If you think this book looks cute, you're right--As You Wish is all kinds of adorable. On top of that, it's also funny, insightful, thrilling, and incredibly un-putdownable. Seriously. I finished it in just over a day and I already want to whirl through it again.
As You Wish is told in alternating first person narration between Viola and Jinn. While the two viewpoints add more dimension to the story, I couldn't distinguish the two voices from one another. The plot, however, sucked me in so absolutely that I quickly got over this complaint and sat back to enjoy the story. The resulting single voice of Viola's and Jinn's near identical narration is appealing and enjoyable.
At the opening of As You Wish, it's been just over seven months since Viola's childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Lawrence, informed Viola that he was gay and broke up with her. While Viola and Lawrence are still close, Viola feels that she's become an "Invisible Girl" since the breakup--with Lawrence, she was special and felt like she belonged. Now, however, Lawrence is invited to parties and Viola gets to hear about them. She feels ignored and out of place and is obsessed with the idea of belonging--how do other people do it? How can she belong again?
And then Jinn, a genie, walks into her life, offers her three wishes, and suggests she make them quickly.
Jackson Pearce's cast of characters is irresistable--except for a few bad apples, I liked them all instantly. I had fun watching Viola and Jinn fall in love. I was happy when they were happy, and breathless with suspense when they encountered obstacles--I was so invested in the story I was practically biting my fingernails, and I don't usually do that. The ending is satisfying, but not exactly what I expected. As You Wish surprised me to the end.
Beyond the plot, the depth of Viola's longing to be a part of the social tapestry around her and her blindness to what she already has adds an emotional angle to the novel that I believe many people, teenagers or not, can identify with. As You Wish is a little book with a lot to say.
As far as PG-13 content, I can count the incidents of offensive language on one hand, and while alcohol and promiscuity make a few appearances, there's nothing even close to an R-rated scene, and nothing happens that the average teenager hasn't already read about or seen on TV--As You Wish is refreshingly clean without being unrealistic.
As You Wish is a roller coaster ride of laughter, love, and suspense. It's a feel-good novel I couldn't put down, and I highly recommend it.