How to Wish Upon a Star (Gigi’s Review)

How To Wish Upon A StarTitle: How to Wish Upon a Star (Howl at the Moon #3)
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Pinkerton Road
Release Date: May 12, 2016
Genre(s): Shifter/Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 229
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Dr. Jason Kunik is working on the most earth-shattering genetics project ever, DNA mapping of a new species, the quickened—dogs who can shift into human form. The problem is, no one knows the quickened exist and Jason can’t betray them by publishing his studies. When he moves to Mad Creek to continue his research in a town full of quickened, all he wants is peace, quiet, and to be allowed to bury himself in his work.  Perhaps if he figures how out the mutation is activated, he can silence his own inner dog forever.

Milo is a hospice comfort dog who has bonded with, and lost, many beloved patients in his life. He intuitively understands sickness and pain on a spiritual level most can’t see. When he gains the ability to become a man, he thinks he finally has everything he ever wanted. But being a man isn’t the same thing as being loved, and taking shelter in Mad Creek isn’t the same thing as finding a home.

When a mysterious illness hits Mad Creek and threatens all the quickened in town, it’s up to the scientist and the comfort dog to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Along the way they might discover that true love is possible—if you wish upon a star.

How to Wish Upon a Star is my Return of the Jedi. Let me explain…

Return of the Jedi

When Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released in the late 1970’s is was monumental. Epic. A movie event like no other. No one had ever seen anything like it before and they (and me) were mesmerized.

STARS WARS: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same. ~Rotten Tomatoes

When Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released in the early 1980’s, moviegoer’s were afraid it would never live up to the magic of the original Star Wars. But not only did it live up to the original, it went one step further and received even higher praise from critics and fans, including me.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels. ~Rotten Tomatoes

When Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released in 1984, fans flocked to see it and returned to theaters several times for multiple viewings. While the last movie in the trilogy (which is what we all thought was the end back in the mid-80’s) was wildly entertaining, it failed to capture the intense magic of the prequels. I loved it, saw it 10 times in the theater, but still enjoyed episodes VI and V more. That doesn’t in any way take away from my enjoyment and delight of Return of the Jedi, it just means it was my least favorite of a life altering trilogy of movies.

RETURN OF THE JEDI: Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy. ~Rotten Tomatoes

So, once again, How to Wish Upon a Star is my Return of the Jedi. How to Howl at the Moon (Howl at the Moon #1) was so fresh and new and compelling that I was mesmerized. I’d never read anything like it before and ended up reeling with excitement. I waited with baited breath for the next book in the series, How to Walk Like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2), but didn’t think it would even come close to the magic of the first book. Not only did I LOVE , I loved it even MORE than the first book. Now, I adored How to Wish Upon a Star (Howl at the Moon #3) but it is my least favorite of the Howl at the Moon trilogy. That doesn’t take anything away from how much I loved this book, it just means that author Eli Easton set the bar so incredibly high with the first two books that this one was a harder sell. It is still a magical, unique story that is one my top 10 list for 2016 and one I can highly, highly recommend. If you haven’t read the first two books, start with book one and enjoy the ride. You won’t find anything quite like the dog shifter world Eli Easton has created.

Now, a bit about the book:

Dr. Jason Kunik is a scientist and third generation quickened (which means he is a dog shifter who was born with the ability to shift) Alaskan Malamute mix. He is dry, impersonal and has classic OCD tendencies. He is anxious in crowds and prefers his solitary lifestyle.

Milo is a Labradootle hospice therapy dog and a first generation quickened (which means he shifted from a dog to a man in adulthood). He has just recently become a man and, like Roman, has to learn all the in’s-and-outs of being human. He is paired with Jason because Jason is the only one in town with a spare bedroom.

At first Jason is irritated with Milo’s enthusiastic personality. Milo is like a child discovering a whole new world. His energy is high and his brain is constantly firing as he takes in the human world like a sponge. Jason, having suppressed his dog for many years, doesn’t see what the big deal is.

I know many will see Jason as cold and clinical, and he most certainly is, but for the story of his redemption to be believable, he needs to be an asshole. Milo’s existence changes his entire personality and he was 100% redeemed in my eyes by the end of the book.

More good news, we not only get to see Tim and Lance and Matt and ROMAN again, but they interact with Jason and Milo quite often and we get a good look at what their lives are like as couples. We also get a healthy dose of Lily, who is constantly meddling into the lives of those around her. She always means well, but…

How to Wish Upon a Star is a delightful book, one I can highly, highly recommend. It can be read as a stand alone, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The first two books will help you learn these characters and how the tick. And they are some of the best books I have ever read.

Howl at the Moon Series

Once again, I am compelled to share a personal dog story, like I did when reviewing How to Walk Like a Man. Milo is a hospice therapy dog and I have a therapy dog too! Her name is Myrtle and she is a R.E.A.D. dog (Reading Assistance Therapy Dog). She and I visit schools, camps and libraries and I sit quietly next to her as she lays her head in the laps of children who read to her. It helps ease a child’s anxiety while reading out-loud and they are more likely to experiment with sounding out words, or skipping them completely if they want, because Myrtle doesn’t judge. She just laps up the attention and provides a calming presence to the child. She was certified when she was 3 and she just had her 9th birthday, so she’s been a working girl for 6 years now. She is one of the great joys in my life and seeing kids love on her is priceless.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

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1 Comment on "How to Wish Upon a Star (Gigi’s Review)"

11 hours 30 minutes ago

I love, love, loved the first two books of this trilogy. I’ve read a few other shifter novels but found them lacking and read the first only because of my previous experience with the author and I was enchanted. Such a great mix of humor and feeling all wrapped in great writing. I’ve read the first two several times and am looking forward to the third when it releases tomorrow.

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