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This book was not at all what I expected! While some label it sci-fi, I would put it in the fantasy category, or even contemporary with a slight twist. Although our young protagonist has encountered an alien encounter, the story really focuses on Joanna's introspection of her own life. Joanna is on the cusp of her senior year and things are not going well. Her mom is having a baby with the step-father Joanna dislikes, her best friend is ignoring her for other girls, and her place as the volleyball team's Captain was given to someone else. On top of it all, Joanna is tall and gawky -- an awkward girl who just stands out (and above!) too much to ever fit in. So, being a curious and daring girl that she is, she makes a wish on a star -- and falls off her roof in the process.
Though she should have been paralyzed (or worse), she comes out of a coma just fine. And with a new friend, who just so happens to be an alien. What happens next is a "This is your life Joanna Murphy" kind of moment. Without spoiling too much, Joanna gets a hard look at what life is like when all your wishes come true. And you know what they say -- be careful what you wish for.
The book took some turns I wasn't expecting. I often tell you guys that reading so many YA books has made me pick up on upcoming plot twists much faster than normal, but I didn't quite figure this one out until right before it happened. It does take a hard left, and the end result may be something that turns some readers off, but I found worked really well within the story.
Though the language and writing was a bit awkward in places, I highly enjoyed the story. There were a lot of interactions that I just didn't get and there were a lot of things I think should have been said that weren't *WARNING - MILD SPOILER* (like UMM how can your guy best friend be jealous that his girl friend is friends with other guys AND why does no one question that this Aidan person knows details about someone he's never met!?). */END SPOILER* Joanna was a really great person -- she was a well-defined character with a spunky personality and someone that I identified well with. Some of the other characters fell a little flat for me, but the story just kept drawing me back in. I was able to finish the entire book in just a couple of hours. This book is in the YA genre, but I recommend it to younger readers and those who like 'clean' romance.
Visited presents a strong and clear message -- one that every teenager needs to hear.
Rating: 3/5 stars