REVIEW: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

artofwishingThe Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
Dial, 2013
[Goodreads] [Amazon]

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.


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13 Responses to REVIEW: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

  1. This does sound very different. I love that it is something fresh in the genre because it seems as though everything coming out is the same ol’ same ol’. Happy to see that this also has a bit of darkness to it because books that are too cutesy tend to get on my nerves. Fabulous review. Thanks for sharing!

    • Merin says:

      Exactly. Sometimes I really feel like they’re just writing these books from some sort of outline that’s passed around to everyone because they’re all so similar. It was nice to have a book that surprised you in a very good way.

  2. I haven’t read much contemporary..and I need too..I know I keep saying that and haven’t yet but I am going to start listing your picks so I will know where to go when I do LOL

    • Merin says:

      Ha! I don’t read a ton of it, either, which I really should remedy because, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed nearly every single contemporary I’ve picked up. :)

  3. Candice says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while now! It sounds so cute; very glad that it was!

  4. Quinn says:

    Okay, you’ve totally piqued my interest in this one. I will definitely have to read it. I like lighthearted books, especially if there is something that is a little heavier. Like said, we don’t want it so sweet that it hurts our teeth – or that is causes major eyerolling.

  5. I just got this in the mail yesterday! Glad to hear you enjoyed it :) (ALso happy to know ahead of time it is not a stand alone book)

  6. I didn’t realize this was a series until I read the acknowledgements lol. I was like HOW CAN THEY END IT LIKE THAT!?!?! But now that I know there’s a book two I’m okay with the cliffhanger. I thought this book was cute too. It wasn’t my all time favorite, but I liked the genie aspect and you’re right. It did read more like a contemp.

  7. Briana says:

    I also thought this book was pretty unique, in terms of both the romance and the approach to wish making/granting.

    I thought the ending was fairly appropriate, so I’m not sure I want a sequel!

  8. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves #45 –

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