Ever since she was a little girl, Abby Jensen has been planning for her 16th Birthday. Taped to the inside of her closet is her list of Sixteen Birthday Wishes: “When I’m sixteen...” It’s clear Abby was a girl who couldn’t wait to grow up.
But when the Big Day actually arrives, utter disaster strikes, leaving her devastated. Standing at the bus stop, she complains to her best friend, Jay, that she’s sure the day is ruined and none of her Sixteen Wishes will come true. Suddenly, a mail truck screeches up and a strangely perky Mail Lady named Celeste delivers a package containing a box of antique Sweet Sixteen Birthday Candles and a book of matches from the Lucky Duck Chinese Restaurant.
Abby quickly realizes each candle corresponds to a wish on her Wish List. Her day gets better and better as she uses her birthday wishes to get the attention of her crush, Logan Buchanan, advance her social standing in school and get back at Krista Kitsen, her lifelong nemesis. Whenever she runs into a problem, Celeste is magically there to help her figure out the next step.
Feeling on top of the world, she makes a hasty wish that changes everything: Wish #9: “When I’m sixteen, people will stop treating me like a child.” Suddenly, Abby finds herself being treated like an actual adult. Even her parents and her best friend Jay don’t think she’s sixteen anymore. Abby’s horrified to realize she has an apartment and a job and responsibilities. She just wished away the best years of her life!
Desperate to go back in time, Abby uses the last magical Sweet Sixteen Candle and makes a wish to be back home with her family. Suddenly, she’s thrown back to the beginning of the day, before disaster struck, before the candles or the wishes. Grateful for a second chance, Abby realizes she’s no longer in a hurry to grow up, but finds herself older and wiser – and excited to just be sixteen again.