The Fourth Wish
by Lindsay Ribar
Original Publication Date: July 31, 2014
Length: 358 pages
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Obtained Via: Gifted
Format Read In: Hardback
Sequel to The Art of Wishing
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NOTE: Because this book picks up right where THE ART OF WISHING ends, spoilers for the first book abound in this review, starting with the summary from the back of the book.
Here’s what Margo McKenna knows about genies: She’s seen Aladdin more times than she can count; she’s found a magic genie ring and made her three allotted wishes; she’s even fallen head over heels in love with Oliver, the cute genie whose life she saved by fighting off another genie. But none of this prepared her for the shock of becoming a genie herself.
Everything Margo’s taken for granted–graduating high school, going to college, hating math, performing in the school musical, even being a girl–is in question. Just at a time when she’s trying to figure out who she wants to be, Margo is forced to become whomever her master wants. But Margo is also coming into a power she never imagined she’d have. How will she reconcile the two? And where will she and Oliver stand when she’s done?
Fans of Every Day and Anna and the French Kiss will love this romantic, magical, and surprising conclusion to The Art of Wishing.
The Fourth Wish wastes no time in getting to the story–we’re thrown pretty much right into where The Art of Wishing left off. For that reason, The Fourth Wish doesn’t feel so much as a sequel as just part two. While this sometimes bothers me in books(I feel strongly about books having their own story arcs), for some reason The Fourth Wish didn’t feel that way at all. Instead, I found The Fourth Wish to be a great wrap-up on Margo’s story.
As Margo is now a new genie, she struggles to figure out how to balance her genie life and her human life. As a genie, Margo has to take whatever shape will make her master feel comfortable, grant wishes even when they have affects on the people she cares about, and be at someone’s beck and call. As Margo tries to remain tied to her human life, she finds the balance between her friends, family, and things she cares about thrown off balance. How can she think of going to college when she has to deal with all her genie things? And then, of course, there’s the nature of Margo and Oliver’s relationship. Now that they’re both genies, some things are easier for the two of them, but at the same time it also makes their lives harder as they keep changing at the whims of their masters.
Despite all that’s going down in The Fourth Wish, it never feels like too much is happening. There’s a lot of introspection on Margo’s part, which is to be expected. While it may have been slightly annoying to see Margo struggle with her new life, I found it refreshing. There’s a learning curve to being a genie, after all, and it makes sense that Margo doesn’t just find herself immediately comfortable in her new identity, especially as her identity keeps changing due to her genie nature.
I find that often when books have a magical element, the magical world is always considered superior to the “normal” world, without any thought as to how or why that is. That’s why I appreciated how much Margo was willing to fight for her human life in The Fourth Wish. She enjoyed her magic at times and hated it at others, when it caused her to do things she didn’t want to do, but the portrayal was all very balanced. She wasn’t ready to just uproot her entire life to become a genie, and I really appreciated that. There’s always a sense of dismay when a character abandons the real world for the magical one and the magical one is “better”–it leaves the readers in a world that’s portrayed as empty of adventure. Which is why seeing Margo clinging to her human life was so refreshing and made me happy.
Of course, the romance in The Fourth Wish is quite strong considering what happened at the end of The Art of Wishing. Now that Margo and Oliver are both genies and they’re past that initial stage, their relationship takes a turn for the more serious. They have cute moments, too, but on the whole this book has a shift to a darker and more serious tone. However, it’s still endearing to watch Oliver and Margo navigate their relationship, especially given the new parameters of the world. The Fourth Wish delves into the nature of gender and identity a bit, and the exploration is all done thoughtfully and considerately.
In the end, The Fourth Wish was a great conclusion to Margo’s story. It had the cute moments from the first book, but manage to shift it’s focus to more serious topics well, including things like identity and the struggle Margo felt between her genie life and her human life. The magic system in The Fourth Wish was explained a bit better, and it’s clear that everything in this book was very thought-out. I just can’t help but to be charmed by this sequel.
The Fourth Wish was a great breath of fresh air, reading-wise. A YA paranormal romance that deals with genies instead of the creatures that tend to crop up most often, The Fourth Wish really did a great job at navigating through some serious topics while never feeling too dark or depressing. I highly recommend the first book and this sequel. 4/5 cupcakes.