When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black – a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Book: Betrothed Series: Betrothed #1 […]
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive. Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads. Released January 2, 2018! Book: The Wolves of Winter Author: Tyrell Johnson Publication Date: January 2, 2018 Publisher: Scribner Page Count: 320 Format: ebook Genre: […]
Released January 2, 2018!
Book: As You Wish
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 432
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Have you ever thought about how much you said, “I wish…”?
It’s funny because I hadn’t; not until just a few weeks before I read this book. Coincidence? Maybe.
Either way, whether you think about how much you wish for something, or not, this book will force you to do so.
Wishing never gets you anywhere. Except, of course, in Madison, it does. If you’re lucky,
that is. Wishing either gets you everything or nothing. And it’s a gamble everyone is willing to take.
Welcome to Madison, a small, secluded town situated in the Mojave Desert. Little goes on in Madison. People come and go, passing the establishment without hesitation. The people in Madison don’t mind either. They encourage passers-through to pass through—as quickly as possible. Madison holds a secret, only known to those who were born and raised there. Everyone on their eighteenth birthday gets to ask one wish in the magical wishing cave. The wishes aren’t a hoax, they come true. However, wishing isn’t quite so simple, as Eldon comes to discover. With his upcoming eighteenth birthday, he has no clue what to wish for. It’s unusual for Madison kids to not have an idea what they want—beauty, popularity, position, intelligence, wealth—but for someone like Eldon, who has experienced more of the dark sides of life, wishing isn’t quite so simple.
Several major themes stand out within Eldon’s character alone. One of the main ones includes this “dark side,” or his experience with processing grief from losing his sister. Even though she’s still alive, she’s left brain dead after being struck by a vehicle on her bike. Having been close with his sister, Eldon is still trying to figure out how to feel about her situation. He can’t wish for her to heal because of the stipulations put on wishing. Yet, he doesn’t want to have to let her go.
When someone dies, it doesn’t just take them. It takes a piece of everyone who ever loved them and everyone they ever loved.
His grief is not the only thing factoring into Eldon’s identity crisis.
Why can’t I come up with things I care about? What’s wrong with me?
When the reader meets Eldon, it is immediately clear that there is some indecisiveness in his character. Externally, he seems cool and confident, yet when there is a glimpse beneath the surface, it’s obvious that he is enduring a lot of emotional turmoil.
What I’m saying is, these days, I’m nothing special. And that messes with you, you know? Makes you think maybe you weren’t that special to begin with. Makes you wonder what you’re actually good at. These days, I walk around with a big question mark over my head.
Feeling replaced as other classmates get their wishes granted before him, Eldon finds himself girlfriendless, no longer the star of the football team, and no longer popular. In his quest to discover who he is and what he wants, he also begins to question everything that he knows about himself, about wishing, and about the town of Madison.
It is through this process that he understands the importance of a wish. Eldon’s transition from adolescence to adulthood becomes apparent in how he realizes wishes aren’t so simple; all wishes have consequences.
“How many other people you think keep quiet about their wishes?” Merrill asks.
I’m wondering the same thing. The residents of Madison are so focused on keeping secrets from outsiders, I never stopped to consider what we’ve been keeping from each other.
The struggle with human nature and selfishness in all of us, is represented by the city of Madison. Instead of thinking of one another, most everyone used their wish for themselves. This approach to wishing is supported and nearly enforced by the town’s mayor. In the end, most everyone ends up miserable.
Maybe dissatisfaction is human nature. Maybe there’s no running from it.
The fact that everyone in Madison gets to make a wish means they get the opportunity to change something about themselves or their situation to their liking. By doing so, they are never pushed to learn how to reach a goal on their own, the concept of sacrifice, or to look within themselves.
“Accomplishment comes from toil,” Othello says. “Growth is a result of sacrifice.”
Let’s go through the things I liked:
#1 There are a lot of teachable points throughout As You Wish, many I deem beneficial for young readers. They aren’t necessarily easy discussion points either. However, for someone around the same ages as Eldon and his friends, they might really relate.
#2 The conflict in the main character Eldon, as well as the major growth he goes through is impressive. He grows from a self-centered (unlikeable) teen to a conscious, considerate (and likable) young man.
#3 As You Wish forces the reader to contemplate contentment within oneself. I found myself reflecting many times about how much “I wish” for things in my life, but forget to realize how much I already have.
