27/06/2014

Review: The Fourth Wish {Lindsay Ribar}


★★★☆☆
Written by Linday Ribar
Amazon | Book Depository 

After making three wishes on a magic ring and falling in love with Oliver, the  genie whose life she saved by fighting off his arch-enemy, Margo figured she could handle anything. But nothing prepared her for the shock of becoming a genie herself. At a time when she should be figuring out who she wants to be, Margo is forced to become whoever her new master wants. Everything she's taken for granted – going to college, performing in the school musical, even being a girl – is called into question, as she comes into powers she never imagined she'd have. Can Margo reconcile who she is with who she's becoming? And where will she and Oliver stand when she's done?
 
The Art of Wishing was one of my favourite books of 2013 and so when I got my hands on a copy of The Fourth Wish, I couldn't wait to spend the entire day devouring it.

The Fourth Wish picks up right where the last book left off, so we are thrown straight into Margo's new reality, experiencing the overwhelming wonders and fears of being a genie alongside her.

Seeing Margo's struggle between trying to control her new powers, while maintaining a normal life was fascinating. She fought not to lose who she was, even if her appearance changed, and I liked that determination to stay true to herself in the face of everything.

There are a lot of issues tackled in this book which I found quite revolutionary. It touches upon serious things like assault and slavery; exploring free-will and personal limits. It also doesn't shy away from embracing same-sex relationships and the gender fluidity of genies. Margo and Oliver switch genders a lot, and Ribar is fantastic at writing Margo's initial hesitance at not only being a boy, but at her boyfriend being a girl, alongside Oliver's insistence that it's the person inside that matters

This book fully explores bisexuality and love without limits, and I have to take my hat off to Ribar for that. She created a world where all that mattered was who you were on the inside, and I think that's something to applaud.

That being said, there were some issues. What I loved most about The Art of Wishing was the chemistry between Margo and Oliver; from their sweet moments, to their witty banter. They just worked and really brought the story to life. But in The Fourth Wish, the chemistry was lacking

When they were together, I couldn't help but feel like the spark was missingOliver also became self-righteous, unwilling to accept that Margo was a different person to him and so, obviously, a different kind of genie. He didn't seem to understand the way she handled things and often scolded her on how wrong her approach was. 


In fact, quite a few people were on Margo's case. Oliver critiques her methods; her masters force her to do things she isn't comfortable with; her friends treat her like a performing monkey; and then her best friend tries to force her to stay in town, against her will.

I felt like Margo was never free to make her own choices, and I got quite frustrated when she started to let herself be led by others. Margo sometimes lacked confidence in herself and the assertiveness that I loved in the first book.

Though there were some issues, I raced through this because I was so happy to see some of my favourite characters again. I loved all the 'taboo' themes Ribar tackled and how she so elegantly explored sexuality and gender fluidity. I feel like the story wrapped up nicely and ended the way it was supposed to. There is a real sense of closure after flipping the last page; this is truly the perfect end to Margo and Oliver's story.

"We were a live wire. An explosion waiting to happen."

 

Thank you to the folks at Penguin for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Allie has planned out a trio of marvellous desserts for Valentine's weekend. She'll be baking up a storm for love day! And that's not just a metaphor, because when she bakes, the kitchen ends up looking like it's been hit by a hurricane. But hey, the sugar makes the clean-up all worth while.
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10 comments:

  1. I find it so.. um, refreshing when books explore bisexuality since most books are about straight people, yeah? Then there's the very much loved gay couples. But bisexual people? Not that many, though in real life, more and more people find themselves attracted to bot hgenders. Yes, based on your description of the situation, Margo doesn't have that much people in her corner. Hmm. I was going to say that I hope she'll have some growth and the faults you found are fixed in the next book, but turns out it's a duology. I'm glad this ended on a good note for you, but sorry the book wasn't perfect as a whole. Lovely thorough review, my darlin'!

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    1. Me too! Especially in a romance book that is expected to follow the 'traditional' boy/girl romance. It's so cool Lindsay was able to switch it up and use the magic within her story to explore bisexuality and almost prove a point about love having no boundaries.

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  2. So this happens to be the sequel to The Art of Wishing? I have to say i don't think i've read a YA book that has any bisexual characters just mainly straight or gay ones so this one seems like a nice change in pace.

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    1. It is, it is! The thing I loved most was how Oliver was so willing to love Margo, no matter what form she was in and, though Margo was initially hesitant, she eventually felt the same way. It's a pretty epic love story if you think about it that way

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  3. I love it when authors dive in for the big topics and pull it off well! It's awesome. x) I haven't actually heard of these books before...omg, where have I been living? Under a rock? I think I'm going to check out the first on Goodreads. x) Sad that it didn't quite live up to the first for you though...

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    1. Ohhhh Cait The Art of Wishing is something you will ADORE. Seriously, I can see your future fangirling already. Oliver is SO up your street it's not even funny!

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  4. Wow, I don't think I've ever heard this before but it's a certainly diverse book! I find it interesting how they change genders and how the author wasn't afraid of tackling some controversial gender topics. Lovely review Allie!

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    1. It's really the first book I've read that does it so openly and that has so many secondary characters being accepting of it. Normally in books that explore bisexuality / homosexuality, there's often backlash from other characters. In this book there really wasn't and so the entire story was very much about acceptance :)

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  5. This series is totally new to me but I'm loving how fun and original it sounds. Also, any sequel that doesn't fall prey to the second-book syndrome is always a plus in my eyes. :P I'm glad that this worked out well for you overall. Margo sounds like a fantastic MC and I like that she's not one of those wishy-washy characters who keep changing their minds throughout the story. Those just piss me off. And wow, I wasn't expecting such a light-sounding book to deal with such heavy topics, but that's good! I find that a lot of the books these days touch on serious subjects such as these, but they don't go into full detail, so all I'm left with is bits and pieces that aren't enough to impact me fully. Glad this wasn't the case here, though. I'm really intrigued to see how the author handles this, even though I haven't read the first book yet.

    Too bad the romance was kind of a huge letdown, though. I usually don't mind that (just as long as it isn't annoyingly unbearable), but it would be really disappointing if a couple I shipped so hard in the first book lost their spark. All the same, great review, Allie!

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    1. That's what's so surprising! It's a book about genies and yet it does the most amazing things and doesn't shy away from tackling the difficult subjects. This book did things I didn't expect from a cute story about magic. It completely wowed me in that respect.

      Oliver and Margo's romance was still sweet in this one, don't get me wrong, but it just wasn't SPARKING like it was in the first book. I think maybe because the first book was very much focused on their relationship and the issues it caused, whereas this book was more about Margo and her learning to accept who she was.

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