ARC Review: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar , Young Adult Paranormal Novel

PJV Quickie: This book was a surprise read for me. THE ART OF WISHING was both parts light and dark with a lot of emotional roller-coaster in the middle. If you are looking for your next young adult paranormal read, I recommend checking out Lindsay Ribar’s THE ART OF WISHING.

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Title: The Art of Wishing
Author: Lindsay Ribar
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Published: March 21st 2013 by Dial Books For Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads Purchase Author


Margo McKenna’s life is in strict order. She has a plan for everything, including landing the lead of her school’s play. Sweeney Todd is the production they are undertaking and she has dreams of being Mrs. Lovett, she is meant for the part and she is a senior. They always give the leads to seniors. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. A newcomer, a sophomore, a person that lacks any sort of talent grabs the part of Mrs. Lovett and Margo’s world is spinning in frustration.

Until she finds a ring in the bathroom that part-stealer Vicki has left behind, as she holds it in her hand, Vicki’s friend, another sophomore, Oliver bursts into the bathroom. Nothing is the same after this. Oliver is a genie, which explains Vicki nabbing the lead part. Margo now has the chance to make three wishes. But, there is something up with Oliver, he is being hunted and he wants Margo to make her wishes quickly so he can high-tail it out of this existence. But, Margo has to think hard about what she wants. You can’t just wish lightly.

THE ART OF WISHING was what the cover portrays, a light, almost contemporary young adult novel, yet the tension and darkness of the antagonist kept it from being too fluffy. Ribar’s voice is fresh and she does a good job conveying Margo’s personality and mind-set. Ribar also does a good job with mixing in the aspects of Margo’s life which sets the scene of her frame of mind. Margo was a well flushed out character and I enjoyed reading her story.

Oliver was another story, his character, while good, was two-dimensional compared to other young adult paranormal heroes. I liked him, but his genie aspect was a bit on the shallow side and so was the antagonist, Xavier, that was hunting him. Both characters came into their own late in the book and once they transitioned from fuzzy half-characters to full blown characters I really enjoyed the book.

What also fell a bit flat was the wishing aspect and the dastardly villain aspect. I didn’t get both of them, the villain was over-the-top — the wishes didn’t seem real. If you were given three wishes, what would you wish for? This always baffles me with genie books. Wouldn’t the majority of wishers want something more broader and life-changing then something quick that can be achieved on its own, without a wish? What would you wish for if you had a genie? Lottery numbers? Writing genius? Everyone to like you? I do believe that Ribar tried to portray the whims of innocent teen girls and their wishes. And she did a good job, I just didn’t see the intent of the situation within the words. Xavier and Oliver, for being century old genies, seemed immature and acting like teens. It worked well with the love dynamic between Oliver and Margo, but didn’t ring with truth in regard to the back-story. With a good paranormal romance you can have it both ways, maturity, but still keeping the young adult voice.

Again with middle of the road reviews I find myself bashing more then blustering. I know the things that made this a middle of the road but I’m not as eloquent in elaborating on the things that kept it from being terrible. I know I liked the characters, I know I liked the pacing and the tension. I liked Margo’s voice…but the plot just led this to middle of the road. I do recommend this book and I will be reading more of Ribar’s work. Judge for yourself, I think this one is a keeper and a good debut for Ribar.


Recommended for teen readers of young adult contemporary and young adult paranormal. The paranormal themes are light enough that you might find it easy to transition. Topics and plot are innocent enough, moms should have no problem with this particular young adult.

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