Author: Lindsay Ribar
Series: (The Art of Wishing #1)
Published: March 21st 2013
Publisher:  Dial Books For Young Readers
Categories: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Young Adult
External Links: Book DepositoryGoodreads

Synopsis: 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.

Review: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar started really good. It was funny and I thought I was going to enjoy this book from start to finish; because what I initially got was humorous and breezy. And then the middle part came, the antagonist revealed himself and that ripped the fun away.

Margo was auditioning for a play. She gave her all to that audition only to land a supporting role. And worst, she will act as a guy. She’s being bitter with Victoria, the girl who was selected to play the part. Everyone seemed to like her and it struck her odd, particularly that time when she overheard her and Oliver talking something about wishes. And it turned out, Oliver is a genie. And like Aladdin’s Genie (and pretty much all the genies) he can grant her three wishes. And wishing for the right things is harder than she thought.

Margo was hilarious. I ended up liking her immediately. She’s one of those heroines that speaks her mind but doesn’t seem annoying. It was her natural quality. I really find it funny how she was so disappointed that she didn’t get the lead part and landed a guy role instead when she belt her throat out for that audition. But it was only because of a wish as to why people starting to like Victoria. The conversation she heard between Victoria and Oliver was the technicalities of her wish. I remember the Nick cartoon show Fairly Odd Parents (yes, I watch cartoons) on how Wanda was telling Timmy how complicated genie wishes are. So I guess, I liked the part on how it explained that wishes could be very technical and complicated. Anyway, back to Margo, the only flaw I found on her was that her love for music wasn’t genuine for me. I didn’t feel how important music is to her. I get she wanted to a good musician and all that but it came to me, contrived. It was injected on her just to embellish her character which is good enough without the additives.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like Oliver. I liked the whole genie business but I didn’t like how abrupt the details came out. It was like this: he lost the ring, then she got it, told her he was a genie and she believes him. It was so conveniently laid out. And in the process, it affected the romance for me. It just happened so fast, I didn’t even see something sparked between them. I realized she was already kissing him and I was dumbfounded at that moment because I didn’t get to see the part where she was starting to fall for him. So for me it was hasty and thin. And it should not be shallow, because the romance played a great part on Oliver’s existence.

The villain lacks depth. I get his motivation but it doesn’t sound so…interesting, for the lack of better term. And even after he revealed that extent of his relationship with Oliver, I still didn’t care. I want to understand his motives but it wasn’t working for me.

The ending was ambiguous. It did end with a cliffhanger and I learned after reading it that there’s going to be a sequel. I’m not sure if I want to read it since I was really disappointed on how things went. I liked the beginning, it was great but sadly the rest felt short to my liking. Yes, until now I’m still quite conflicted. I haven’t made up my mind whether to continue it or not.

Preview Quote: “Because that’s what I do, Margo. It’s who I am. I show my masters what they want to see. I show them things that will comfort them, or dazzle them, or at least make them trust me with their wishes. Almost none of the magic I do is real, at least not without the power of a master’s wish behind it—but I can create the illusion of real magic. ” — Oliver