Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank Purchase:

    This is one of those great combinations of funny, suspenseful and romantic.

    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 24 years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: 28 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 15 – 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.

    Review by Cynthia Ann Glass:

    Denise Grover Swank
    Denise Grover Swank

    This is one of those great combinations of funny, suspenseful and romantic. I like all of the characters and much of their interaction. I’m not that crazy about the expressions of dismay at times.

    The heroine says things like “Oh crappy doodles”) but otherwise find it enjoyable. 
The reader has a great accent for this book but her inflections get old fast.

    She raises her voice at the end of every sentence. It can get quite annoying, but hot enough so to spoil the book.

    Review by J. A. Afzelius:

    I was attracted to the book by the blurb, it seemed quirky enough that I would like, and I saw there was an overbearing mother in the picture. Having one myself I was interested. I have to say that the character of ‘Momma’ and the affect she has on her children seems very authentic. I could understand why Rose, the daughter that stayed behind to care for the cruel mother, was the way she was, and why her sister ‘the one who got away’ was the way she was too. I liked how the dynamic plays out later in the book between the sisters and found them particularly engaging.

    The characters are very real. None of them 100% perfect all of the time. Sometimes they infuriate you or make you slap her head, while in the next scene make you giddy, or a little teary.

    The book is often witty and Rose’s take on situations are sometimes laugh out loud funny. There are some twists and many secrets revealed throughout the book. Some more unexpected than others, but once revealed, you definitely feel an ‘ah-ha’ moment. The scenes are described beautifully, never with more description than needed, which is just what I like. I’ve been known to only glaze over overly descriptive passages in most of the books I read, so this was a definite plus for me.

    I’d recommend the book to anyone who likes a coming of age story, murder mystery, or a romance. Rose a great heroine who is stronger than she thinks right from the beginning. It’ll be interesting to see with her new found confidence where the next book in the series will take her.