As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
298 pages, Paperback
Published on September 1, 2009
Summary: 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.
Viola is an easily likable character, but without all that much personality. She was sweet and cute and I felt bad for her, with her ex having declared himself gay while they were going out. She just wasn't all that different from every other teen character out there and kind of faded to the background, even as the main character. That being said, I loved Jinn. Okay, at first he was annoying and snobbish, but after a couple of days of tagging along with Viola, impatiently waiting for her to wish, I kind of saw through his icy tones and I loved his sarcasm. Vi's best friend, who also happens to be her gay ex, Lawrence, was funny and sweet and I honestly cared about his wellfare by the end of the book. The secondary characters weren't all that well developed, kind of falling into stereotypes halfway through, but they enhanced the story well, and helped push Viola and Jinn to where they needed to go.
The story was what really made the story cute and a great, if light, read. Jinn is actually a jinn, summoned by Viola's wish to not be so invisible. He never ages in his world, but in our world, he ages just the same as humans. Viola is heartbroken over her best friend who revealed he was gay one night when they were making out. Can anybody say ouch. Anyways, you know from the summary on the back that they're going to fall in love, but it was still a good journey getting there. At first Vi is only waiting to wish so she can make a good wish, and Jinn is hoping to hurry her along so he can stop aging, but after spending time together, they realize that they've fallen in love and Viola stops wishing. But then Jinn makes the mistake of asking for a 'press,' a way of forcing people to wish. I'll stop summarizing and just say that the story was surprisingly suspenseful (to a certain degree) and I actually cried a little near the end. Or maybe it was just my mom chopping onions... Either way, it was cute and the ending was probably one of the best endings to any airy romance ever. It was just so darn cute. It wasn't the best story ever, but I had no real complaints, for what the novel was. Just the fact that Lawrence and Viola had a strange kind of understanding of Jinn's world. After the initial shock, they acted like everything was normal.
The writing style was hilarious. Like, I got shushed in my school library a few times while reading it. Pearce has a laugh-out-loud funny way of writing, while still making you want to read more and more of the novel. It wasn't especially descriptive or amazingly portrayed, but it certainly was funny, witty, and smart writing. Even the way the characters talked was accurate and realistic. Besides the hilarity of it, it wasn't great writing, and probably the lowest point of the novel. Pearce wasn't descriptive enough really, and that was my real problem. The novel went faster because of it, but it was also kind of flat because of it.
Overview: There was only one word for this novel that was completely fitting and that was cute. Jinn was funny after you get over his mean and impatient side and VIola was likable and cute. She was a little hollow, as were most of the characters in my opinion, excluding Jinn, but they were okay characters. Lawrence was a tad bit protective, seeing as it was him who hurt Viola (not that you can blame him for being gay, but still) in my opinion. The story was fast and simple, with a few surprising twists near the end, but easy to follow. The whole genie world was kind of sad though. I mean, they live forever so they don't really fall in love or have families or anything. Pearce's writing was hilarious and light, but hollow. Some pieces were left out, and you kind of had to assume on some things. My main complaints were a) Viola and Lawrence's easy acceptance of Jinn and b) the non-existent descriptions. Other than that, this book was a light, airy, cute, funny, romantic fantasy read.
Cover Rating: 3 stars
Character Rating: 3 stars
Plot Rating: 4 stars
Writing Style Rating: 3 stars
Overall Rating: 4 stars