I Dream of Johnny by Juliet Madison

In brief: Mandy’s wish for a Greek God is dashed when a typo means she is sent a Geek God.

The good: It’s funny but also has a serious message.

The not-so-good: Over much too quickly!

Why I chose it: eARC from Net Galley and Escape Publishing – thank you!

Year: 2013

Pages: 42

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Setting: Australia

My rating: 8.5 out of 10

How many times have you sent an email or text message and then realised just that second too late that you’d made an unfortunate typo? At least once I bet, but I can also be pretty sure that you didn’t quite have the outcome that Mandy did in I Dream of Johnny. This is a light hearted, belly laughing novella about how one missing letter can change everything!

Mandy is a struggling artist who has just been dumped again. With a friend’s wedding to attend on the weekend, she’s not looking forward to showing up alone. When she decides to give a magic lamp a go (because things really can’t get any worse), she really does get her three wishes. Mandy would love her own Greek god, but unfortunately she typed Geek God! Enter Jonathan Fortran Schnecklmyer, the ultimate Geek God. He knows his techie (and Trekkie) stuff back to front, but cool he ain’t…Mandy tries to spruce him up in preparation for the wedding and returning him to sender with disastrous (but hilarious) results.

This book takes the old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’ and takes it into modern times – ‘be careful what you type for’. While Mandy is enjoying her money and clean house, it’s getting kind of boring. Plus her devoted Geek God is trying his best to be the ultimate boyfriend – is this what she really wants? Is life without the day to day grind really the right thing? This book had me thinking more carefully about what I would wish for and then pondering whether I could really live happily ever after. It’s almost a fable.

Jonathan is a great character and really hams it up for laughs. I loved how he continually put his foot in it but there was truth and wisdom in what he was saying. There were also some sad bits involving Jonathan – Madison has done brilliantly making me care so much about him over a relatively short number of pages. The ending was really uplifting – not only do things go right for Mandy, but she demonstrates a giving nature with her final actions with the lamp.

I loved this book – it was amusing with magical elements that fitted perfectly into the story. I’m now a ‘romagic’ (romantic magic) convert!

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