As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I approached this book with trepidation, having read Sedoti’s debut novel and really disliked it. However, I decided to give this author another chance and in a very small sense I’m glad that I got to experience this intriguing premise play out to the end.We start with a small day setting, in the deserts of Nevada that has one big secret that noone from the outside world can know.
You see Madison has this magical realism thing, where on every child’s 18th birthday, they get to make a wish in this cave and it comes true. There are rules and regulations of course, and our main character Eldon doesn’t know what’s he’s going to wish for so he goes around interviewing the townspeople in Madison.
Speaking of that, my favorite parts of the entire book were when we got vinyetes into the historical wishbook, which chronicles the mistakes and failures and heartaches that came from these foolish teenagers making an impulsive wish. Not all of the stories were like that of course, however the majority of them featured truly showed the darker side of Madison’s magic.
Eldon, our main character is an extremely unlikeable a*shole, who is selfish and could be compared to an ostrich sticking their head in the sand. I didn’t connect to him, didn’t feel any sympathy towards the consequences of his impulsive actions that he had to face. The further and further that I kept on reading, the more I realized that this jerk wasn’t going to change. I’m not a big fan of no character development throughout a 400 page book in which the character does nothing but whine about how he can’t make up his mind.
Also the plot moved along slower than a snail and nothing happened for the majority of the book, until the end where it disappointed me big time. There was lots of hypocrisy, and the book was trying to play God over this town which is just another one of the things that really bothered me. (view spoiler)[Selfish Eldon doesn’t get to choose the existence of wishes for everyone else in the town. These wishes can ruin people’s lives, yes, but they can also do good and productive things in people’s lives. I hate this plot twist so much. (hide spoiler)]
Not only that, but there is a character in this book who has wished away his gayness, but after that he has no romantic/sexual feelings towards anyone. The author portrays him as so SAD and PITIFUL and LONELY, and that is extremely ace-aro phobic, talking from experiences. We don’t need allo authors to portray the only aroace character in this book as a broken human being who has no life because he doesn’t feel any romantic/sexual attraction. A big no-no from me.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**
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