If you could have any wish come true… As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti
As You Wish
by Chelsea Sedoti
Published January 2nd, 2018
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.
Straight drama books can be great, but I really like when a book has just a little something supernatural, or sci-fi, or an element of fantasy. So, when I read that As You Wish involved a small town where all residents are given a wish on their 18th birthday, ONE THAT COMES TRUE, I was IN!
The first thing that struck me was our main character, Eldon. He’s 17, his birthday is coming up, and he has no clue how he’s going use his wish. Other than that, he’s like a lot of teenagers. Moody, full of angst, but generally not a bad person.
I’ve read comments from other readers claiming they really disliked Eldon; I couldn’t disagree more. I found myself relating to Eldon is just about every situation. No, my life wasn’t just like his, but at the same time, I’ve had the intense feeling of being alone in the world. I’ve felt like no one on the entire planet understands me, only to realize there are people who know exactly what you’re going through if you just talk to people.
Plus, he was snarky. I love me a snarky main character.
Everyone thinks, how amazing would it be to have a wish? Anything you want. Anything at all. Author Chelsea Sedoti took this concept and really thought it through. What she came up with is ultimately tragic, but completely realistic: most wishes come true are also curses. Even good things have consequences.
Imagine wishing for unlimited ice cream for the rest of your life. Sounds good, right? Maybe it’s your favorite treat, and with unlimited amounts of it, coming from some magical source, you could easily turn that into a business. Discount ice cream! Sell it as cheap as you want, it’s still all profit. Now imagine it’s five years later and you’ve developed a complete intolerance to lactose.
Many of the town’s people are filled with regret over their wishes, even though it was the only thing they wanted at the time. One character even speaks on it, saying it so perfectly with: “It’s human nature to fixate on the path not taken rather than the one you’re walking.”
As an adult, most of us would read this book and think, ‘why the hell doesn’t everyone wish for unlimited cash?’ Frankly, that’s what I would have done, but we’re talking about 18-year-olds here. When you turn 18, you think you’re so mature. Legally an adult! But thinking back, I was still a dumbass at 18. I might have wished for a can of Pepsi that was always full.
Periodically, Sedoti spends a chapter looking back and revealing the wish—and the circumstances surrounding that wish—of another character. Not only was it a fun way to look back, it was timed very well. Just when you find yourself saying, “hey I wonder what that dude’s wish was,” BOOM! You’re hit with a chapter giving you exactly what you wanted to know.
The pacing is a bit slow, but I never once found myself bored. As You Wish is a wonderful story with lots to relate to, even if you don’t have a magic genie!
Thanks to Raincoast Books & Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.