For Vân Ước Phan, fantasies fell into two categories: nourishing or pointless.

Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she’d eaten too much sugar.

Vân Ước doesn’t believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas – or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when schools finishes. But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight. Not even Jane Eyre can help her now.

Wishes were not a thing.
They were not.
Wishes were a thing.
Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.
Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!

Were they?


“Vân Ước’s combination of shyness and passion is incredibly believable, and she broke my heart several times over the course of this book with her painfully accurate reflections on the way the world sees her. About bullying, friendship, first love, family drama and Jane Eyre, there isn’t a single person who is or was a teenager who won’t be able to identify with this beautiful, powerful new book from Fiona Wood.”

4.5 out of 5 stars

Bookseller + Publisher

“And through it all, is Vân Ước’s sublime narrative voice. She pulls us along on clouds and wishes. Its flights of fancy are delightful, enticing, illuminating. I can’t explain it any other way, except to say I floated along and never felt my feet touch the ground.”

Highly recommended

“For all the people with names others can’t pronounce or spell, Fiona wrote Vân U’óc Phan for you. It’s for the quiet girls with loud thoughts. This is hands down one of my favorite books of the year.”




Winner, CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers, 2016

Winner, Indie Award, YA (Independent Booksellers Awards)

Shortlist, Gold Inky Award

Shortlist, ABIA Awards (Australian Book Industry Awards)

Shortlist, WA Young Readers’ Book Award

Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2016


Teacher’s notes