I honestly had no clue what to expect going into Cloudwish, but I’m so pleased that I wound up really liking it. In fact, I can pretty confidently tell you that this is my favorite novel I’ve read from Fiona Wood so far (and I’ve read all of her published work now). Cloudwish is about a Vietnamese-Australian gal named Vân Uoc, a scholarship student at a swanky school who has a crush on a guy who is out of her league, a mother suffering PTSD and a personal dream she doesn’t know if she can actually achieve. The entirety of the novel follows her through the course of nearly a full school year, especially as the circumstances outlined earlier start to change. (It actually reminded me a little bit of this novel, but I definitely liked Cloudwish better!)
I really appreciate the fact that Wood manages to tell Cloudwish in a way that felt really light, even though the story actually has quite a few serious themes. I love that it felt like a well-rounded story that featured different aspects of the main character’s life. Even though it’s a fairly simple plot and it plays out pretty predictably, I found myself still really drawn to the story. It’s likely because Vân Uoc was a delightful character to read about. She certainly served as a reflection of my own teen self in many ways. It was not only her ability to fantasize about her future that I identified with; I also found myself in her decision to shape truths, her sense of responsibility to herself and to her family, and a few of the cultural nuances mentioned (though I’m Filipino-American and not Vietnamese-Australian). Wood also managed to incorporate memorable secondary characters (particularly Vân’s best friend, and the boy that she’s interested in), which I always like too. So yes, I certainly enjoyed reading Vân’s story, and would definitely recommend it to other contemporary fans.
Cloudwish by Fiona Wood | Series: The Six Impossiverse #3
Publisher: Poppy | Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)