As You Wish

As You Wish

by Chelsea Sedoti


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If you could make one wish that was guaranteed to come true-what would you wish for?

Rules for Wishing:

  1. Never let an outsider find out about wishing. (Zip your lips and throw away the key.)
  2. Wishes that would impact the world are off limits (i.e. no bringing back the dinosaurs).
  3. Do no harm. (Murder = no bueno.)
  4. No time travel. (What's done is done, pal.)
  5. No bringing back the dead. (Come on. You've seen what happens in THE WALKING DEAD.)
  6. NEVER BREAK THE RULES. (Seriously. We mean it. See Rule #7.)
  7. There are always consequences.

Madison is a small town in the Mojave desert on the road between nothing and nowhere. It's an unremarkable speck on the map, which is perfect for protecting the town's secret. Because in Madison, everyone can make one wish on their eighteenth birthday-and that wish always comes true.

Most of Eldon's classmates have had their wishes picked out for months, even years. Not Eldon. He's seen how wishing has hurt the people around him. His parents' marriage is strained, his sister is a virtual ghost in their house, his ex-girlfriend is dating his ex-friend...where does he even begin?

One thing is for sure: Eldon has only twenty-six days to figure it out—and the rest of his life to live with the consequences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492668060
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 149,613
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Chelsea Sedoti fell in love with writing at a young age after discovering that making up stories was more fun than doing her schoolwork. (Her teachers didn't always appreciate this.) She now focuses that passion by writing about flawed teenagers who are also afraid of growing up, like in her novels, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett and As You Wish. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she avoids casinos but loves roaming the Mojave Desert. Visit her at

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As You Wish 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
BlotsofInk More than 1 year ago
Where's the plot? I see none. This book was achingly, achingly slow. It was also sexist and aphobic (one of the background characters wishes himself no love and he turns really sad and pitiful. PEOPLE CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT LOVE.). The writing was dry and boring, and it was almost painful to read this book. It takes place in a small town in the desert where teenagers get wishes upon a certain age. However, even though this is supposed to be a "coming-of-age," I still expect a plot instead of pointless meandering around town and selfish musings from our narrator. This is supposedly a fabulism story-- with magical elements weaved in, but there was no magical atmosphere in the town. In fact, it's painstakingly boring with cliche and characters that were static and only on page. Our protagonist is icky and horrible, and I hate him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up As You Wish on a whim, so I had no expectations what so ever about the book. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. From the first page, the narrative was enjoyable and funny. I like this style of writing that is so easy and fast to read. Kind of like a conversation. Eldon is a sympathetic loveable character. Imagine living in this town knowing your entire life that this choice is coming your way. Like the person who accidentally wished so badly? That wish destroyed that person's life, or rather, that person had no opportunity to live any kind of good life at all. I keep thinking about how terrible that is. Maybe the wishes aren't so great after all? What will Eldon do? After he wishes, how would you feel if you had not wished yet? Relieved or angry?
tschnitzler More than 1 year ago
Such a unique and thought-provoking read! Ms. Sedoti doesn't set out long explanations or boring details to give the reader background. Instead, the background just comes out during the flow of the story, and we are not bogged down with details. Well done! The Town of Madison, Nevada, has a secret--a well kept secret. When a resident turns 18 years old, he or she is entitled to a wish that is guaranteed to come true. Poor Eldon has no idea what he intends to wish for. During his journey to come up with a wish, we are treated to everyone else's wishes. I was bummed at the ending of the book, but otherwise, a great read.
vickimarie2002 More than 1 year ago
The town of Madison allows everyone, on their 18th birthday, to make a wish. There are some stipulations, of course, and rules to follow, but mostly anything goes. People have wished for lots of money and for love. Eldon has 25 days until his birthday and he has no idea what he wants to wish for. His mom strongly urges him to think of his family when he wishes but he still isn't sure what to wish for. I think Eldon is a very complex character who really has some issues. He is struggling in his life with more than just figuring out what to wish for. It seems so simple but it's not. It's a very interesting thought, if you could wish almost anything, what would you wish for? Eldon does lots of research about people and their wishes and how it turns out.
