Title: The Art of Wishing
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 314 Pages
ISBN-10: 0803738277 (Penguin/Dial)
ISBN-13: 978-0803738270 (Penguin/Dial)
Reviewed by: Michelle
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.
Quick & Dirty: Not your typical tale of a genie in a bottle. A contemporary tale of magic, music, and wishes.
Opening Sentence: The plan was this: I’d get up on that stage, blow them away with the best damn audition they’d ever seen, and walk out knowing the part I wanted was mine.
Genies and kissing. That’s what was said to me when I first heard about Lindsay Ribar’s The Art of Wishing. In this wonderful story mixed with equal parts fantasy and contemporary, I was first lured to the cover. The font used was whimsical enough to draw me in, allowing me to stay with the sweet images used everywhere else. I really gravitated towards the byline “He can grant all her wishes. But only she can save his life.” I detected swoon instantaneously. And let me tell you, Ribar did not disappoint.
Margo McKenna has dreams and plans. First off she plans to have an amazing audition to get the star lead that she wanted. But nothing goes as planned and she finds herself with a genie’s ring. With all the wishes in the world, Margo now has the tool to fulfill her dreams and carry out her plans. But Oliver isn’t an ordinary genie. The relationship that forms is close and tight-knit, enough so that he reveals he’s on the run from someone who will harm him. As Margo and Oliver’s relationship grows, she realizes that there aren’t enough wishes to save him.
Margo is not your average teenager. She has plans and is serious about carrying them out. Margo is musically talented and writes songs behind her closed bedroom door. Her parents were together, then not, and just recently remarried. She misses her mom and how things were before. Margo is a normal girl who tries to plan her life so she isn’t disappointed. And what’s surprising about her? She loves music. The thing that could be different from her organized preferences, music is emotional and deep, flowing lyrically without real structure.
Oliver has a special place in my heart. An unconventional genie, he has an old soul. Sure, he has history and years of experience, but when I first met him he seemed young. Young enough to be a high school sophomore. He was written well, along with the lore that he belongs to. I liked who Oliver represented and what he could be, but also for what he wasn’t. He wasn’t a brooding love interest. Nor was he this obstacle for Margo. Oliver complimented her and I appreciated that.
I really enjoyed The Art of Wishing. The story felt easy to read, but had enough depth to keep me interested throughout the whole story. I loved the characters, and there was enough diversity to make it interesting, but not too much where it seemed like I had to take notes on who they were. I wanted to live in Ribar’s world. I wanted to live in this world where genie’s were modern and a part of the 21st century. I wanted to be a part of this world where it was okay to believe in magic and still look things up on the internet.
I thought that the story moved beautifully, never lingering on one moment but also not too quickly where I had to look back. I really appreciated that there wasn’t an easy romance but also that there wasn’t this huge obstacle where the story was filled with angst. It was realistic, even if there were fantasy elements. I loved how there was a twist and a surprise ending. To be honest, I didn’t see it coming, but only because I was happily living in the moment of Margo and Oliver. I read each page and each word, taking in the moments where an old soul and a young teen enjoyed each other.
I didn’t expect to love The Art of Wishing so much. The characters were well-rounded and their personalities were fun and easy to connect with. The plot had substance, and it was clear where Ribar wanted to go. And lastly, the ending. Oh my the ending! I suggest you pick it up and wish for something yourself.
I dug the ring out of my pocket, placed it on the table between us, and slide it a few inches toward him. He looked at it with suspicion, but didn’t move to take it back.
“Go ahead,” I said. “It’s your choice.”
He was silent for a moment as he studied me with a gaze so keen that I found myself fighting the urge to sink down in my seat. “A day or two won’t kill me,” he mused thoughtfully. Then he smiled– a small, hopeful smile that spread slowly until it reached his eyes and made them shine.
“I think you should keep it.”
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Dial provided me with a copy of The Art of Wishing. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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