As You Wish had an absolutely fascinating premise, which was delivered with great intrigue, but the story was slow paced and the main character was difficult to connect with.
In Madison on everyone’s eighteenth birthday they all get to make a wish – and they all come true. Eldon is approaching his birthday and he still doesn’t know what he wants to wish for. Some people have their wishes planned out for months beforehand, some only moments before, and the wishes have a knack for including just a tinge of regret. It’s hard to get a wish completely right. What should Eldon wish for? But can you ever have the perfect wish?
Here are the three reasons I liked As You Wish.
- I fell head over heels in love with the premise. This sounded like just my cup of tea because I am absolutely intrigued by the ethics and whole thought process behind wishes. What do you wish for? What can you wish for? And what should you wish for? Are all different questions that probably don’t have the same answer. For the most part this was answered for me in a variety of different ways – so I was pleased with that!
- I really enjoyed the chapters of the book where we got to hear about different town’s people’s wishes and see where they ultimately ended up. It made all the side characters come to life because we got to see little slices of their life and you’d be amazed what we reveal when we make a wish.
The things I had a lot of trouble with:
- The pacing was so slow. I am a huge fan of slow books, but even this got me frustrated. There’s so much lead up to Eldon’s wish that you kind of just want to skip a few days. I know it’s important for his development and what not, but you’d think it could be a little shorter.
- The treatment of asexuality was pretty shameful. It was not only looked at negatively, but there was not enough real discussion about it, so it just leaves an awfully sour taste in your mouth.
But wait, I promised three of each didn’t I? Well the last thing is tricky because it falls under both a positive and a negative for me: the main character Eldon. Okay I had a really hard time connecting with Eldon for almost the entire book. He calls himself a jerk and so do a lot of the characters because he can be pretty selfish and also kind of cruel sometimes. At the same time, there was a genuineness to him in these weak moments, because I think in the harsh light of day, we can all be selfish and cruel. So I actually liked this part of him – the fact that in some ways he was unlikeable. Go figure.
BUT what I didn’t like is that there is little character growth to him. And maybe you can say that’s realistic, but on the other hand, this book is 400 pages and I didn’t get a real sense of satisfaction with his growth as a character.
Would I recommend? Yes-ish. The premise is really fascinating, but I think for an intensely character driven novel, that is really slow, to have a main character that is hard to like and feels a bit stagnant, is hard to give it a whole thumbs up. Should you read it from the library when you have a chance? That’s a bit easier to endorse.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Bookish First.
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