MishellyLoves More than 1 year ago
I read a first looks of this book on Bookish Firsts, This book seems sooo cool something I would love! Eldon lives out side of Area 51, he works at a gas station and sees people passing through to Area 51 to see the alien town. Eldon's town is really strange and the locals have to make sure that outsiders never find out. Everyone in his town gets to make a wish. His time is coming up and he's not as excited as he should be. What is goin on in this town to make this possible? Why is Eldon not looking forward to this? I am just fascinated with the mystery that is Area 51, while this book is primarily about the strangeness in Eldon's town I have a feeling it has something to do with aliens or what the rest of the world thinks is extraterrestrial activity. I just can t wait real this book!!!
BlotsofInk More than 1 year ago
Where's the plot? I see none. This book was achingly, achingly slow. It was also sexist and aphobic (one of the background characters wishes himself no love and he turns really sad and pitiful. PEOPLE CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT LOVE.). The writing was dry and boring, and it was almost painful to read this book. It takes place in a small town in the desert where teenagers get wishes upon a certain age. However, even though this is supposed to be a "coming-of-age," I still expect a plot instead of pointless meandering around town and selfish musings from our narrator. This is supposedly a fabulism story-- with magical elements weaved in, but there was no magical atmosphere in the town. In fact, it's painstakingly boring with cliche and characters that were static and only on page. Our protagonist is icky and horrible, and I hate him.
Jill-Elizabeth_dot_com More than 1 year ago
This was a very engaging and original story, full of magic and drama and teenage angst. The concept of the dangers of wishing is not particularly new, but the way that this concept is played out really resonated with me. I have long been fascinated by the idea of crafting the perfect wish (I even have several of my own writing projects featuring this as an underlying theme) - the whole "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it" thing resonates with me very strongly. Perhaps it is because I've always read so much magical fiction and seen so many things go horribly awry. Perhaps it is because I'm a lawyer and sometime-writer, both of which reinforce in me the power of words. Perhaps it's just my dark and pessimistic side, that sees danger lurking behind every corner as though it were waiting for us to invite it in. Or perhaps it's all of those combined... Regardless, I was highly intrigued to see where this book would take that concept from the get-go. The book did not disappoint at all. I've read a number of other reviews that slam it, largely because the protagonist is, well, rather unlikeable. He is. He is also a teenage boy, living in a tiny town where pretty much everything sucks and everyone is disappointed and disaffected and dysfunctional. To me, that reinforced the underlying message of the book, rather than detracted from it. True, it made the reading a little wearying at times - but for some reason that never wore me down, rather it kept me feeling like I was fully engaged with the book. That doesn't always work - it's a fine line, like tap-dancing among land mines, trying to immerse your reader in the desperation and depressing circumstances of the characters, while not losing them or their precious reader-interest in entertainment in the process. I think the author did a very nice job balancing this, and will definitely be looking for more from her in future... My review copy was provided by NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story
Bookish Owlette More than 1 year ago
It was predictable. This book started out great. The introduction was gripping. The plot was exciting. Most of the time I was wondering how everything was related. But then it just dragged on. I skipped through several portions that weren't related to the overall plot. And I ended up not missing out on anything. So yea..I guess.  My favorite part was the history of the wishes. It was interesting to see how everyone's life affected their wish and then in turn how it affected them. It makes you think about how you would play it out if you were ever given the chance.  Anyway, the ending was exactly as how I expected it. Overall, it was just..meh.
cts827 More than 1 year ago
As You Wish, by Chelsea Sedoti is a book that will leave you with the feeling of "Be careful what you wish for". This highly imaginative book takes you through the process of, not only wishing for something that will effect you life forever, but also of growing up! It will keep you turning pages to find out what Eldon will wish for when his 18th birthday arrives. What if you could have one wish actually come true. What would you wish for? The plot and characters are well developed and you will not be disappointed with the ending. I highly recommend this book. I received this in a contest through BookIshFirst. I always review every book that I read. Enjoy.
