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.
My first thought upon finishing this book was “aww,” because this really is a cute read. It was basically everything I was expecting it to be, which was a fun, fluffy way to spend an afternoon (although it took me longer than an afternoon to read, blast you, work!). However, this book was also surprisingly dark in some places as well, particularly once we meet the villain of the story. This helped keep the book from falling over the edge into “so sweet it hurts your teeth” territory, and also really helped keep the plot moving forward and the reader engrossed in the narrative. Considering that I don’t always have the best attention span, that earns this book major bonus points!
Margo is a wonderful main character, who thinks her life is perfectly planned out. And it is, until she meets Oliver. See, Oliver is a genie, and Margo his new master. He wants her to make her three wishes fairly quickly, because he’s on the run from a former master who’s threatening his life. Mixed in with the magical hijinks (and can I just say how much I loved Margo’s first wish?), there is a very nice contemporary romance in the pages of The Art of Wishing. I loved that this book took a very fresh approach to the YA paranormal genre, most notably because we don’t see too many genie stories (or, rather, ANY genie stories), and also because there is no insta-love (let the masses rejoice!). Or rather, I guess there is a tad of it on Oliver’s part only, but it was explained reasonably well and I found myself okay with it. Margo, for her part, not only doesn’t fall straight away, but even pokes a bit of fun at the trope (“I’ve only known you for like a week!”). Considering that Ms. Ribar works in the publishing industry, I loved the way she handled that section in a nicely tongue in cheek way.
Xavier, our villain, is deliciously dark in a sort of madman-type way. The confrontations between him and Margo are not lighthearted in the slightest (probably the only aspect of this book that isn’t fun or fluffy in some way), and were actually pretty scary to read. The reader gets a chance to really understand his motivations and the reasons he feels the way he does, but he’s quite twisted and damaged, which makes him hard to sympathize with, at least until the very end. I wasn’t too sure what my thoughts on him were, aside from the fact that I wished he’d leave Oliver and Margo alone!
If you’re looking for something a bit different, The Art of Wishing is your book. Fans of contemporaries will like this one because it’s mostly realistic with just the slightest magical twists, while paranormal fans will like the fresh take on the magical creature trope. The ending is a bit unexpected and features a minor cliffhanger – I certainly didn’t see it coming! – but I wouldn’t say it was done purely for the shock factor, although it certainly gives an idea of what the next book might be about. I, for one, can’t wait to see what comes next!
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.