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2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 25 books toward her goal of 175 books.

Book Review: As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

This was a very engaging and original story, full of magic and drama and teenage angst. The concept of the dangers of wishing is not particularly new, but the way that this concept is played out really resonated with me.

I have long been fascinated by the idea of crafting the perfect wish (I even have several of my own writing projects featuring this as an underlying theme) – the whole “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” thing resonates with me very strongly. Perhaps it is because I’ve always read so much magical fiction and seen so many things go horribly awry. Perhaps it is because I’m a lawyer and sometime-writer, both of which reinforce in me the power of words. Perhaps it’s just my dark and pessimistic side, that sees danger lurking behind every corner as though it were waiting for us to invite it in. Or perhaps it’s all of those combined… Regardless, I was highly intrigued to see where this book would take that concept from the get-go.

The book did not disappoint at all. I’ve read a number of other reviews that slam it, largely because the protagonist is, well, rather unlikeable. He is. He is also a teenage boy, living in a tiny town where pretty much everything sucks and everyone is disappointed and disaffected and dysfunctional. To me, that reinforced the underlying message of the book, rather than detracted from it. True, it made the reading a little wearying at times – but for some reason that never wore me down, rather it kept me feeling like I was fully engaged with the book. That doesn’t always work – it’s a fine line, like tap-dancing among land mines, trying to immerse your reader in the desperation and depressing circumstances of the characters, while not losing them or their precious reader-interest in entertainment in the process. I think the author did a very nice job balancing this, and will definitely be looking for more from her in future…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley. As You Wish releases in the US on January 2, 2018.

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