Things I didn’t like:
#1 I felt there were some loose ends in terms of the wishing cave itself. It’s never told how it got there, by who, and how it was discovered. I felt discontent as it was supposed to be a major “issue” which was taken care of rather easily. The entire book I was waiting for this reveal, but it never occurred.
#2 There is an attempted-suicide by one of the characters that I think could have been approached differently. Instead of the character realizing his worth after the fact, he trudges around, never really resolving anything. I felt that it could have been a better teaching point for readers, yet the opportunity was left untouched.
#3 Overall, this book has a rather depressive tone. I don’t expect all books to end happily ever after, but I felt like there wasn’t a reprieve, even in the end.
#4 I don’t think it’s OK to have so much swearing and inappropriate content in a YA read. I noticed the amount of language right from the get-go and found it distasteful and inappropriate for this genre.
These numbers may not be 100% accurate, but I noted anytime I came across something.
For me, this book had quite the “Eesh” factor in regards to the language. 158 profanity words!? I’m probably more sensitive to profanity than most. But I know that if I were to read this book when I was younger (the age that this book is aimed towards), I wouldn’t have finished it because of how much language there is! It’s simply too much!
Vulgarity: As stated above.
Sexual content: While there are no scenes, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the topic in unpleasant ways.
Violence: There is an attempted suicide, with some details given. Also, there are a few fist fights.
My Rating: 3.5 stars
“When someone dies, it doesn’t just take them. It takes a piece of everyone who ever loved them and everyone they ever loved.”
“I am learning from everyone’s mistakes. I’m collecting wishes.”
“Prayer does help, Eldon. You might not be able to see it working or know how it works, but it does.”
“Choices by nature, are not right or wrong. They are only different paths, all ultimately leading to the same end.”
“Accomplishment comes from toil,” Othello says. “Growth is a result of sacrifice.”
“I mistrusted the ease of wishing, the idea of receiving a gift I hadn’t worked for and didn’t deserve.”
“I wish, I wish, I wish. It’s kind of astounding how often that phrase is used in everyday conversation.”
“Why don’t people stop wishing and start doing> Why is everyone so willing to wish away their lives? I want to scream at them to stop. There’s more to life than wishes. Wishing never gets you anywhere.”
“Is there really such a thing as the perfect wish?”
“Maybe dissatisfaction is human nature. Maybe there’s no running from it.”
It’s time for a quick recap on December’s #ARCsAnonymous reading stats. What’s #ARCsAnonymous? Well, it’s a group on Goodreads that was created by Avalinahsbooks. It’s to help motivate each of us book reviewers who tend to be top-heavy with ARC TBRs. To motivate us to get […]
And we're off!
January 2018 is here! That means I need to get started with this reading challenge pronto! From my original Beat the Backlist post, I’m going to choose War Horse by Michael Morpourgo to be one of my reads.
Published originally in 1982, this sweet little nugget is a WWII story about a horse commissioned by the military. I know the story because I saw the movie first, but we all know that the book is always better than the film, hence, why I own the book.
Extra picks for the month:
I decided to add on some reads for this month (hopefully there will be even more at the end of the January!) I had planned a while ago to do a buddy-read of Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth with the great and wonderful Candace over at LiteraryDust! So, I’ll be adding that in. 😉
Finding Jade by Mary Jennifer Payne was sent to me by the publisher. It’s sequel is coming out later this month, and I want to get it read before the second one arrives!
Chasing Odysseus by S.D. Gentill is one of my old ARCs from Netgalley that I really need to just sit down and read. I was approved for it last year, but it was originally published in 2011, so it suits this challenge nicely.
The last pick for this month is Betrothed by Wanda WIltshire. Another Netgalley ARC that needs to be read, I thought this would be the time to do so! This book came out in 2013, and is part of a three-book series.
So, that’s it for now! I hope I’ll be able to get a few more books in before February comes around.
Let's do this. Story Sorcerers!
December has come and gone. The new year is upon us! Thus bringeth another State of the ARC update! State of the ARC is a Meme created by AvalinahsBooks. Check out her website for more information if you are interested in participating! I’m pretty happy […]
Release day May 30, 2017! As the daughter of one of the mer-king’s trusted advisors, seventeen-year-old Jade has great responsibilities. When her fiancé murders a naiad, plunging the underwater city of Thessalonike into uproar, tensions surge between the mer and the naiads. Partial synopsis provided […]