TheBookCoverGirl More than 1 year ago
Have you ever seen a premise for a story and thought, wow, this is so amazing it can’t possibly go wrong? Yeah, me too. This was one such case. Sadly, while the idea was pretty cool, the delivery was not. This is a book that I was really looking forward to after reading the synopsis. Could you just imagine, living in a place where your greatest wish could be granted, no matter what it was? How amazing would that be? Also, I was really excited to get into the magical realism of the story. Really, it has all the ingredients for amazing, and yet, that’s not what I got out of it. The main problem with this novel, other than being maybe a little too long and a little too slow, is the main character, Eldon. To put it plainly, I hated Eldon. He’s selfish, rude, and just unlikable. I love character driven stories above all other and sadly, this particular character was a pain to deal with. I understood his pain and his resentment of the wishes, but that did not excuse the things he did and the way he acted, especially in the end. He was a downer to read about and an unappealing narrator. My favorite parts where when we got to see other people’s wishes and I didn’t have to deal with Eldon for a bit. Now, I admit that there were parts that were very well thought out. The saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ has been around since forever and has been used on stories like these for just as long. But, it is always accompanied by the consequences for the wisher and few times for those around them. Here we see how people’s wishes have had negative effects on the lives of all around them. We also see some of the stupid things that people would undoubtedly waste their one wish on were this real life. I actually really liked seeing the wish histories. Sadly, this one kernel of good that the story had going for it, didn’t keep me as invested as I would have liked. Truth is, it was too easy to put this book down and too hard to pick it back up.
meigan More than 1 year ago
Imagine, if you will, the ability to make a single wish and to have that wish come true. Now imagine having that incredible power (or curse, depending on which way you look at it) at the age of 18. In Madison, Nevada, that’s exactly what happens. Each resident celebrates something called Wish Day, where on their 18th birthday, they get to visit the wishing cave and have their one wish granted. The entire town it seems is built on wishes of the past, but there’s an undercurrent of unhappiness that permeates everything from the landscape to the buildings to the residents. Granted wishes are dreams come true, aren’t they? As You Wish had such an interesting and unique premise that I immediately wanted to get my hands on it as soon as I heard of it. And for the most part I enjoyed the heck out of it. The entire storyline surrounding the wishes was something I’ve not read prior to this, and I loved that it got me thinking. At 18, I’m not entirely too sure that any wish I made would have had any sort of impact, other than a selfish one, and such is the case with many residents. And many of them regret it. It seems only a handful of people are truly happy with their one and only shot at having a wish granted, and I’m still thinking of what my 18 year old self would have done with that incredible responsibility. The characters were also incredibly dimensional and fleshed out, and I loved how each and every one was just as quirky as the town itself. There’s also a fair bit of heartbreak, and I felt my own heart breaking right alongside Fletcher and right alongside Eldon and his family. My only gripe was Eldon and how much of a jerk he was, and continued to be a jerk through the entire book. Not just a jerk, but a selfish one, and I wanted (wished!) to see a little bit of growth on his part but the Eldon we start and end with are pretty much the same guy. All in all, As You Wish was an incredibly unique story with a small town feel to it, and I love me a small town. Add in some magic, which this story has, and it’s almost a guarantee that I’ll love it. Or in this case, like strongly. Such an interesting book that got me thinking, and definitely one I’m going to recommend the heck out of. *eARC received via NetGalley.
reneewellwood More than 1 year ago
As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Thanks to NetGalley and publisher Sourcebooks Fire for the ebook ARC of As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti in exchange for an honest review. In the mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road in the middle of nowhere. Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish on their 18th birthday - and that wish always comes true. Some people wish for money, some people wish for love. Eldon has seen how the wishes have broken the people around him. He ends up being left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? Can he be happy, if the people around him aren’t? I give this book a rating of 3 stars. I really liked the idea of the story. I was pulled right into the book from the beginning. But it felt like an extremely long read though.
