As You Wish

As You Wish

4.3 77
by Jackson Pearce

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Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of

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Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The plot of Pearce's debut novel is simple: girl (Viola) meets boy (Jinn) and they fall in love, their story told in alternating perspectives. The twist: the boy happens to be a jinn (aka genie), and while Jinn is supposed to grant Viola three wishes and be on his merry way, he's definitely not supposed to become enamored of his master. Thus, their love is of the star-crossed variety. Luckily, Pearce doesn't allow things to become overly melodramatic. The banter between Viola and Jinn is quick, witty and, at times, comes with a dash of true feeling. However, their story is not without complications. When Viola shows an unwillingness to finish making her wishes, which would effectively banish Jinn from her life, Jinn orders a “press” from an ifrit (who acts as a heavy, forcing a reluctant wisher into compliance), and Viola is still working through complex emotions months after her breakup with Lawrence, her former boyfriend and current gay best friend. But Pearce never lets events become too dire. Overall, this is a fun, frothy read. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Kathie Fitch
Poor Viola. Lawrence, her long time best friend and now former boyfriend, has broken up with her because he is gay. She feels she no longer belongs to any group and wishes to feel whole again and not invisible. A strange, young, and very handsome man appears, but Viola is the only one who can see him. He turns up everywhere, but soon the allure turns to fear. His name is Jinn, and he has come to grant her three wishes. She does not know what to wish for, but he prides himself on his record of granting three wishes in three days so he can return to his home of Caliban where the other jinns reside. Viola inadvertently makes her first wish and becomes the girlfriend of popular Aaron, who is definitely part of the in crowd. But Viola is not comfortable in her new role and confides in Lawrence. Jinn makes himself visible to him and the three become friends. While Viola fights off the advances of Aaron—with a little help from her friends—Jinn becomes less anxious to go home. Viola hesitates to use her wishes because she realizes she has fallen in love with Jinn and that using them will send him out of her life forever. Written in alternating chapters between Jinn and Viola, the story unfolds to rapidly change from the regular "genie in the bottle" saga to a poignant tale of love and sacrifices made in the name of love. Jinn becomes more human and less genie as his love for Viola grows. Viola learns how important it is to watch what you wish for. The result is a fabulous fantasy from a first time author. Reviewer: Kathie Fitch
School Library Journal
Gr 9–11—As she ponders what she calls the "social mystery" that makes some kids seem to belong and others not, Viola, 16, wishes she didn't feel quite so invisible. Ever since her boyfriend confided in her and came out to his high school class, she has felt neglected and alone, while Lawrence has been adopted by the school's Royal Family of popular kids. When Viola accidentally summons a jinn, she contemplates the three wishes he offers to grant her, while Jinn considers Viola herself. Told in the alternating voices of Jinn and Viola, this story is a romance first and a fantasy last. After she wishes herself into the arms of popular Aaron, Viola finds herself comparing him unfavorably to Jinn, while Jinn, uncommonly critical of Aaron, struggles with his blossoming feelings for Viola. Though the first-person prose is easy to read and the romance is satisfying, the genre blending is less successful and might lead fantasy fans to judge the novel in harsher terms. The human/jinn romance ultimately comes off as a bit unbelievable, but the fantasy element draws attention to the wish-fulfillment trope at the heart of any romance novel.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
Devastated by a recent breakup, Viola feels invisible. Her desperate wish to be loved and to belong summons a genie who, of course, grants her three wishes. But Viola is not about to waste her wishes on silly things like beauty, fame and riches. She wants to take her time. Unfortunately Jinn, her genie, is aging by the moment and is desperate to return to his timeless world. Alternating chapters told from Viola's and Jinn's points of view follow the evolution of their relationship as they begin to fall in love. Viola's passivity and naivete threaten, at times, to derail the story, but the unique plot and the addition of interesting secondary characters keep the narrative flowing. The occasional missteps into improbable dialogue and overly familiar scenes only minimally detract from this romantic and touching story of wishes come true. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
Lisa McMann
“As You Wish is compelling, funny, thrilling and sexy, and Jinn is positively swoony. When you get to the end, you’ll wish for more.”
“Fun, light reading that gives thoughtful and conscientious kids center stage.”
Children's Literature - Michelle Santos-Graves
Viola's greatest wish is to belong, especially after her best-friend-turned-boyfriend comes out as gay and breaks up with her. A genie named Jinn magically appears to grant Viola's wish and two more, but Viola finds that it is more difficult than expected to decide what one might wish for. She is soon confronted with what she thinks she wants and what she really wants as her relationship unfolds and grows with her new friend and genie, Jinn. Although the story is meant for teens, the language is not as rich or layered as it could be, and sometimes even redundant. The narration's point of view switches back and forth with each chapter from Viola's voice to Jinn's voice. The story has its charm and twists, but is reminiscent of similar love themes in contemporary popular culture media such as the "Twilight" saga and "Vampire Diaries" in which an age-old immortal being falls for a teenage girl. It is difficult to imagine that a one hundred year old being would experience the same emotional tide of falling in love as an adolescent. It almost seems a bit creepy. Romanticizing this fantasy only affirms to youth that as long as one continues to look physically young, age has no bearing on relationships. Reviewer: Michelle Santos-Graves

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Age Range:
12 - 15 Years

Read an Excerpt

As You Wish

Chapter One

Viola Cohen

All I've learned in today's Shakespeare class is: Sometimes you have to fall in love with the wrong person just so you can find the right person. A more useful lesson would've been: Sometimes the right person doesn't love you back. Or sometimes the right person is gay. Or sometimes you just aren't the right person.

