The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar is a play on the old time genie myths. Not only is the myth touched upon but also dealing with high school, wishes that have come true (but you’d rather they hadn’t) and love. Margo McKenna is a junior in high school. She is hoping to get the lead in the school production of Sweeny Todd (excellent choice; however, I see this unlikely to happen in any high school I’ve worked/went/ been into), and she is also dealing with her parents reunion (after being divorced for 10 years, see: wishes that have come true…) Margo is not in a bad spot, well that is until some quite sophomore, Vicky, gets the role of Margo’s dreams (Junior dreams).
Enter Oliver. At first Oliver is introduced as a sophomore photographer for the yearbook. He enters the story about the same time that Vicky does, suspicious… I think so. “Right from day one, Oliver Parish came to almost every single rehearsal. Whether we were learning songs, blocking scenes, or just talking things through, there he was.” At some point Vicky realizes that wishing is an art (I know!) and that all wishes do not turn out the way we hoped. Wishes turn out the way we imagine them to, except that we never think of the complexity and intricacies that we overlook in the bigger picture. We don’t think about how we will feel in that moment, just how we feel wishing for it. When Vicky turns her back on Oliver and the ring of wishes, Margo is there and she picks the ring up resulting in an adventure Margo didn’t realize she needed.
The rest of the story is witty, romantic, surprisingly deep and dangerous. Margo must find a way to help Oliver, even if he believes he’s a lost cause. In turn, Oliver will help Margo in ways she did not realize she needed help. My favorite part of the book where Oliver and Margo interact is as follows: ““...Oh God. I'm one of those girls." "What girls?" he asked, perplexed. "Those girls. The ones in all those books and TV shows. Some dumb high school girl falls in love with some supernatural guy, and he's all, 'Behold, I am five million years old!' and she's all, 'Oh my god, how can you ever love pathetic little me!' and he's like, 'Because of destiny!' or whatever. It's just so...ew. You know?” I definitely enjoyed that Margo occasionally pointed it out things of this nature in the book.
I give this book a 4/5 based on humor and originality. Thanks Net Galley!