Release Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
Age Group: Young Adult
Ever since Viola’s boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.
Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can’t deny that he’s falling for Viola. But it’s only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she’s in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.
Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.
Discovery: Just working my way through all of Jackson Pearce’s books.
+ Enchanting characters. I haven’t gotten attached this quickly to characters since Harry Potter. The story isn’t too complex, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t wish Viola, Jinn and Lawrence were real so I could hang out with them. They are refreshingly real and made me laugh a lot while reading. I did find that many of the minor characters were a little on the flat side, but it is understandable. I loved Viola and Jinn so much that I kind of wish there was a sequel.
+ Light, fluffy plot. After the last few books I’ve read, is it any wonder that As You Wish‘s bubbly plot won me over so quickly? A few years ago, someone told me that there are books out there that are like Twinkies: they aren’t the most healthy snacks, but sometimes you’ve just got to have one. Jackson Pearce’s first novel is a Twinkie with a sprinkling of hot fudge. I won’t pretend that it’s the most intelligent novel I’ve read, but I also won’t deny that I had a great time reading it. The novel wasn’t written with people my age in mind, which means that it sometimes felt a little shallow, plot-wise. Still, the writing is snappy and easy to follow.
– Cliches. Jen from Almost Grown Up pointed this out in her review, and I have to agree: the cover is definitely reminscent of old Disney Channel movies. I’m also not a big fan of the constant repetition of the “lesson” Viola has to learn about belonging and loving yourself. Again, this makes sense because the novel seems to be directed at a younger audience, but it did elicit some uncomfortable twinges of memory from my high school days.
Recommendations: Younger readers will find much to love in this debut from Jackson Pearce, but older audiences can choose to focus on the sheer exuberance that leaps from every page.
Next review: Two-Way Street, Lauren Barnholdt