18876111 More than 1 year ago
I received this for review from NetGalley CW: Homophobia TW: attempted suicide While I loved the writing, I had a few problems with this book. I didn't like Eldon, I thought that he was mean, I also wasn't a fan of his mother either. I felt that she was way too pushy when it came to Eldon and his wish. I also didn't like that there was language that is considered offensive. While the use of offensive language is challenged, I still can't get passed it. Another thing, I was hoping that there would be more magic in this book. There were things that I did enjoy, I really enjoyed reading about people's wishes and why they wished for the things that they did, it helped in getting to know the characters better. I also loved how friendship was a big theme in this book.
acuneo More than 1 year ago
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to review & this in no way affected my opinion. Sedoti's story took on the question of: If you could wish for anything what would it be? Now in Madison, of course, you can't wish for just anything there are rules and regulations. This helped greatly with the story building of the little town. For example, you could wish for money but you could only have that money in the town as your wish cannot affect the world. Like you can't ask to be the best football player in the world but the best in Madison, go for it. Eldon also did these cool Wish History chapters that talk about past wishes and how they turned out. In the similar vein of The Monkey's Paw, As You Wish shows how the wording of wishes is everything and even though we think that is what we want then it might not turn out for the best. I did have a couple of questions about how wishing in Madison works. Now some of my questions got answered in Wish Class, yep these poor kids need to take a class on Saturday morning. The rest of us just spent it in SAT class. However, a big question that I really wanted to be answered and they almost did was: Can outsiders wish as well? Other questions, that I had where: Can you wish multiple times? Can you wish at any other age other than 18? Are there other Wishing Caves? And finally, who first figured out that you could wish? This is another large question that I am surprised that Sedoti did not answer as wishing is basically Madison's religion so wouldn't they want to remember who first discovered that you could wish there? However, I will give Sedoti credit that she did have the characters discuss these questions. Eldon's best friend, Merrill, was a bit of a conspiracy theorist when it came to wishing and he had many ideas as to wishing. Some were correct, some were definitely out there.  And to look at it from a writer's perspective that is a lot of complex details to include that would have taken some of the wonders out of the book? Since we are the on the topic of characters, this is a coming of age novel as well as one about coping with your mental illness. Though it is not specifically stated, Eldon does have depression and that comes out in his anger, his inability to express what he loves, and his "self-absorbed" moments. And because no one was saying "Hey, man, you have depression", everyone just thinks that he is a major jerk. I also am advising a trigger warning for suicide as one of the characters attempts suicide about halfway through the book. I did enjoy the characters and through their wish histories we got to see how they think and it did push the fact that they were all human and though they think that they made their choices for certain reasons. I really did feel for Eldon because his sister was dying and he could not save her. Do I support his wish? Yes, I do as his reasoning was sound. And unlike some of the other wishes it was not selfish even though the town might have viewed it that way. One character that I own hated it was the Mayor for reasons that I am not going to go into, but he is definitely one of my most hated characters I have yet to read. And one of the joy's of reading As You Wish is it allows the reader to reflect what we would wish for. Overall, I did enjoy this novel as it was not super intense but it was thought-provoking.
