Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on March 21st 2013
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.
Genies don’t get enough love in YA literature. In fact, The Art of Wishing is the first genie book I’ve come across. Vampires, Werewolves, Witches and even Zombies have been done and redone so many times, I’ve lost count. We need more varieties of supernaturals! *finished with my rant*
The Art of Wishing isn’t an incredibly complex book. A girl (Margo) stumbles upon a ring in the girls bathroom, only to find out that it’s attached to a genie (Oliver) who like all stories, can grant Margo three wishes. Margo believes in the existences of genies easy enough, especially after she sees Oliver appear and disappear a couple times. Margo already as a lot going for her. She’s a great singer and actor, as well as an A-student. Margo has a hard time figuring out what she’d wish for, and Oliver, who in the beginning pushes her to make her three wishes, doesn’t help the situation.
I thought the idea of Margo and Oliver falling in love was great. Margo deserved a fun, caring and funny boyfriend, and Oliver, who clearly has a lot of baggage and despair in his past, deserved to have something real and special as well. There were moments, where the two would talk and smile and banter that had me smiling. But I think this book was far too short for the big declarations towards the end. Oliver’s real feelings are put into question given his genie status which comes with shapeshifting and immortality, so the only real evidence we have regarding his true feelings are told in flashbacks from someone who is not even Margo. Margo and Oliver’s relationship never felt cemented to me because we didn’t get much of the two together. There were some swoony scenes, yes, but they didn’t feel like the type of scenes that make two people fall “head over heels”.
Honestly, besides the sort-of insta-love, I didn’t really find fault with the Art of Wishing. Like I said, it’s not incredibly complex. Oliver is a genie, where he came from and how genies are possible wasn’t explained to us right when he appeared. There was a nice gradual stream of information given to us when it became important. This book wasn’t dense, it light and easy to read. I’m sure I’ll get around to reading the sequel.