Back we go dear readers, into another world of fear brought about by R. L. Stine and his wicked imagination.
Original 1993 Summary
Make a Wish!
Samantha Byrd is a klutz. An accident waiting to happen. She’s the laughingstock of the girls’ basketball team. And that mean, rotten Judith Bellwood is making her life miserable on and off the court. But everything’s about to change.
Sam’s met someone who can grant her three wishes. For real. Too bad Sam wasn’t careful what she wished for. Because her wishes are coming true. And they’re turning her life into a living nightmare!
This time into the realm of wishes and what can happen when we are given what we think we want. I remember discovering this book and one of my guilty pleasure horror movies at about the same time.
It struck me as really odd since both dealt with the same theme and context. The horror series was WishMaster and while yes a Wes Craven film; it isn’t the first one that comes to a fans mind.
WishMaster dealt with the realm of the Djinn and one specific Djinn is particular. The Djinn, played by the fabulously talented and easily recognizable Andrew Divoff, only wanted one goal and that was to free his kind from their prison.
He set about this the only he knew how which was by horrifically mangling the wishes of the user until they made the wish he wanted them to make. It has always been a favorite series of mine, even though Mr. Divoff was only in the first two movies as the Djinn.
Now in Be Careful What You Wish For, we follow protagonist Samantha Byrd as her life is about to change. She has met someone who can grant her wishes for real but definitely not in the way she expected! Instead of a dream she has fallen into a nightmare, and it doesn’t seem like she will wake up soon.
Samantha Byrd is 12 and extremely tall, one of the tallest in her class. Somehow along the line her rival Judith honed in on this and poor Sam’s ability to stumble, and has made her life miserable with her teasing.
The book opens up to two examples of this and your heart really goes out to Sam. It is easily to relate to being scared someone can not only see our flaws but call us out on them directly.
Thankfully she has someone to help her through it, Cory, the other tall person in school and her best friend. He tries to ease her mind about Judith but when the final nail hits the coffin in Home Ec, Sam goes at Judith with all she has got. Separated and told to blow off steam, Sam keeps thinking that if she had three wishes they would all be to destroy Judith.
Especially when incident after incident keeps happening not only in Home Ec but at basketball practice and the fake apologies start to add up. Little does Sam know that soon enough she will get the chance to make her wish come true.
On the way home that night she helps a strange woman on her way home. Clarissa tells Sam that she is so grateful for her kindness that she wants to repay her with 3 wishes.
Dumbfounded and unsure Sam says the first wish that comes to mind, she wants to be the strongest player on her basketball team. After the words are spoken she leaves and chaos shortly follows.
Slowly things begin to unfold and Sam learns just how precarious her words can be. Her wishes are coming true but not in the way she wants or expects. As the tagline states “It might come true.”, and that is what poor Sam has come to find out. Readers be wary, this tale is simply scary!
This one has really good memories for me but upon reading it again, I have seen the theme done better. It is great for a giggle and it has some moments where you would be scared but it doesn’t hold a candle to some of the other works of Stine’s where fear is front and center.
I give it 7 out of 10 though for the feel good memories and for overall being a good tale. One of my very favorite tales is next in lucky number #13, Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, join me next time readers! And remember, Practice!