The Art of Wishing
by Lindsay Ribar
Original Publication Date: March 21, 2013
Length: 314 pages
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Obtained Via: Bought
Format Read In: Hardback
View at the Traffic light:
He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.
Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn’t know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else’s hands?
But Oliver is more than just a genie — he’s also a sophomore at Margo’s high school, and he’s on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.
A whole lot more.
I’m about to say a phrase I vowed never to say. And once I say it, I need you to forgive me for it, okay? Okay. Here it is–The Art of Wishing is totes adorable (I cannot believe I actually said that). It’s true. I sank into this book at once, and read it all in one sitting. I giggled. I smiled. I happy sighed. And the best thing? The Art of Wishing is about 85% ADORABLENESS, 15% adventure & danger. . . just how I like my adorable books(I wouldn’t be the reader I am if it wasn’t for my love of some grand adventures).
I’ve never read a genie book before, but The Art of Wishing took the few things I thought I knew about genies(mainly from Aladdin), and completely turned everything around. Oliver is not a sad, trapped genie who longs to be free. Being freed would kill him, and what’s more than that, he enjoys being a genie. He enjoys using magic, creating illusions, and then creating reality with the wishes. He’s quite happy to be who he is. He’s also really old. . . but also a sixteen-year-old at the same time, completely real. I loved this aspect, since one thing that always bothers me about paranormal books is these century-old creatures falling in love with high school girls. The way Ribar tackles this problem is genius, because Oliver is a sixteen-year-old who likes eighteen-year-old Margo.
Oh God. I’m one of those girls.”
“What girls?” he asked, perplexed.
“Those girls. The ones in all those books and TV shows. Some dumb high school girl falls in love with some supernatural guy, and he’s all, ‘Behold, I am five million years old!’ and she’s all, ‘Oh my god, how can you ever love pathetic little me!’ and he’s like, ‘Because of destiny!’ or whatever. It’s just so…ew. You know?”
The whole genie story line was fascinating. I loved the way genie mythology played a role in The Art of Wishing, and Oliver’s entire back story. I can’t talk about it too much because it mostly comes up towards the end of the book and would be spoilerific, but I’ll just say there were moments when I was thinking my head, “Wow, that was a really brilliant way to make that plot point happen”. It all seemed so. . . natural, despite the fact genies aren’t exactly what I consider natural. The ending wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. I had the thought I was supposed to be happy with how things ended, but there were definitely some other emotions mixed in there. That was my only plot-based complaint, though, and I’m so looking forward to the sequel.
Despite my growing love for the genie story, the highlight of The Art of Wishing was the romance, which if you know my taste, might be surprising. I’m all for a good romance, but it’s hardly ever the focus of my enjoyment level of a book. Not so in this case. I was smitten with Oliver and Margo as a couple from the beginning. From their very first real conversation, I was completely on board with their relationship and was thinking something along the lines of “Okay, it’s time you two kiss now.”
And yes, the romance does develop pretty rapidly, but considering I was a fan of it from the beginning, I was totally okay with it in The Art of Wishing. Margo is especially smart about it–she knows she’s falling for Oliver, and fast, but she keeps her wits enough to know that hey, I haven’t known him very long. This, among many other traits, endeared me to Margo. She’s witty and organized and such a three-dimensional character. I think it was because of the character development that I got on board with the romance in this book so fast–both Margo and Oliver were well-written enough that I felt I knew they would be a good couple from the beginning.
“Nobody ever feels just one way about another person, Margo. We’re so much more complicated than that. I can see a million things you want from me, just like the million things I want from you. Some of them are wonderful. Some are awful. Some contradict each other, and some don’t make sense at all. But none of those things matter, not really. What matters is what you do about them.”
There were wonderful serious moments in The Art of Wishing. There were also plenty of funny moments and references to Aladdin, the Princess Diaries, and other fun things. But more than anything, there were plenty of adorable moments that made me giggle and smile. While The Art of Wishing does get darker at times, it stays mostly fun and adorable and it’s a great read if you need something of that sort.
The only thing I didn’t like about The Art of Wishing was the ending. Other than that, this book was near perfection. Margo and Oliver were both endearing characters in their own rights, but together? Completely, totally, fantastically adorable.