Thanks for nothing, Shakespeare.

I pretend to read along...the key is to glance up at the teacher occasionally so you appear interested...but really, I'm watching a guy to my right. He slouches back in his chair, slack-jawed, wearing a black coat covered in safety pins. The tips of his hair are magenta, and he has a row of piercings in each ear. He's one of the Punk Guys, though he sometimes drifts into the Wannabe Skater crowd.

I squeeze my eyes a little so his face's easier to imagine how I'd paint him if I let his features run together. My hands twitch, longing to hold a paintbrush instead of a pencil. A fan brush, probably, for the magenta spikes. I'd add a few shades of gray underneath his eyes to try to capture that sleepy, sullen look that all the Punk Guys seem to have.

Everyone in this classroom belongs to one clique or another...a few Pretty Girls, a few Druggies, a Smart Kid or two, a large handful of Emo Girls wearing plastic bracelets. I've studied them all semester, hoping to understand their looks, movements, voices...and then trying to paint it all later. Like if I can just get it down on canvas, I'll have the key to the social mystery of what makes them belong to something bigger than themselves. If I can figure out what it is that makes thembelong, I can figure out why it is that I don't...why I've become an Invisible Girl. The kind of girl who has a handful of friends and a lot of acquaintances, but who doesn't really belong to anything. I guess being invisible is better than faking your way into belonging, but it doesn't feel any less lonely.

"So, basically, the moral of this play is, Wait until you see the person naked before you fall in love, just in case they have the wrong . . . equipment?" a voice says from across the room. The formerly drowsy class...including me...turns to pay close attention to the speaker.

"There's a little more to it, Aaron, but . . . yes," Miss Collins says, putting two fingers to her right temple. She's a young teacher, and she always looks scared when she has to talk about sex.

Aaron shrugs. "I guess I'll start asking girls to undress sooner."

We all laugh under our breath, and the teacher flushes. Aaron smiles...the kind of smile you usually see on Disney princes. He's the only one I know who could deliver that line and not get administrative detention for it. He's also the only one I know who somehow manages to belong to everything...his friends are the leaders of all the other cliques, the beautiful, high-school-famous people who seem to gravitate toward one another...the Royal Family. I try to imagine the way Aaron's broad shoulders might look in watercolor. I wish I could figure out his to belong like he does. I wish I didn't feel invisible.

I sigh, wondering if I'll be doomed to walk home in the rain like I did yesterday, and turn to my left to glance out the window.

Dark brown eyes barrel into mine.

I suppress a gasp...there's supposed to be an open desk next to me. Where the hell did he come from?

The eyes belong to a golden-skinned boy who's sitting motionless like a cat preparing to attack a mouse. He's staring at me so intensely that I can actually feel his gaze boring into my skin. His eyes are deep like an animal's eyes...soft like a deer's, sort of, but also intense like a wolf's. Though I badly want to look away, I can't, as if there are ropes linking me to him. The stranger's skin sparkles even under the school's bland fluorescent lights as the sound of Miss Collins's voice drones on even more than usual. The world blurs at the edges of my vision.Who is he? I blink furiously to try and make the rest of the world come back into focus, but all I can see are his deep brown, watery irises. I'm drowning in them. This isn't right. I shiver and force my eyes away from his. It hurts, as if he'd had his fingers wrapped around my gaze.

I try to fixate on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom, but I can still feel his eyes on me. Chill bumps rise on my arms. I want to ignore him, yet another part of me desperately wants to look at him again. He had been looking at me, studying me, like I study everyone else. Why? I rub my lips together and carefully look back toward him, using a few strands of my hair as a shield between us.

But he's gone.

Not just from his desk...from the classroom. No one has touched the room's only door, but Strangerguy is nowhere to be seen.

I've finally lost my mind, haven't I?

I jump when the bell rings. Class is over. I crumple my sparse notes and shove them into my bag, then head for the door. The rest of the class is sprinting to the hallway; the faster you get into the hall, the longer you can be social before your next class. I linger a moment longer, thinking maybe Stranger-guy is just hiding behind a desk or something. But no...he's definitely gone. I exhale and duck through the doorway, hurrying through the baby-blue hallways to the commons. My best friend, Lawrence, is waiting for me, rerolling the sleeves of his designer shirt.

As You Wish. Copyright © by Jackson Pearce. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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What People are saying about this

Lisa McMann
“As You Wish is compelling, funny, thrilling and sexy, and Jinn is positively swoony. When you get to the end, you’ll wish for more.”

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