REVIEW #74: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Title: The Art of Wishing
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 21, 2013
Pages: 314, Hardcover

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.


“I’d spent the better part of eighteen years thinking magic just meant card tricks and Harry Potter books and questionable vampire movies - and here was what seemed very much like the real thing, right in front of me. Even thought I knew it was impossible."

Margo discovers that the cute new kid at school is a genie, and better yet, he has to grant her three wishes. But naturally nothing is ever that easy. You see, there is a crazy evil genie that is coming after Oliver that wants to set him free (kill him). Oliver is trying to skip town to avoid that fate and wants Margo to hurry along in her wish-making. But he also wants her wishes to count because they may be the last ones he ever grants. Well, Margo doesn't wish fast enough and evil genie catches up to them. Evil genie needs Margo to hand over Oliver's vessel and he is not above using violence to get what he wants. So Margo needs to figure out how to get rid of evil genie in order keep both Oliver, and herself, alive. Oh, and somewhere within the span of a week or so, they fall in love. 

A lot of my recent reads have had a playful tone to them and I've come to enjoy it quite a bit. Margo takes the whole genie-thing, and her feelings for Oliver, in stride - handling everything with an air of nonchalance and humor. 

“A minute or so passed by - not long, but long enough to make me wonder whether Oliver was setting up mood lighting or hiding dead bodies. Or if someone was up there waiting to stab me again. Or if someone was up there to hand me a crown and tell me I was the long-lost Princess of Genovia. Or if I’d tumble into a pit of lava, only to get saved at the last second by a flying carpet.” 

I liked her voice, and Oliver's too. This is another couple that I thought was cute and I enjoyed their chemistry. There were a few fun references in the dialogue too. For example: 

"'What girls?' he asked, perplexed."
"'Those girls. The ones in all those books and TV shows. Some dumb high school girl falls in love with some supernatural guy and he's all, 'Behold, I am five million years old!' and she's all, 'Oh my god, how can you ever love pathetic little me!' and he's like, 'Because of destiny!' or whatever. It's just so. . . ew. You know?'"
"'You're in love with me?'"
"'Pfft. No. I've known you for like a week.' Another pause. 'You're a really good kisser, though.'"

Even though that's pretty much what happens. This my friends, was a bit insta-love and not convincing enough. A lot of Margo's decisions hinge on the fact that she has feelings for Oliver. For most of what happens I can justify her actions with excuses of her just being a good person, or friendship being a solid reason for her risking her life but that ending... THAT ENDING. I did NOT see that coming. That was and ending that required love, like love love, to a level which I did not feel. So I was stunned... and a bit disappointed. 

In fact, I think the emotions in general fell a little flat. Margo had the emotional response equivalent to a rock. If an evil genie impersonated me and ruined one of the most important nights of my life shit. would. hit. the. fan. 

Margo on the other hand....

As a result, I felt more like a distant observer to the story. There was this disconnect of feelings - I wasn't invested.

But overall, I did enjoy the uniqueness of the story. I had never read anything else like it and that definitely added value. The plot was simple but held surprises and the tone was light and comical. I'd recommend this as an easy, fun read and a break from the norm. 



  1. It seems like this book is really middle ground for a lot of people. I like the idea behind it, but I'm kinda over the whole insta-love without reason behind it thing. I mean sometimes it's called for, but not always! This was a delightful review!

  2. The pacing of the book is great without being too fast. It’s easy to connect with Margo and I love the way that the characters had problems, but neither one of them moped about them. The book did get rather serious toward the end and I will say that the ending is left very open. The next book is due to come out in the summer of this year so I’m looking forward to reading it.
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