Friday 13 February 2015

Book Review - The Art of Wishing

The Art of Wishing
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Series: The Art of Wishing #1
Genres: Paranormal, Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 21st March 2013
Publishers: Speak
No. Pages: 314
Source: Purchased
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.

The Art of Wishing suffers from a problem I think may contemporaries are suffering from lately, and that's that it's just a nice, pleasant, easy read with characters you either come to love or end up feeling indifferent about, which makes both reading, and reviewing a book like this, mighty darn difficult. I get the feeling the problem is a personal one, that I'm struggling connecting and forging relationships with these characters, and when contemporaries rely so heavily on their characters and the romance that of course develops between a few, it becomes difficult to actually get past reading a book into enjoying a book, and that's what I suffered here..

That's not to say that The Art of Wishing is a bad book, no, definitely not, it balances so many different features and delves into them without a care in the world, Ribar most definitely must be complimented on her skill at balancing and including them all so well together, everything from the genies themselves, to the romance aspect, to the same sex relationships, to charcater and personality traits, and even when it came down to it, this wasn't just your soft contemporary, there were some creepy and violent moments all woven together to make what could have been an absolutely fabulous read for me, but it just wasn't, which I'll get to in a moment. I really quite enjoyed the paranormal aspect of this novel, delving into genies which isn't a feature usually explored, and Robar took this aspect and truly made it her own, turning what we think we know about genies and their blue-ness into something much more human, much more linked to that of slavery and taking away free will and it was this exploration that kept me reading the novel on the whole - the background, the history, the answers surrounding how and why they are how they are and do what they do, it was definitely the most interesting part of the novel, and I really appreciated the different take that Ribar took with The Art of Wishing, but this wasn't quite enough for me.

What I struggled with through this novel was the characters, but in contrast, the characters were also part of what I liked about this novel, at least, a little part. Margo was a very true to life teenager, she was passionate about what she loved, and she had talent, but she was aware of it, which gave her a confidence and sway to her that radiated from her anger and annoyance at other people should something not fit into her plan - it turns out that while I liked realistic and imperfect characters, Margo's attitude was just a little too frustrating at times, and she was also a little self-centred around herself. She was a tough character to really relate and connect too, much like Oliver, although his character succeeded a little better. I enjoyed how Ribar explored Olivers character in a way other authors would be too afraid to, and how easily she could when including features surrounding the genies, that of being able to switch genders and become different people, including same-sex relationships and romances and in the end, it was Oliver's character that complimented and encouraged me to enjoy Margo's character, through the romance, which was definitely your fluff-factor of the The Art of Wishing. Oliver's character developed and became something, someone with more substance and depth when he realised his feelings for Margo, and she highlighted some serious switched stereotype gender roles, she made all the moves, she had the control when it came to the pacing of the relationship and she called the shots, whether that was down to the fact she was a genie master, or whether that she was more confident in her feelings, who knows, but her lead in the romance was well complimented by Oliver's soothingness throughout. Is it an award winning romance? Personally, I think not, but it's definitely not a terrible one either, with a fair few swoon-worthy moments and declarations of love, I can almost let the week-long romance slid..

The Art of Wishing was a book with a lot of promise, a great premise, with a plot that was solid, well written and actually was complemented by the romance, and it had a good cast of characters, although some areas with some of the characters could have been explored more, especially the relationship between Margo and her parents, their relationship with one another and her relationship with Nadia, who seemed to go from forefront friend to vanishing completely when the plot required it, which was a serious shame, as the friendship between them was definitely a good feature within the novel. In the end, The Art of Wishing didn't manifest any real emotions or feelings in me, I felt a little indifferent to the characters, a little indifferent to the romance although it was written well, and a little indifferent about near enough all of it, even the open-ending making room for the sequel I felt I'd seen from at least half-way through, it just wasn't the book for me. I may not have loved it, but I can guarantee that there are plenty of people who haven't read this book, that could very well fall in love with it, so don't go taking this book off your to-read lists just yet.. it could be your own little hidden gem.


  1. The synopsis makes it sound so cute! Hmmm... I might have to have a look at this one. Thanks for the honest review!

    1. Cute is a word I'd use, it's sweet too, it's worth a look anyway!

  2. It's interesting to read a different point of view about this one. I read it a while ago and didn't like it at all, but Im glad you found positive in it :)

    1. I can definitely see how you can not like it, it's not got much.. substance to it, but was sweet :)

  3. I really like the cover, and the synopsis seems interesting enough, but many of the contemporaries I've read I've had a hard time relating to as well. I mean, I've read REALLY GOOD ONES, but most of the stuff I've read (which is honestly not that much compared to others) I was meh about it. I feel like it might be the same here >_<

    Faye at The Social Potato

    1. Contemporaries rely heavily on characters, if you don't feel the person, you don't feel the book, it's a sad truth.. I would probably say avoid this one then Faye, for that reason :)

  4. Wow, the cover looks so beautiful, I quite liked it now - the premise sounds promising as well! Thanks for sharing :)

    Benish | Feminist Reflections


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