Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Read a Book: As You Wish

For my second review, I grabbed As You Wish, by fellow Alantan Jackson Pearce. A-town down!

Viola, a 16-year-old struggling artist and high school student, feels invisible. She's smart, but school doesn't hold her attention. She's artsy, but not cool enough to run with that crowd. She has a loving family, but who cares about them! So, Viola is left with only one friend, Lawrence, her ex-boyfriend and gay bff all rolled into one. One day, Viola wishes things were different so hard that a jinn from a parallel dimension pops into existence to grant her three wishes.

As You Wish takes a cute premise, throws in a funny scene or two, and adds more than a heaping glob of teen romance.

The big dilemma is that Viola can't decide what to wish for, and she won't use her wishes until she's certain. Really? You expect me to believe there are people out there that haven't already imaged this exact scenario and settled on their wishes? Doubtful. Here are mine, for example:
1) to be completely healthy and fit, no matter what I eat,
2) an unlimited supply of perfectly cooked Totino's pizza rolls, and
3) world peace.
Easy! Come on, Viola, get it together.

As Viola struggles to find the perfect wish, she and the jinn (now affectionately called Jinn) become better acquainted. He desperately wants to return to his home, but is also drawn to the enchanting loner who summoned him. She finds his gruff personality oddly appealing. Eventually, Viola does settle on a wish and learns that what you want isn't always what you need (maybe I should rethink my Wish #2?).

As You Wish felt much shorter than its 300 pages, even with the occasionally slow pacing. The plot was predictable at times, but there were definitely high points. One scene in particular, a conversation between Viola and Lawrence, was so honest and well-written that I thought about it for days after.

Alternating between Viola and Jinn's perspectives, As You Wish provides insights into both characters' motivations. The downside? Because of all the hopping around, I found it difficult to connect with either of them. That style of storytelling (in general) makes me feel like I'm suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Maybe there's a way to do it well, but I can guarantee that I'll never try it myself.

Overall, the message was cute, and the ending was not what I was expecting.

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 2009


  1. Funny thing about Totino's pizza rolls. I noticed the other day they're no longer advertising any of their stuff as having "pepperoni" in it. Now it's "pepperoni-seasoned meat product." YUM!!

  2. I wish I didn't love those pizza rolls as much as I do. Luckily I stick to the cheese flavor (or "cheese-flavored goo gob").

  3. I think they call it "cheese-like powder", actually.

  4. Hmmm...yeah, I can think of a few wishes right off the bat too. LOL
    But it does sound cute. I'm going to look for it.