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As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

As You WishAs You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Hardcover bought by moi at the Octavia Books (New Orleans) book signing.

PJVs QUICKIE POV: Surprise! That was the general feeling once I got hooked in this book. Bad PJ judged this book by it's cover and the silly little synopsis on the jacket...but what was I supposed to do? Both the cover and synopsis screamed candy coated teen chick lit. As You Wish while giving the impression of a shallow, quick little read, was anything but. Well, yes, it was quick, but I wouldn't call it shallow. As You Wish is a very poignant tale of a young girl struggling with her social standing and her self-image. She believes she is broken and therefor has disappeared from the world. As You Wish surprised me with the depth of emotion and the hidden messages strewn throughout it's pages. I was expecting light fluff, and in the end I actually shed a bit of a tear. Or at least my left eye watered, slightly.

REVIEW: Viola (poor girl?) feels she is a broken girl. 90% when she used to be 100%. For the last few months she has been the Invisible Girl, no one pays much attention to her, when all she wants is to be happy. It never used to be that way, she used to be happy, she used to have friends. But her world was brought down around her when her boyfriend and best friend declared that he really didn't like girls. Now out of the closet, Lawrence is quite popular with the high school crowd and Viola is invisible.

Staring at a girl that she could consider a friend if she had the nerve to interact with her...Viola wishes to belong. Her wish is so desperate and intense that a genie is sent to her from the realm of Caliban (Not to be mistaken with the land of terrorist - the Taliban).  With no name, he is only genie and he is also Viola's personal genie slave, there to grant her wishes and then leave from the human realm as quickly as he possible can. You see genies only age in the human world, and with a declining population, getting older is not a good thing for them.

Viola turns this wish granters world upside down though, as she refuses to treat him as just a wish granter, and instead begins call him Jinn, and forces him to call her Viola instead of Master. She also is very up in the air about her wishes...not able to make a decision quickly. At first Jinn is upset with her wishing procrastination, but as he spends more time with Viola and her friend/ex Lawrence, Jinn starts to realize that he is beginning to care for her and might not want to return to his home as quickly as he is supposed to.

An emotional and sweet teen romance, As You Wish, introduces a new kind of paranormal in the form of the surly genie, Jinn. Unique and sappy, the characters were very lovable, I just wanted to grab Viola and give her a big hug throughout most of the book...and then slap her around about the middle part of the book. Lawrence was also a great character and handled very tastefully by Pearce. And then there was Jinn, don't we all want our own hot wish granter? On top of the charming characters and well mapped plot, it was also very well written and I very much enjoyed Pearce's voice. I can't wait for her next novel, Sister's Red, which is said to have a little more bite to it.

Some negatives on this one: The first was the lack of parental influence that is very prevalent in YA novels, this one was ripe with No Parents Around Syndrome.  Mom was too busy reading self-help books, so she didn't know her kid was drinking and out until dawn on a weekend? Crazy love-struck boyfriend insists on waiting for her (in the parents house, while they were there) to get home and calls her Baby over and over again, without any interference from the parents. I know this technique is utilized in a lot of YA books to give the teens a freedom to play out the plot, I just sometimes think it is a cheat, because I really hope that the majority of parents are not like this. Second Negative has nothing to do with the author, and everything to do with that cover and just didn't convey the novel graphically, it needed to convey a little more depth. The cover just screams shallow to me and might turn off more mature readers.  I can't wait to see if they do a redesign.

All in all a great YA novel, don't pass this one up. As You Wish provides a bit of wit (hee hee), a lot of teen angst, some touchy feely romance, and a good bit of emotional depth to entertain teen and adult readers.  Like I said early that last scene made my left eye water!

RECOMMENDATIONS: Safe for younger teen readers, entertaining enough for adults. Quick and easy read, read it in one sitting. Love those! Will be holding on to this one to give to my little girl (in about 7-8 years).



My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

I know I saved my book for my girls to read and so agree about the no parents around syndrome..

Patti said...

Nice review. I just couldn't get into the storyline judging by how the author was presenting it. One of these days I'll learn "not to judge a book by it's cover" LOL!

Karen said...

Looks cute!

elizabeth said...

Great review! This book sounds really good. I'll definitely have to read it :)

Lily Child said...

Aw, this sounds like a fun read! I'll definitely check it out! :)

Pixie said...

We've nominated you for an award.

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