Sunday, January 12, 2014

YA Review: The Art of Wishing (Lindsay Ribar)

The Art of Wishing
Title: The Art of Wishing
Series: The Art of Wishing, Book 1
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 21, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: Older Teen (a few words of language, minor sensuality, two scenes of violent attack, scary situations)
Told: First Person (Margo), Past Tense
Format Read: ARC
Find It On: Goodreads


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.

Writing: An easy and light read, despite a few scarier scenes. The description was highly engaging - I always felt like I was standing right in the middle of the action. The dialogue was witty and not afraid of being playfully realistic at times, and it was such fun to eavesdrop on Margo and Oliver's banter:

“Are you seriously telling me the truth about all this?" I asked.
"I seriously am," he replied. "I was also serious about stealing a fry.”

“...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?”

Setting: The real world, but there are secret genies! The normality of the real world setting helped ground the fantastical elements, and made the whole scenario realistic.

Story: After losing her dream role in the school play to a girl she's never even heard of, Margo discovers there was magic afoot - or, in this case, a cute genie named Oliver. When Margo accidentally becomes his next master, she gets more than the three wishes she bargained for when an old master of Oliver's comes looking for him - and their final wish. And they won't let anything, or anyone, get in their way.

How I love this book so! I read it twice last year, and I loved it even more the second time. Instead of the genies of Aladdin, The Art of Wishing offers a more human face (that isn't blue) with more mysterious magic (that doesn't involve musical numbers - well, the magic doesn't, anyway). I actually read it a second time because Once Upon a Time in Wonderland went on hiatus and I needed another cute genie fix, and this definitely did the trick. If you're on the Alice/Cyrus ship, you will definitely want to take the Margo/Oliver cruise.

Characters: Margo was a smart girl who knew how to pick her fights, hold her tongue (mostly), and handle a genie - and his wishes. But she was also vulnerable, and her imperfections made her very relatable. I especially connected with her prudence - her level head and penchant for actually thinking things through grounded the story in reality when any mention of genies could have easily sent us into "a whole new world." As far as First Person viewpoints go, Margo was one of the most enjoyable I've ever read.

“A minute or so passed by--not long, but long enough to make me wonder whether Oliver was setting up mood lighting or hiding dead bodies. Or if someone was up there waiting to stab me again. Or if someone was up there waiting to hand me a crown and tell me I was the long-lost princess of Genovia. Or if I'd tumble into a pit of lava, only to get saved at the last second by a flying carpet.”

Oliver was sweet and gentle with a fun personality and a great outlook on life. He still found joy in his job, despite all the bad that had been done to him (and by him). I've never been one for book boyfriends, but if I was, Oliver would be mine, and now I check public bathroom windowsills for mysterious rings, just in case.

Romantic Relationship: Margo and Oliver's relationship was a sweet and relatively innocent one - which is just the way I like it. ;)

Series: This is the first book in a duology. The Art of Wishing has a complete story arc, and while I wouldn't necessarily call the ending a cliffhanger, there is certainly more to the story. Book 2, The Fourth Wish, releases July 31, 2014.

Conclusion: A highly engaging and entertaining read that I am glad to own, have already read twice, and plan to read again in the future. I seriously cannot wait for The Fourth Wish!

For Fans Of: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (television show)

4 1/2 out of 5 Scribbles
(Practically Perfection)

*All quotes were taken from the ARC, which is uncorrected proof. See the finished copy for exact wording.

1 comment:

  1. I've just decided recently that I want to read this.