Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Genuine Sweet by Faith Harkey

Clarion Books (April 7, 2015) 288 pages


Twelve-year-old Genuine Sweet, of tiny Sass, Georgia, can grant any wish . . . except her own. It's a peculiar predicament, considering how much she could use a few wishes. New friends help Genuine give her family a boost--and then she takes her gift global! Life finally seems to be on the mend. But when she's faced with unexpected trouble that no amount of wishing can fix, Genuine must puzzle out the difference between wishing for a better life and building one.

Told in the engaging, irresistible voice of Genuine Sweet herself, Faith Harkey's debut novel spins a remarkable tale of a small-town girl with big-time magic and an even bigger heart.


My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

In this story, we meet Genuine Sweet. Don't forget to add in the southern accent, and pronounce her name correctly! Gen-u-wine. She lives in the tiny town of Sass, Georgia(population 523) with her Pa and Grandma. Her Pa lives his days in a drunken stupor, and jobs are rare, so she's hungry. There's just not enough money to stretch where it needs to go, like for that unpaid power bill. When Genuine discovers she's a 4th generation wish fetcher, things start looking up, until she discovers she can't use her abilities for herself. How will that put food in her belly?

This is a precious "magical realism" kind of story. The fantasy element is mild, but still there. I couldn't help but think of it as a Sarah Addison Allen type of book, except for children. The story is written as if Genuine is writing a letter to you, or even telling you about her life while sharing a cup of tea. It's filled with quirkiness and southern charm. There's plenty of corny southern phrases to bring a smile to your face throughout.

While the book is sweet, and mostly upbeat, there's still plenty of heartache inside, too. Even though Genuine has a tough life, it was fun to see new friendships being made and creative wheels being turned.

I enjoyed reading Genuine Sweet, and I can't wait to see what other stories Harkey brings us!


Romance in middle grade books is usually super mild, so I'll mention that Genuine dates within this book. There's kissing and hand holding and all that. That element made the book seem a bit older than if it wasn't in there, but in the grand scheme of things, it's still mild.

Religious expletives

*I was provided an ARC, in exchange for my honest opinion.


Purchase Link:

Genuine Sweet