Book Review: As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

Published in 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

417 pages

2 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. 

Let’s talk about the plot:

I received a copy of this book from Harriet McInerney at NewSouth Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my thoughts on the book.

Okay, so I admit that initially I was intrigued by the premise of this book. It instantly made me think ‘what would I wish for’ if granted a wish on my 18th birthday? So I was intrigued to learn more about the whole concept of the wish granting town of Madison. Unfortunately for me, that didn’t last long for me, and I’ll tell you why below.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Eldon, our narrator  – we see everything in this book through his eyes, well aside from the flashback chapters, but as much as I wanted to like him, I really couldn’t! I felt like he was at times so shallow and he didnt think before he spoke! He was snarky to Eleanor, saying how she clearly didn’t wish to lose weight, and he was blaming himself for his sister’s brain dead situation, and as much as I wanted to feel bad for him I couldn’t! Because he should have been there! 

I feel like the rest of the characters ardent really given a great deal of page time, aside from when we learnt about what they wished for and why. But even then, I feel like a lot of that wasn’t fully thought out, and as the story went along all these characters felt the same to me, and I really struggled to connect with any of them.

Let’s talk about the writing:

I didn’t enjoy the writing, only a little bit because it made me think about my own wish. The writing was so long winded, I felt like a lot of it was filler and the whole story just seemed a bit contradictory at the end; Eldon’s goals kind of took a turn – and I was a puddle of annoyed confusion by the end. The writing was split into the present, counting down to Eldon’s wish day, and then when he interacts with certain characters, it flashes back to their early life and why they wished for what they did. All in all, I feel like this had he potential to be a really interesting story, but between the jerky character and mundane writing, it didn’t do much for me at all.

I’ll leave it there. Thanks again to Harriet McInerney for the review copy. 

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