The Wishing Heart
By: J.C. Welker
Publication Date: May 1st, 2017
With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel’s been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her ailing heart.
But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni’s vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical being in the city wants the vase for himself.
Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker.
But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline’s freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel’s heart…
It is thrilling and hopeful to see more YA fantasy include LGBTQ+ narratives, as well as more marginalized authors telling their stories. Having that visibility can be life altering for many and here’s why: The impact starts young and it casts ripples throughout the rest of our lives.
If I had access to a book like my own when I was younger it would have made life more bearable. Growing up there were no Korra & Asami, or Sailor Moon for me to cling to, and when you lack the images of yourself, or those images are negative, it can warp your own psyche. Everyday I still hear and see young people being bullied, physically and emotionally abused, even kicked out of their own homes. And a little thing like a story can be life changing.
Which is why fantasy can have such an impact, because it’s not just an escape from the real world, it can be a reflection for empowerment. The protagonist who overcomes their struggles and finds they have what it takes to conquer the evil force coming against them, is a resonant theme in fantasy. When LGBTQ+ youth can see themselves as the hero for once it shows them they too can conquer the darkness the world is hurling their way. That they’re important enough to have a story where they deserve to have a happy ending. A story that, with a characters very existence, can help save their life.
When I was younger and began to see more LGBTQ+ stories come into the light where they could love and be who they were without fear, it was an eye opener for me. It gave me the strength to be who I was. Because I was visible, I wanted to perpetuate the stories that had shown me love. That had shown me I wasn’t alone in my experiences, that I was visible, that my love mattered. That I mattered.
And there is an entire generation of people out there now who feel the same, who’ve been changed by a single show or story. That’s the best part. We can step inside a book and be irrevocably altered by it.
J.C. Welker is a YA author who’s been, among other things, a fashion designer, a filmmaker and a kickboxer (seriously). Her short documentaries, which focused on homeless Iraq veterans and lgbtq+ issues in the military have been featured on CURRENT TV, and her debut novel won first place in the paranormal category of the 2016 YARWA Rosemary Awards. She continues to work towards giving a voice to stories that are needed, while facing magic and monsters along the way.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author images and info were acquired from YA Reads Blog Tours.