Reader Reviewed Wishbones by Virginia MacGregor


Written by Virginia MacGregor

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In a Nutshell: Big secrets, big issues, the biggest love

This splendidly life-affirming, read-in-one-sitting novel sees a huge-hearted teenager battling to fix her mum’s life-threatening eating disorder.

Feather’s mum has always been chubby. “That's just the way she is. What’s more important for you to know is that she’s the best mum in the world”, she explains. But Mum hasn’t left their specially adapted cottage for thirteen years and then, one New Year's Eve, Feather finds her in a diabetic coma. In an instant, “just the way she is” has just got much more serious and, reeling with guilt, Feather resolves to do anything to nurture her mum back to health. When Feather’s dad insists that this isn't something she can fix, Feather wants answers. Her mum used to be active, a trained lawyer with a “clever reading and writing brain”, so what’s changed? The trigger behind her mum’s illness is a painful truth to bear, but still Feather refuses to give up; her love far outweighs any anger and pain.

Seamlessly interweaving a myriad of pertinent subjects (eating disorders, depression, immigration, Alzheimer’s, sexuality) into Feather’s personal story, the novel is populated by a vibrant, believable cast of characters. Feather herself remains a beam of optimism through many dark moments, and I also adored her “cool and geeky” best friend Jake, and Mrs Zas from the fancy dress shop, who’s nothing short of the human equivalent of a rainbow after a grim downpour. Compelling, gritty and suffused with promise, this is a true triumph of contemporary YA. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Neha Saji, age 14 - 'A book that can tear your heart into a dozen pieces and then slowly superglue it back into place!'
  • Grace Spear, age 14 - 'an incredible book...This book was amazing and it made me feel so many things all at once.'
  • Izzy Read, age 16 - 'a refreshing touching YA book... It demonstrated the power and limitations of love, illustrating how messy life can be.'
  • Phoebe Allan - 'once you start reading it, you won't be able to put it down...MacGregor writes in a beautiful and powerful way and all the characters quickly find a place in your heart.'
  • Kate Goodwin, Year 7 at Thorp Academy - 'a moving, heart-warming book that the majority of young-adults will enjoy...I absolutely loved this captivating story; it was honestly one of the best books that I have ever read!'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This was a brilliant book. I loved how Feather really wanted to get her mom healthy and just to be like a normal mom to her. Brilliant.'

Win a Chaos Walking Goody Bag!

To mark the 10th anniversary of The Knife of Never Letting Go, the first of the awesome YA trilogy that launched Patrick Ness, we are giving away FIVE fantastic Chaos Walking goody bags. Each prizes includes a special collector's edition of The Knife of Never Letting Go, a t'shirt and a print!

Find all 3 anniversary editions in the Chaos Walking trilogy here.

To have a chance of winning one of these prizes click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 9 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 23 April 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 09/04/2018


Wishbones by Virginia MacGregor

Feather Tucker has two wishes:

1)To get her mum healthy again

2) To win the Junior UK swimming championships

When Feather comes home on New Year's Eve to find her mother - one of Britain's most obese women - in a diabetic coma, she realises something has to be done to save her mum's life. But when her Mum refuses to co-operate Feather realises that the problems run deeper than just her mum's unhealthy appetite. Over time, Feather's mission to help her Mum becomes an investigation. With the help of friends old and new, and the hindrance of runaway pet goat Houdini, Feather's starting to uncover when her mum's life began to spiral out of control and why. But can Feather fix it in time for her mum to watch her swim to victory? And can she save her family for good?


Praise for What Milo Saw:

'Undobutedly a future classic' - Clare Mackintosh, author of Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling I Let You Go

'A life-affirming read ... Warm, wise and insightful' Good Housekeeping

'Sharp, funny and hugely moving, this is a must read' Fabulous

'The characterisation and dialogue make it easy to feel empathy for the family and readers will cheer Milo on to achieve his goal' Sun

'[An] understated and likeable tale that just might restore your faith in human nature' Bella

About the Author

Virginia MacGregor

Virginia Macgregor is currently Head of Creative Writing at Wellington College. Her debut novel What Milo Saw was published by Sphere in hardback in July 2014 to rave reviews. Sphere have just signed a deal for two further adult novels from Virginia, to be published in 2017 and 2018. Wishbones is her first novel for young adults.

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Book Info


384 pages
Interest Age: From 13 years


Virginia MacGregor
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HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

18th May 2017




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