Ever since Viola’s boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing – for someone to love her again and, most important, to belong again – until her wishes inadvertently summon a genie named Jinn out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes. But it’s only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she’s in love with Jinn…and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life – and her world – forever.
As You Wish is Jackson Pearce’s 2009 debut novel. After reading Sister’s Red and loving it, there was no way I wasn’t reading this one, and I’m so glad I did!
Viola and her boyfriend Lawrence have just broken up, and Viola finds herself feeling invisible at school. She wishes so much to go back to the way things were, that she summons a Jinn. But Viola will not wish. She doesn’t want to wish her problems away in a way she sees as fake, but rather work her way through them. Jinn, of course, can only wish that she would wish. The longer he is stuck on Earth, the more he ages. But the longer he is stuck with Viola, the more he begins to fall for her and break Jinn protocol – and risk the notice of the Ancients of Caliban.
Besides the characters and Jackson Pearce’s writing style, what really made me love this book was the ending. I’m a sucker for bittersweet endings that end without everything all neatly tied up and finished. The ending of As You Wish suited the story so well, that if it had wrapped up nicely and had the normal happy ending, it would have felt cheap. I’m trying not to give it away, because to do so would ruin the whole story – will Viola ask her three wishes? Will Jinn have to go back to Caliban or will he be able to stay on Earth with Viola? The end is a wonderful mix of it all, and worked so well (for me, at least).
But even before the ending, the characters of Viola, Jinn and Lawrence really help make this story as good as it is. We get to see the story from two points of view – Viola and Jinn – so we get to see how their relationship progresses, and how events play out, from each side. Viola is an inherently strong character. She knows that she should be able to fix what’s ‘wrong’ with her life without resorting to wishes. And she’s a normal girl! She paints really well, has stayed friends with Lawrence even after the break up, as no epic enemies, etc. Viola is in high school, and it shows in everything. I mean, the Jinn is pretty supernatural, but that’s what helps make the story fun. Jinn is such a pessimistic, sort of angry character at the beginning, but he really starts to liven up and become more human during his interactions with Viola and Lawrence. And Lawrence…such a nice guy. Every girl needs a friend like him.
As You Wish is a wonderully magical story that will definitely keep you up reading, and cheering for Viola and Jinn. Also, does anyone else want to connect the “As You Wish” title of Jinn and Viola falling in love, to The Princess Bride? Or do I just love that movie so much I see it everywhere?