Ever since her best friend and boyfriend Lawrence turned out to be gay, Viola has withdrawn from life. She observes everyone from the sidelines, but she doesn’t feel like she belongs. She spends her entire day wishing and wishing for something to change, but nothing ever does…until Jinn shows up. Jinn is a genie, and he’s sent to grant Viola three wishes before he can go back to his peaceful life in another dimension. But despite all of Viola’s idle wishing, she can’t seem to actually bring herself to make an official wish, which drives Jinn crazy. As Viola continues to weigh her options, Jinn becomes accustomed to life on Earth with her, so much so that he can’t help wonder if maybe his life is less peaceful and more boring without Viola in it.
As You Wish is a fun, fun novel with a lot of great emotion and drama. Viola feels an intense yearning to belong, but at the same time is paralyzed by fear and indecision. Lawrence insists that the only way she can feel like she belongs is if she just stops moping and lives life. The real source of conflict, however, is the continuing tension and unresolved feelings between Viola and Lawrence over their break-up, which Jinn exposes when he gets involved in Viola’s life. Jinn helps Viola and Lawrence mend their relationship, and inadvertently gives Viola a reason and the confidence to go and get what she has been wishing for, to make new friends, and to showcase her artwork. Viola isn’t perfect, or the best artist or friend; she makes mistakes and learns from them with grace and humor, making her an engaging and lovable heroine. Pearce has written an imaginative and unique book that will especially appeal to girls who want a funny romance novel that isn’t insubstantial.
Tirzah Price is a sophomore at Ferris State University and blogs regularly at thecompulsivereader.com. If not reading or writing, she is most likely lurking around Twitter @compelledtoread.