If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? What if the genie granting your wishes was a sophomore at your high school, a photographer for the yearbook . . .  and really cute?

When Margo first picks up a magic ring during rehearsal for the school musical, her thoughts are mostly of clichés: It’s Lord of the Rings meets Disney’s Aladdin, she figures. But the genie, Oliver, turns out to be something else entirely. His drab gray hoodie conceals his fantastical magical powers—including the ability to grant whoever possesses his ring the three wishes of traditional genie lore. As Margo quickly learns, though, Oliver’s magic is limited. He immediately rejects her wish for world peace (“If I had a dollar for every time I heard that one!”), forcing Margo to shift her focus to wishes that impact her everyday life in small but significant ways.

Oliver may have centuries of experience in granting wishes, but Margo only has a few days to choose hers: A rival genie is hunting Oliver, using ruthless tactics to achieve his ends, and Oliver is running out of time to elude his pursuer. But unlike the cartoon Aladdin, Margo can't use one of her wishes to set Oliver free—his magic, his ring and his history are so deeply entwined that breaking the connection between them would cost him his life.

Full of pop-culture references and teenage neologisms, Lindsay Ribar's debut novel combines a fun, peppy tone with reflections on deeper issues about the nature of love . . . and what people (and genies) will do in its name. The first in a planned trilogy, The Art of Wishing is a thoroughly modern—and thoroughly enjoyable—take on ancient legends of wish-granting genies.

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