Published by: Dial
Released on: 3/21/13
Rating: 2.5 stars - I wanted to like it more than I did
Source: arc from publisher to review
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He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life.
Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school play to getting into a good college. So when she finds herself in possession of a genie's ring and the chance to make three wishes, she doesn't know what to do. Why should she put her life into someone else's hands?
But Oliver is more than just a genie -- he's also a sophomore at Margo's high school, and he's on the run from a murderer. As he and Margo grow closer, she discovers that it will take more than three wishes to save him.
A whole lot more.
I was totally intrigued by the premise of this book. The idea of a modern day genie story was interesting to me. A story like this has a lot of potential. In fact, the first half of the story was interesting. I liked the direction in which the story was going, and what I learned so far, but the story never grabbed me like I had hoped it would. I felt things, like the romance were too forced, and the plot twist that should have been exciting ended up having the opposite effect on me.
Margo, while she started out as a character I liked, I couldn't handle her over dramatics as the story went on. During the first half of the story I liked the mystery that surrounded Oliver, and I liked that Margo was a tough character who demanded answers. At first, I was totally intrigued with finding out the answers to Margo's questions from Oliver. But, as soon as the dynamics changed, and they started liking each other in the romantic sense, I couldn't buy it. Their relationship was too forced, and not believable, at all for me. I had liked Oliver and Margo's relationships up to that point, but after their going from liking each to being in love in the blink of a eye, I didn't buy into it. Like at all, though I tried to.
For me, once I'm no longer invested in a story or emotionally connected to the story's characters, I should just stop reading the book. That's because everything that happens after that point is no longer deemed creditable or believable to me. I was hoping something would change with the story and the characters, but instead I found myself unable to relate to the characters. Margo and Oliver lacked depth and I found them immature for their ages. Margo was 18 and Oliver, well you'll find out more about him, neither of them acted their ages, but instead acted more like they were 15. Which there's nothing wrong with, had they been 15. Relationships in stories need to be natural, but once I feel a romantic is forced, I lose interest. I did with them.
Try as I might, no matter what I wanted to feel toward the story during the second half, I didn't. I don't know if it's because I no longer cared, or the fact I didn't buy into or feel the emotions I wanted to feel with the story. Since that lacked for me, I didn't feel the dramatics that should have been felt in the last scene, nor did the ending create that kind of cliff hanger that would make rush out to read the sequel. Maybe if I had read this book prior to it's release last year I may have felt differently about the book, but I felt the story lacked the dramatics that should have been there with the plot twist, the element of danger that should have existed (it was mentioned), and the lack of action that should have been more present with the final battle at the end of the book.
Prior to reading this book, I've read too many of books who executed well on what the author was trying to do in her story. So why did I keep reading it? I was hoping that something would change. I absolutely hate it when I'm reading a book that starts off well, and captures my attention, but along the way it loses that for me. I really did want to like this book. I liked how the story started off, and enjoyed the mythology Ribar created for her genie. I just needed something more in order for me to like the book like I had wanted to. Even though this wasn't a book that I enjoyed, there are other reviewer friends of mine who did enjoy it. I would recommend reading through other reviews before you make your decision on whether or not this is a book you'd like to spend time reading.