MandaLuvsToRead More than 1 year ago
This book caught my attention from the very beginning. Who among us hasn't wanted the ability to make our wishes come true, even if it was only one single wish? The idea that there is a place where you not only have the ability to do so but that it's your birthright is fascinating. If you only get one wish for you entire life, what would it be? Of course, there are restrictions on the wish, the main one being that it can't be anything so incredible that it would draw attention from the outside world. No miracles, no superlative talents that will gain you notoriety, no claims to fame. That still leaves a lot to work with. What Eldon wants most of all though is outside his reach, and he has seen the pitfalls of others wishes. Wishes that were supposed to bring a lifetime of happiness but for one reason or another just...didn't. It's a great topic for a YA book, because so many teens feel pressured to make choices that will affect the rest of their lives, their future well-being, their happiness...much like Eldon's wish. I haven't been a teenager for a few decades, but it had me thinking about happiness and where it really comes from, about creating our own destinies, and taking responsibility for our choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5 The premise of As You Wish is very simple. In a small (fictitious) town named Madison in Nevada, when you turn 18 you get 1 wish. What will you wish for? That's exactly what Eldon, the narrator of our story, needs to figure out. His mom is pressuring him hardcore to wish for money because they need it. His dad just wants him to be happy. I know I for one wouldn't want to be in that position any time, let alone at the young age of 18. I really loved the premise of this book because it felt very different from, well, EVERYTHING that I have been reading lately. I also love young adult for the fact that they are usually much faster reads for me, and As You Wish was no exception. This book felt like it was written in a conversational style. I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend when I read it (albeit a rather egotistical one), or reading a voiceover (like Morgan Freeman) in some parts. Eldon definitely comes off as a selfish jerk, but I was empathetic... at first anyway. I was very surprised at the amount of swearing in this novel since this is supposedly categorized as YA. It read like YA to me, but the swearing made it feel more like adult-fiction for some reason. And don't get me wrong, I have no issue with the swearing. I was just very surprised that there was so much of it. I'm probably just out of touch with how much teenagers swear these days. The wish history chapters were lovely, and I really felt a great deal of emotions while reading this book. Sedoti definitely knows how to pull at your heart strings. It was also a nice change up from the other chapters that were just all about Eldon. The wish history chapters were what read like a Morgan Freeman voiceover. Which was awesome. This book was also full of some great teenage angst *ah the good ole days*, and watching these kids grow up in a short amount of time. I thought the characters had plenty of depth to them, and it was very much a growing up story. The only small issue I had with this book - and why I knocked it down a half star - was that I don't think Eldon really learned enough. I mean I know it takes time to make changes, but he just felt so selfish the entire book, and didn't seem to grow up much at all. Although I did approve of the ending, that helped me out a little bit. Final Thought: Besides the issue with Eldon that I had, I really truly enjoyed this book. YA used to be all I read, and I really liked this one. Be warned though, there really isn't too much of a plot here. It mostly all just deals with wishing and some other underlying character issues. However, it was a fun read that was on the lighter side, but still had some feels. If you like YA I recommend checking this one out. I can't want to read more from Sedoti because I loved her writing style.
BookFreakOut More than 1 year ago
This fast-paced story of a small town hiding a big secret had me blasting through all 400 pages in a single day! The tension of Eldon's struggle to decide what to wish for is increased not only by pressure from other characters, but by chapter headers that ominously count down to his Wish Day. I thought he was a believable protagonist, if not necessarily a lovable one. The small town lack of privacy, combined with seeing the results of his classmates' wishes, puts Eldon's temper in a pressure cooker. His family dynamics were heart-wrenching, as were the stories of other people's wishes, which are gradually revealed in small excerpt chapters. The drama of the town's proximity to Area 51 only adds to the electrifying vibes of mystery created in As You Wish. This book will have you puzzling over whether you agree with the characters' wishes, what you personally would wish for, or if you should risk wishing at all.
KRamjohn More than 1 year ago
As You Wish was a fascinating tale which held my interest until the very end. Its about a small town where everyone gets a wish on their 18th birthday which comes true. The story centers around Eldon whose Wish Day was slowly approaching and he was totally clueless on what to wish for. This set the scene for him to go around town researching previous wishes. Eldon was an extremely complex character and while at times I did not like his personality, it play in perfectly with the story. The secondary characters were all amazing. From Eldon's best friend Merrill to Mr. Fletcher to even the Mayor and Eldon's Parents, everyone in town added their own flair to the story and provided balance to Eldon's character. This is a story about choice and the consequences of that choices and as Eldon the more Eldon learns, the more it becomes apparent that choices have consequences. I absolutely loved this fantastic page-turner. It was engrossing, at times emotional, and whimsical. This was an excellent read and I would highly recommend it. *I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.*
kamoorephoto More than 1 year ago
Just one wish. We've all imagined it: getting the chance for one wish that can come true, with the possibility of it changing your whole life. What would you do with it? Suspend your belief and dive into this coming-of-age-novel, where in the whole town of Madison, Nevada, you get granted one wish on your eighteenth birthday. This wonderful book totally gripped me, and I flew through it in 2 days, totally believing that this town in the middle of the desert had a wishing cave and this premise could unfold for teens who live there. But the cost of choosing your wish isn't taken lightly. This book grapples with many themes of life and death, greed and loss, how happiness for yourself doesn't necessarily mean happiness for those around you. I wanted desperately to find out what Eldon, who has 25 days before his 18th birthday, is going to do with his wish, and he goes on a mission to understand others' wishes before he makes his own decision. His character is complicated by his relationships with his friends, his parents, and the sister who he desperately misses but is lying in a nursing home. It was also refreshing to read a book with the main character being a male with real emotions, showing deep thought, and strong friendships. Chelsea Sedoti has written such a thought-provoking novel with wonderfully realistic flawed characters, and I hope it doesn't get lost in the sea of fantasy YA novels that are coming out at the same time (as much as I love what I am seeing there too). Thank you to Sourcebooks for my early copy. This book is a real treat.
