will grow up a lot before the end of this story.

The man she met at DMV is a bad man. He thinks she has something he wants and no matter how many times she says she doesn’t, he doesn’t believe her. When she finds her mother dead on the couch, she freaks because it should have been her. If she hadn’t gotten mad and went to the library, she would have been home during the attack.

There’s great interaction between family members and Rose has a crush on her new neighbor. But can she trust him?

Ms. Swank twists her tale around and keeps you on your toes trying to keep up. Rose and her family are in danger, the action happens fast, and the matter needs to be resolved in a week or she’ll really be dead this time. The suspense and the danger add to the story line as well as the budding romance with Joe. I turned the pages fast when reading this one and sat and read the whole thing in one sitting. I didn’t want to wait and see what happened; I wanted to know now!

The author did an excellent job on this story and I’m ready to get the next book now. Rose is a great character and I want to know her better.

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