Genna is a fifteen-year-old girl who wants out of her tough Brooklyn neighborhood. But she gets more than she bargained for when a wish gone awry transports her back in time. Facing the perilous realities of Civil War–era Brooklyn, Genna must use all her wits to survive. In the tradition of Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, A Wish After Midnight is the affecting and inspiring tale of a fearless young woman’s fight to hold on to her individuality and her humanity in two different worlds.
I have a confession to make: while I read A LOT, I don’t tend to read books with main characters from different cultures and backgrounds than my own. It’s something that I want to work on, to change. A Wish After Midnight is my first attempt at broadening my literary horizons. And if every subsequent book is as tightly written and captivating as this one I should be a more well rounded reader in no time.
Before I read A Wish Before Midnight I knew basically nothing about African Americans living in Brooklyn, except what I saw on TV. And I knew even less about their lives in civil war Brooklyn. I was captivated by Genna’s story from the get-go. And once she was transported back in time? I couldn’t stop reading.
Elliot holds nothing back in her description of Genna’s life. Drugs, violence, extreme poverty. I actually found it awkward reading some of the details and I couldn’t help but feel an ache in my heart for Genna and a strong desire to help her. But sympathy and a handout aren’t what Genna was looking for. She was determined to rise above her situation through hard work.
Genna is an amazingly strong character and a great role model. In both time periods she buckles down and does what she has to do to survive. But there’s also a softness and vulnerability to Genna that offered a nice balance. This was a character that I genuinely cared for.
As soon as I finished A Wish Before Midnight I hopped on line and emailed Elliot: I HAD to know if there was going to be a sequel. Thank God there is. Because Genna is definitely a character I want to know more about.