Author: Julie Berry
Narrators: Jayne Entwistle
Length: 9 hours 29 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Released: Sep. 25, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
From award-winning author Julie Berry comes a brand new middle-grade fantasy adventure full of humor and heart, exclusively from Audible.
Maeve Merritt chafes at the rigid rules at her London boarding school for “Upright Young Ladies.” When punishment forces her to sort through the trash, she finds a sardine tin that houses a foul-tempered djinni with no intention of submitting to a schoolgirl as his master.
Soon an orphan boy from the charitable home next door, a mysterious tall man in ginger whiskers, a disgruntled school worker, and a take-no-prisoners business tycoon are in hot pursuit of Maeve and her magical discovery. It’ll take all of her quick thinking and sass to set matters right. Maeve Merritt is one feisty heroine you won’t soon forget.
Julie Berry lives near Los Angeles with her family. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is an Odyssey Honor Audiobook, and The Passion of Dolssais a Printz Honor Title.
Julie Berry is the author of the 2017 Printz Honor and Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlisted novel The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlisted All the Truth That’s in Me (2013, Viking), the Odyssey Honor title The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place (2014, Roaring Brook), and six others. Her latest novel, The Emperor’s Ostrich, released June 13, 2017 from Roaring Brook. Her forthcoming novel, Lovely War, will release from Viking Children’s Books in Spring 2019. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College. She lives in Southern California with her family.
Jayne was born in the North of England and lived in a myriad of places (Vancouver, San Francisco, Tucson, Sequim, Seattle) before landing in Los Angeles. She is an avid improviser who hitched her space-work wagon to Patrick Bristow’s company, Improvatorium, where she studied, taught, directed and performed improv.
She is an award-winning audiobook narrator best known for her narration of the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. She also received the 2015 Odyssey Honour Award for The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry and the 2016 Odyssey Award for, The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
When not inhaling books for work or pleasure, Jayne works in film, television and commercials. The biggest star she has ever worked with is Shaquille O’Neal. He is quite literally THE biggest star she has ever worked with. Ever. He’s really big!
I’ve always been too prone to solve problems with my fists. It’s the reason mom and dad sent me to Salimanker’s School for Upright Young Ladies and the reason Ms. Bickle, the needlework instructor sent me this morning to Ms. Salimanker’s private office. Apparently, I needed reminders of how upright a young lady ought to be. I sat stiff as a poker, in the hardback chair facing old Salimanker’s desk feeling upright enough already. But, judging from her hawk-eyed gaze, we clearly did not agree.
If you were a young girl who got blamed for everything under the sun, how would your outlook on the world be? Some things just can’t be helped. Berry shares the wonderful world of little Miss Maeve Merritt, the girl who doesn’t tolerate bullies. Everywhere she turns, it is something new that she is getting into trouble for. It seems, the girls at Ms. Salimanker’s School for Upright Young Ladies is absolutely not the best place for Maeve, although her parents will hear nothing of it. Berry captivates her readers with Maeve’s longing for adventure and the friends who she makes along the way.
Miss Maeve Merritt seems to always be punished for something—even if she didn’t do it. Forced to sort through the trash as one of her punishments, she comes across a nice and shiny sardine can, one that appears to have not been tampered with. Opening the sardine can, Maeve expects to find a snack, but instead winds up with a djinni instead! This djinni; however, is foul and makes it clear that he is not happy with her, a little school girl, being his master. Knowing the lore of a djinni, supposedly being able to grant three wishes to their master, she makes her first wish. Revenge against a couple of the snotty, mean girls at the school. She wishes that their braids be turned green! When that wish backfires and she gets into trouble from a prank that they created, Maeve must think bigger than revenge, smarter too. She wants adventure, to fulfill her dreams of an all-girls Cricket team. But, in that dark alley sorting through trash, she is not the only one that stumbles upon the djinni. Someone else sees him too and has plans to steal it from Maeve for himself. As adventures come into the picture, so too do mysteries and mischief. The djinni warns Maeve that all of his masters before her always succumb to greed and end up becoming the very thing that they once said they would not become. Can Maeve protect her friends and fulfill her dreams all at the same time or will it end up changing her and making her life miserable?
Berry has an incredible story with superb character development, an interesting take on middle grade fantasy, and is chalked full of originality. Since this review is complimenting the audiobook, it appears that the story is well-written from the voice relay. Entwistle’s narration is impeccable and enjoyable. The character vocalizations are all different and her relay is easy to follow. If you are a reader of middle grade and fantasy, you may want to pick up this book. Fair warning though, you may find yourself filling your bookshelves or electronic devices with more from this author.
An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating to Wishes & Wellingtons by Julie Berry.
Author Julie Berry Interviews Protagonist Maeve Merritt
- So, Miss Maeve Merritt, why did your parents send you to Miss Salamanca’s School for Upright Young Ladies, instead of educating you at home? Mother said she can’t bear the nightmare of hiring and training another governess for me, nor persuading her to stay after I’d snuck out to play cricket with the village boys once too many times. She thinks my name is on a governess’s blacklist somewhere. Miss Salamanca’s reputation for taming unmanageable girls was music to Mother’s ears.
- And what exactly were you doing at Miss Salamanca’s School when you found your wish-granting djinni? If you must know, I’d been sentenced to garbage duty for two days. I was sorting through the dustbins, separating tin from rubbish.
- I see … is this normal behavior for students at Miss Salamanca’s School? No.
- Were you under some sort of punishment? Only because I’d socked nasty Theresa Treazleton in the eye. And only because she deserved it, and worse. Really, I went easy on her.
- I suppose, if garbage duty led you to an all-powerful djinni, you made out handsomely in this transaction. Then you don’t know much at all. A djinni’s proven harder to keep track of than a rabid mongoose.
- Why would anyone want to keep track of a rabid mongoose? Wouldn’t you rather know where it is than wonder where it’s hiding?
- I suppose so. Are you sorry you found the djinni, then? Who, Mermeros? No, I’m glad I found him. It’s been an education. More than I’d ever have gotten at school. I just wish I’d been able to keep him better hidden from so many rascals and villains. Beating them off at every turn was the hard part. The wishes themselves were pretty spectacular.
- Did you get your wishes granted, then? That’s cheating. You’ll have to listen to my story to find out.
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