Author: Jackson Pearce
How I Obtained Said Book: Public library
Series: Stand-alone novel
The Blurb: (from Goodreads)
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.The Review: (Possibility of spoilers below)
Having recently broken up with her boyfriend due to his "coming out", Viola has spent her life feeling alone and invisible. Suddenly her boyfriend, Lawrence, is cool and one of the shiny "Royals" at her school (AKA: part of the top of the social chain) because he is, in fact, homosexual. Viola on the other hand is pushed to the side, not shiny and very dull in comparison. Because of this, Viola spends the majority of her time wishing and hoping that she would, somehow, become popular. And this powerful wish ends up summoning a young genie to her in the middle of class.
Jinn comes from a world named Caliban, of violet sunsets and beautiful weather, and flowers covering the roads. But he has a job; he's a genie, and when he's called upon by the Ancients to perform his duty, Jinn must carry them out obediently. He is summoned to the mortal world, where he must grant his new master three wishes--while following three ancient protocols--and cannot return to Caliban until he does. This greatly exasperates Jinn as he loves Caliban and very eager to return, but unfortunately enough, he is assigned to Viola. And Viola just doesn't know what to wish for.
The character development in this book is very similar to Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. For instance, Jinn and Viola start out disliking each other; Jinn, because Viola won't wish, and Viola because Jinn was simply a nuisance. Eventually though, these two realize each other's issues, come to understand each other in a well developed and well transitioned manner, and become in fact very close. I had my doubts at first on whether or not Jackson Pearce would be able to pull off this development, but she definitely did: when Jinn started out acting like a tough guy, irritable and impatient, he ended up softening up and becoming open and modest.
I liked Jinn the most out of the two MCs, actually (and the POVs do switch back and forth quite like Under the Never Sky, except in this case, Ms. Pearce sticks to keeping it first person). His transitioning was the most noticeable. At first he complained about the changes that took place whenever he was in the mortal world; jinn in Caliban are immortal, but once they set foot in the mortal world, they begin aging--even faster than the actual mortals because "time is catching up with them", depending on the other times they've been in the mortal world--and eventually, the "time adds up", giving them an increased age. Throughout the book, Jinn has even pointed out that he's able to see very subtle changes in humans, including hair and nail growth. Eventually his opinion changes completely, as Jinn comes to realize that change is good, that it's vibrant and flowing. And this soon makes him want to be human and even, ironically enough, wish to be human.
As for Viola, she was all right. In the book she's an artist, though not very good compared to a girl named Ollie, who's the queen of her Royal group. Viola, however, also goes through a change in the book, though less noticeable than Jinn and on a much grander scale. Starting out she's insecure and invisible, always hiding, always doubtful, and always searching for that "missing piece" of hers that would make her stop feeling insecure and indivisible. When Jinn comes along, Viola begins to realize that she's been searching for that missing piece in the wrong area and that, in fact, she was supposed to fill it in herself. Somewhat cheesy, I know.
Right, and the plot: I mean, compared to Under the Never Sky, the world building is a little lacking. Though then again, As You Wish is a stand-alone, and therefore expanding the world building even more would just be a bunch of info dump on the reader throughout the book. So I honestly don't blame the author. I did love the description of Caliban, though--sounds like my ideal world (except for the immortal and emotionless jinn part). I also love how Ms. Pearce invented the idea of "the press", which takes effect only if the master of jinn take too long to wish, and enables ifrits (a certain type of job for jinn) to create situations that would press the master into wishing. And also, right after the master makes the last wish, his or her mind is wiped completely from the events with the jinn. Basically if Viola were to ever make her last wish (and I won't say if she does or not), she would forget everything about Jinn. Tragic, tragic, tragic.
Really, though, the main reason I liked this book so much was the, you know, emotion it made me feel. Once again, very similar to how Under the Never Sky affected me. The ending of the book was bittersweet in its own way, but it also made my heart swell because it was so great. You know a book is good when it delivers a BOOM ending--and by BOOM ending, I mean an ending that packs a great emotional punch.
Though I really don't like the cover, As You Wish was an excellent book, and will definitely influence me to read more of Jackson Pearce's novels. Highly recommended if you don't mind reading a bit of YA romance. Very touchy-feely for me in the heart.
Rating: 8 - Hey there. I think I'll read you again another time.
**I actually have read you another time. This review is based off my second re-read of the book.
Reviewing The Fault in Our Stars next!