Written by: Lindsay Ribar
Published by: Dial Books
Release date: March 21st, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon
Add on: Goodreads
Margo McKenna has a plan of attack for everything, from landing the lead in her high school musical to dealing with her increasingly absent parents. But when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the opportunity to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Especially since Oliver — not blue-skinned, not bottle-dwelling, but a genie nonetheless — can see more than what she's willing to show him. With one peek into her mind, he can see the wishes that even Margo herself doesn't know she wants.
But Oliver comes with more than just mind-reading abilities, a flair for magic, and the prettiest eyes Margo's ever seen. Someone from his past is hunting him — someone bent on killing him, along with all the other genies in the world, for the sake of honor. And as Margo soon discovers, it will take more than three wishes to save him.
A whole lot more.
First off, a HUGE thank-you to Kerrie @ Read and Repeat – I got to pick this book from The Book Depository, for winning her 1st Blogoversary giveaway. I would’ve bought it myself, eventually, but it is thanks to her that I got to read it sooner rather than later. So THANK YOU! :D
Let me start off by saying, I had ridiculously high expectations for The Art of Wishing. I fell in love with it after just hearing the title, seeing the cover (so cute!), and reading the blurb – something about it made me absolutely sure that I would love it. Probably the fact that it has to do with genies, mixed with the sort of quirky/cute contemporary feel of the title and cover. (Plus I just haven’t read enough books about genies/djinn even though I find them really interesting). That combo had me hooked, and I was going to be SUPER disappointed if the book didn’t live up to my very high expectations.
Oh, but it did. It really, really did.
The Art of Wishing was everything I wanted it to be. It was light, without being overly silly. It was adorable, without being annoying. It was funny, completely endearing, and it had just enough excitement to keep things interesting. But overall, what I loved about it was that it was a lot more character-driven than I was expecting. And the characters are what made this one so memorable for me.
So first we have Margo, who is a senior in high school, and an example of exactly the kind of female protagonist I enjoy in YA. She is neither a popular girl, nor a total outcast – she’s just a normal teenager. She doesn’t have a huge group of friends and is happy with a few close ones. She’s got a no-nonsense attitude, and is smart and self-reliant. No helpless heroines here.
Then we have Oliver, who is a sophomore at Margo’s school, and also (possibly more notably) a genie. ;) Oliver is… oh goodness. Oliver is fantastic and super charming. He actually wasn’t what I was expecting him to be, as a genie, which just made the book even better. He adores what he does – he loves granting people’s wishes, making them happy, and being the one to make their dreams come true. He takes pride and joy in his magic, and it’s SO endearing.
For the first half-ish of the book, the main plot focuses on Margo finding Oliver’s ring (no lamps for this genie), and Margo having to decide what to do with her wishes. Oliver keeps dropping hints that he’s being chased and doesn’t have much time to waste waiting for Margo to make her wishes, but he stays anyway. Like I said, he takes a lot of pride in what he does, and he wants to give Margo her three wishes even though he might be killed – and possibly because of that.
I don’t want to give anything away, but another thing I really enjoyed was how Ribar dealt with/explained Oliver’s age and attitude. He may be an old(ish) genie, but he is also a 16-year-old boy, and I believed it. Margo’s and Oliver’s relationship was also super cute. It might technically be considered a little bit instalove-ish; but it didn’t feel like it was. It mostly felt genuine and sweet and real. I love their characters as individuals, but I also adore them together.
Thanks to the overall charm and unexpected depth to this book, I’m giving it 5-stars, easy. It’s going to stick with me for a long time, and is one of my absolute favorites so far this year.
(I’m already freaking out over the year-long wait for The Fourth Wish. Can it please just be 2014 already??)