GregAndree More than 1 year ago
I love the concept of this story, and I can feel this town existing out in the desert. The idea of getting one wish that will come true, especially when you're so young, is scary. The wish I would've made when I was 18 would not have ended well for me. And seeing teens making these choices that determine their entire lives, choices many will live to regret, is so realistic. Of course it mirrors the fact that in reality teens do make big choices that set their lives on a certain course, and it's so great to see the mc grapple with the choice of what he should wish for, to research all the wishes people in the town have made over the years, to see all the regret along with the people who found contentment. To see him be afraid to make a choice. I know I was terrified at 18 about making the wrong choice, or that I'd already made the wrong choice and my life was irredeemable. I love that this book looks at all those big ideas. I know my 8th graders will get a lot out of it and be drawn into the wishing world. This would make a fantastic tv show : )
MakennaFournier More than 1 year ago
First off I need to say that I loved this book so much, it was one of my favorite books that I read in 2017, and I really just want everyone to pick it up and give it the attention that it deserves.. Last year I got an arc of The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovette. I had never heard of the book, probably never would have picked it up if I had just saw it in a bookstore, but since I got it for free, I thought I would give it a chance, and I fell in love. After reading that, I knew I would give whatever Chelsea wrote next a chance, and I am so glad I did, because I absolutely loved this book. My favorite thing about this book is the same thing I loved about The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovette, which is that the main character is not perfect. I know that a lot of people who read this book are not going to like it because they don't like Eldon, which to be fair, he is definitely unlikable a lot of the time, but that is what made me love this book. Despite him being selfish and self absorbed, I still found myself rooting for him (also, having flawed characters just leaves a lot of room for good character arcs and development). The other thing that I really loved was just learning about everyone's wishes. There were the typical ones like wishing for someone to love you or wishing for beauty where the consequences would be obvious, but there were also some with twists that I was not expecting. I loved reading about what everyone wished for, but I also really loved the way those parts were written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Helping people is good, but it’s also a two-way street. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved." OK, remember how I just said I don't like magical realism?  Turns out, this is the kind of magical realism I like, the kind that borders on urban fantasy a bit. In the desert town of Madison, everyone gets one wish on their 18th birthday, and pretty much all of Madison revolves around wishing.  So much so that no one asks kids what they want to be when they grow up; instead they ask what they're going to wish for. Unlike every other kid in town, Eldon hasn't decided on his wish.  The book counts down the thirty days before Eldon's wish day, interspersed with "wish diaries" - recountings of other characters' wishes and the outcomes that Eldon is compiling in order to try to figure out what he wants to wish for. Eldon is seriously unlikeable.  I think, towards the end, that he did realize this and start taking steps to, well, not be such a huge jerk, but it really prevented me from connecting with him as a character at the start of the book.  Eldon is, basically, a screw-up, who, if he somehow manages into stumbling his way into doing the right thing, it's for all the wrong reasons.  I'd like to think that the jerkiness is the result his sister's recent tragedy, but it seems, from things the other characters say, that he's been that way his entire life.  His aimless selfishness is a reflection of the town around him, though, which may have been the author's intent. The main plot is pretty much as aimless as Eldon.  He hangs with his dad, gets badgered by his mom to wish for money, interviews townspeople, and basically acts like an ass to everyone, if he's not getting into actual physical fights with them.  But, still, I did feel drawn to come back and finish the book every time I had to put it down.  I wanted to find out what Eldon's wish would be, and if he'd actually grow the heck up. There's several weird side plots.  The first is that nobody in Madison believes in God, because they have wishes.  