When You Wish Upon a Lantern: Review

About the Book:

Title: When You Wish Upon a Lantern 

Author: Gloria Chao 

Publisher: Viking 

Release Date: February 14, 2023

Pages: 352

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance 


Acclaimed author Gloria Chao creates real-world magic in this luminous romance about teens who devote themselves to granting other people’s wishes, but are too afraid to let themselves have their own hearts’ desires—each other.58025157

Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding Of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since.

Then Liya discovers her family’s wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can’t do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help.

While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and their changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?



* I won an arc in a giveaway. All thoughts are my own*

Just as I have loved Gloria Chao’s other books, I loved this one as well! When You Wish Upon a Lantern is a YA contemporary romance that is brimming with everyday magic that can become extraordinary. If you enjoy friends to lovers, and believe that kindness matters, I think you’ll want to pick this one up. 

Liya and Kai have been best friends since they were little kids, until a humiliating incident happens, which turns into a misunderstanding, and they haven’t spoken since. 

Then Liya finds out that her family’s wishing lantern store is having financial problems, and she decides to pick up the tradition that she had with her beloved late grandmother. She wants to secretly fulfill the wishes that people write on the lanterns they purchase from the store and then send to the sky. She ultimately hopes that by fulfilling wishes this will help boost sales and save the store, but she can’t do it all by herself.  Kai is the only person she knows who would care to help, and she goes to him and asks for his assistance.

While working on their secret missions, Liya and Kai resume their friendship, and there may be a spark of something more. With their changing futures and their feuding families, will they be able to make their own wishes a reality? 

I really think Liya and Kai are the absolute cutest! I loved how their friendship grew and changed into something so wonderful. Despite their feuding families, they were so good together!  Their families reminded me a bit of Romeo and Juliet, with their businesses being so competitive. I think what I enjoyed most however, was how Chao really made me feel as though I were a part of their tight knit community while reading. This story was richly steeped in Chinese culture, food, holidays and traditions that I really loved learning about, especially the tradition of the lanterns. 

I highly recommend this lovely story, which is coming out on February 14, 2023 and will be a perfect Valentine’s Day read!  

About the Author:

Gloria Chao is the critically acclaimed author of American PandaOur Wayward FateRent a Boyfriend, and When You Wish Upon a Lantern. After a brief detour as a dentist, she is now grateful to spend her days in fictional characters’ heads instead of real people’s mouths. When she’s not writing, you can find her on the curling ice, where she and her husband are world-ranked in mixed doubles.6610348

Visit her tea-and-book-filled world at GloriaChao.Wordpress.com, and find her on Twitter and Instagram @GloriacChao.

2 thoughts on “When You Wish Upon a Lantern: Review

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