I received this book from the Raincoast Books for review. This does not impact the content of my review.
Book: As You Wish
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Published: January 2, 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Print ARC
Source: Raincoast Books
What if you could ask for anything- and get it?
In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.
Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself. (Goodreads)
My rating: 3 stars
It was okay. Recommend to some.
As You Wish has an intriguing premise. A small town with a big secret – everyone gets one wish on their 18th birthday and it comes true. The book plays around with this idea, the moral questions around is wishing good or bad, are wishes good or bad, are people good or bad (and does their wish represent this or impact it). Eldon struggles with choosing his wish and spends the majority of the book trying to decide what it should be. He’s heartbroken. He feels a ton of family and societal pressure. He wants to make the right choice, the right wish.
As You Wish is so interesting. The questions it poses really make you think.
Eldon was… frustrating. He was a jerk. But he started to realize it. He was a self-absorbed high school senior who was used to getting everything he wanted and suddenly wasn’t the top dog anymore. It’s a pretty standard trope. And it got kind of flipped on it’s head.
The character development in this book made me smile. Although Eldon, struggling with his identity, some intense family tragedies, and the usual end-of-high-school pressures, did make me grimace quite a few times throughout the book. I did, however, learn to like him.
An intense, and sad at times, read that explores how our choices and wishes can come back to haunt us.
The novel has an interesting style. Eldon’s story is told throughout but occasionally the story of a person’s wish is narrated by a narrator who is a character all their own.
Eldon spends the novel collecting people’s wish stories. What did they wish for? Why did they wish for it? Do they regret their wish? If they could go back, would they wish for the same thing?
Wishes ranged from the simple to the complex, the rash to the incredibly thought-out, the unobtrusive and personal to the far-reaching and collective.
The wish stories were easily my favourite part of the novel and I wish (ha!) I could read more of them.
Overall, an interesting and enjoyable novel but not one that I feel drawn to reread over and over again.