Oh, except for one girl, who meets a Mormon missionary in Las Vegas, but pretty much the whole town makes fun of her for that.  At one point, she tries to give the main character a copy of the Book of Mormon, and at another point asks them to take her to an LDS temple while they're in Las Vegas.  I don't understand the assertion that having wishes means that you can't believe in God, and the whole subplot felt weird and forced.  The other was that one gay character decides to wish away his attraction to men, and then later meets someone who he realized he would've fallen in love with previously, except now the relationship won't work because he has no romantic feelings.  Though I'm not that familiar with the ace/aro community, this struck me as something that could be hurtful to them. Overall, while I did like this book, there were enough problems that I can't give it four stars.  I will probably pick up the author's next release, though, because I thought the idea and writing style were excellent, just not my taste for the execution. I received this book for free from Bookish First in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"As You Wish" was an intriguing YA fiction about a small town in Nevada with a big secret- when their residents turn 18, they get to make a wish in a special cave which will come true. What we learn later in the book is that the wishes are restricted (can't impact the world outside of the town, e.g. you can wish to be the prettiest person in the town, but not the prettiest person in the world). Anyway, Eldon is about to turn 18, and he has no idea what to wish for. The town worships the wishing cave, and it seems that everyone's lives are in decline after making their wish at 18. It doesn't give him a lot of confidence in the value of wishing. "Wishing either gets you everything or nothing. And it's a gamble everyone is willing to take." Unable to decide what to do, Eldon begins to interview people in the town about their wishes. We get to read these as little stories in between chapters about the present- what led them to their wish, their wish as it was made, and the aftermath of their wish. I found it all very intriguing and interesting to follow. There was a pretty good diversity in wishes, but notably, there was a lot of regret around what people had wished for. It was really thought-provoking. I am not sure I would have made a better wish at 18 years of age- it's a tough time to make the biggest decision of your life. The book raises a lot of questions about morality and priorities. "You're looking for someone else to save you, when really, we can only ever save ourselves." There are some really big, thought-provoking statements in this book. The whole cast of characters was pretty interesting- even the adults which we encounter throughout the book (the principal in particular- but there are a lot of great ones). The characters were extremely well-developed and seemed very three-dimensional. Eldon's BFF, Merrill, was probably one of my favorites- he has a million conspiracy theories and they are all endlessly entertaining. Eldon is not always the best person, but he experiences a lot of growth throughout the book, and it all ties in seamlessly with his quest for a wish. Overall, I found this to be a much deeper book than I was expecting, and it really gave me a lot to think about. It raises some big questions about the meaning of life and the decisions we get to make along the way. I would be interested to see more of the aftermath/ a sequel of this book as I found all the stories of the many townspeople really intriguing. This is a really great (but not light) read, and I highly recommend it! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Ellonkah More than 1 year ago
Firstly, I'd like to thank Sourcebooks Fire and the author, Chelsea Sedoti, for providing me with an advance reader's copy of this book. Madison is a tiny, nowhere, no potential town...maybe just like the one your grew up in, yeah? But there's magic in the heat & dust - when you live in Madison and turn 18, you get a wish. A real, honest-to-goodness, sure-thing wish that WILL come true (as long as you follow the rules). The book follows Eldon, an almost-18 kid on the verge of his wish. Everyone has an opinion about what he should wish for - money, escape, athletic prowess, but Eldon's still searching for what feels right to him. A true coming-of-age story coated in some grimy magic dust, I found this book to be a quick and easy read, but with meat. The characters are easy to "know", and the emotions come fast and true. The mystery of Eldon's wish will keep you turning the pages, but there are enough tiny treasures along the way to keep you from feeling like you're chasing a carrot on a stick.