Tags: YA, magic, genies, art, love
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
After her best friend and boyfriend, Lawrence, breaks out with her by coming out, Viola has desperately wished to feel as if she belonged to something meaningful and passionate again. Her strong desire summons Jinn out of his genie world to grant her three wishes.
Jinn just wants to get the wishes over with so that he can return home to the safe and predictable loveliness of Caliban. Viola holds off on wishing, however, unsure of what it is she wants, exactly, and Jinn is forced to remain in the mortal world with her. As the days pass, Jinn comes to care for her more than he has ever cared about anyone before, and Viola finds that she can’t live without him.
But when Viola makes her third and final wish, Jinn will be forced to leave her life forever.
Sounds like the synopsis for the next Disney movie, right? Maybe—but it’s one that would appeal to both the children AND the parents. AS YOU WISH took me by surprise with its sincere charm, lighthearted humor, and the best kind of romance.
The development of Viola and Jinn’s relationship from master-genie to romantic love was extraordinarily well done. It was subtle and likable, like a romantic comedy movie unfolding before your eyes, except in words. It seemed completely natural for them to start off wary of one another and then to develop into friends, and finally something more. It is rare nowadays to find a romance that doesn’t start off from insta-connection and physical attraction, so Viola and Jinn’s relationship stands out to me in the best way.
Likewise, supporting characters are also realistic. With the exception of maybe Aaron, I could believe in the genuineness of the characters’ interactions with one another. Lawrence in particular is a standout secondary character, one whose fate post-story we can actually feel ourselves caring about.
Perhaps the greatest thing about AS YOU WISH, however, is Jackson Pearce’s effortless narration. How many authors can truly tell a charming story out of a concept that rides the fence on being sweet and too saccharine? AS YOU WISH didn’t read like a forced novel to me, but more like me experiencing a good friend’s story, or living out my favorite romantic comedy. I found myself crying through the ending, so involved was I in Jinn, Viola, and Lawrence’s story.
Don’t be fooled by its childlike cover and fairy tale premise. AS YOU WISH makes you believe in wish-granters and the fact that love can triumph all. This is magical realism at its best, completely worth the list price, and one of the best love stories I’ve read all year.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: 1 out of 5 - Um... NO!!! You don't have an idiotic looking girl on the cover of ANY book, much less a good one. The model looks like she just had her wisdom teeth pulled and is plotting a way to get back at her dentist. I hope they realize they need to change this in the paperback version.
Thank you, Khy, for lending me your copy for review!