Just One Wish may at first be deemed as a mysterious pocket book—given the whimsical cover art, and a few lines for the synopsis on the back. But it is a delightful quick read, taking the readers back to simpler times, while also putting a spin on the typical high school love story. A coming-of-age tale with subtle fantasy elements, Just One Wish is for those who are in the mood for the familiar—with a little twist.
The plot revolves around Yallie, a visually-impaired high school student, as she deals with the world around her, alongside Mai, her quirky friend. However, she suddenly regains her sense of sight after being struck by lightning—the universe’s response after she wishes on a star. With Mai, now in a spiritual form, acting as her conscience and “pair of eyes,” Yallie must navigate her life in a new point of view—a now-withering relationship with Twist, her crush-turned-friend, and a blossoming friendship between her and Chad, a new student at the school.
The power of friendship
The dynamics of the relationship among Yallie, Mai, Twist, and Chad reflect that of what is seen in typical friendships as a young teenager. The kilig moments, witty banter, and childlike wonder is well-captured by Caliente in this story, especially during the flashback sequences. At the end, Yallie grows to become a better person, thanks to Mai, who taught her how to see life in a different lens; and Twist, who helped her to persevere and stand up for herself.
Yallie’s feelings towards Twist grows throughout the book—however, they only remain as friends and never establish a relationship greater than that, only hinting at the possibility of one in the future. Nevertheless, the two learn to be there for each other, no matter the reason.
“We are but a dot in the whole scheme of creation…”
Just One Wish entertains the idea of “parallel universes,” and the possibility of different versions of oneself—in particular, a version of Yallie who could see; and Twist, once a wheelchair user, who could now walk. At first, they seem to be living the dream, being able to finally freely do what they wish. But soon enough, cracks begin to appear as Yallie feels the void left by Twist—who goes back to his old life as a dancer—and Mai, who physically disappears and becomes her inner voice.
Readers are challenged to view themselves as a part of what makes the universe—that no matter how much the narrative is changed in their favor, fate will always find a way to return to what has been originally established. Such is the case for both Yallie and Twist, who find themselves unhappy in their “ideal” lives, wanting to return to what has been, even if it is imperfect.
Near the end of the book, around the climax, one phrase is often repeated in different ways, but the gist remains the same: We create our own happiness through perspective.
Though life may not be perfect, happiness will always find its way to shine through.
Just One Wish is available for purchase through the Precious Pages E-Bookstore.