{ARC Review} Chasing Wishes by Nadia Simonenko

Title: Chasing Wishes
Author: Nadia Simonenko
Published: 30th January 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided by author for fair & honest review
Rating: 5/5

"I wish I didn't have to go home. I wish I was someone else—someone with a future..."

For sixteen-year-old Nina Torres, it feels as if life is nothing but a dead end. Despised by her rich classmates and afraid that she'll become just like her drug-addicted mother, Nina's future seems to get dimmer every day.

There is one bright spot in her life though...

Sitting beside her one night, the only person in the world who cares about her makes a promise. No matter what happens—no matter how much Isaac's wealthy family disapproves—he and his girlfriend Nina will be together forever.

Fate plays a cruel trick on Nina, though, and a visit from Child Protective Services the next morning turns Nina Torres into Irene Hartley, a woman with a future but who will never see her beloved Isaac again.

Nine years later, a blind and incredibly handsome young entrepreneur hires Irene to be his personal assistant. Terrence Radcliffe reminds her so much of Isaac that she can hardly believe her eyes, and she's falling for him fast. Irene knows that fairy tales don't come true, but she allows herself one last wish. She wishes that she could finally say goodbye to Isaac and let herself take a chance on Terrence.

What she doesn't know is that Terrence is also searching for someone: a shooting star who streaked through his life nine years ago, and he won't give up until he finds her...

A Stunning Romance - Just Like A Modern Fairytale

The story:
Wow this story was absolutely beautiful. It actually almost felt like a modern fairytale retelling in some ways. Nina is sort of like the Cinderella in her world, poor and horrible neglected by her junkie prostitute mother. And then we have Prince Charming, Isaac, the wealthy popular boy with the beautiful smile. We get to see some flash backs to when they met in high school. Nina was the poor hispanic girl, who was on scholarship to a wealthy selective school. She was teased and tormented with racial insults everyday and I was at the point of tears, reading some of the things she has to deal with. Isaac was the only person in her life that showed her any kindness, and the simple act of him giving her a cookie at lunch was touching. But after being Child Services place with a new family and change her name to protect her, she fears she will never see Isaac again. Isaac is crushed and more than that he's tired of his family's social and racial hypocrisy - leaving his family behind for college he changes his name in hopes of building a happier life away from them

Nine years, and two new names later, Irene and Terrence still haven't forgotten each other. While reading to children at the library, Irene gets the shock of her life when she sees Isaac walk in. But when the librarian greets him as Terence, she realises it mustn't be him. Terrence, now blind needs a new assistant and fate then steps in as he Irene the job. Irene not only assists him in his everyday life, but also describes the world around him, which made for some truly touching scenes, and it's not long before their mutual attraction burst to life. 

The characters:
Terrence (Isaac), is now a scientist, has commented his adult life to his job. Since the age of 21 Terrence lost his eyesight to a generic disease. He has struggled to adjust to his new life and resents having to have people help him with everyday activities. But he also misses to small thing, like seeing the sunset or the view from his window. He's disability has changed him since high school, and he is a bit darker now. But as he grows closer to Irene, we start to see the happy side of him break through.

After such a painful childhood Irene is finally starting to find her feet. While still struggling financially, she has friends and still holds onto her dream of becoming a voice actress. Irene is one of the toughest and most resilient characters I've read in a long time. She has every reason to hate the world, but instead she has such a positive outlook, it was quite inspiring.

The romance:
I love stories where high school sweethearts rekindle their love years later, but Chasing Wishing takes it a step further since neither of them actually recognise each other. Watching them fall in love again as the different people that they've become was magical. Their connection was magnetic, and as Irene helps Terrence adjust to his blindness, their relationship deepens. The climax of the story was so perfect and the epilogue finished the book superbly!

The Writing:
Nadia has a such a fluid and almost poetic style of writing. She has such a talent for writing about heavy and tragic stories in a way that evokes so many emotions, and makes understanding the characters state of mind so easy. The visual descriptions where some of the most impressive I have ever read. While reading Terrence's initial POV chapters, I found it very difficult to picture his house or any of the characters and places around him - but the was the point. I could understand how lost you would feel not seeing the world you live in. And the contrast was incredible when Irene describes the scenery around them - I could see the world burst to life in my mind in vivd details, it was incredible!

I also loved how she alternated between chapters from the present with Irene and Terrence , and 9 years ago with Nina and Isaac. The flashback chapters gave a heartbreaking insight into the world that they grew up in.

Chasing Wishes in a unique and beautiful take on second chances. Nadia's writing was flawless with vibrant imagery and breathtaking romance. A story with depth and substance and characters that you won't want to say goodbye to!

Sexuality: medium / sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium / some f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium / character get drunk in one scene
Other: Racism is a major theme, with many racial slurs and discrimination throughout


  1. I remember reading this synopsis awhile back and remember thinking it would be an emotional one! I also love stories about rekindling romances, and this just sounds like a beautiful novel! I definitely need to check this out!

  2. Oh wow!! This sounds like an intense, sweet read!! To fall in love with the same person twice... that is so beautiful!! Awesome Review!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  3. Wow, this sounds like a winner. I love stories with depth. And that cover is adorable.

  4. oh I love that this had a Cinderella feel to it! Does sound like a beautiful read :) adding this to my list.


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