“As You Wish” by Chelsea Sedoti


asteriaiconI first stumbled on this book on Instagram. I know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but the cover was beautiful, and the story sounded intriguing, so I decided to give it a try.

Madison, Nevada is not like your normal town. Madison has a secret. All of its citizens get to make a wish on their 18th birthday. Just one wish. And it is guaranteed to come true. There are a few rules though. You cannot make a wish that affects life outside of Madison, like “world peace”. You cannot wish harm on others. You cannot draw attention to the town, like wishing to be the best quarterback in the world. And you cannot wish for more wishes. But otherwise, you can wish for anything. Most people wish for love, local fame, or money, but even then these wishes do not bring happiness. People who wish for money are paranoid to lose it. People who wish for love take someone else’s choice out of the equation. People make foolish wishes and regret them, leaving them empty, and it leaves the citizens full of regret, living in a town rampant with physical and alcohol abuse.

Eldon is 17 and like all teens, he has been thinking of his wish for as long as he can remember. He just does not know what to wish for. All he sees is a town of misery, and he does not know how to avoid it. He is in a tough spot. It is his turn to wish for whatever he wants, but things are not great at home, and his mother is pressuring him to wish for money to help the family. His sister was hit by a car and is in a coma in Las Vegas, and it is not cheap to receive continual care. His mother wants to hire the best doctors in the world, but there is not enough saved from clipping coupons to pay for them. Like many of the residents, they are poor and unhappy, and Eldon is the family’s last chance at wishing for money to solve all of their problems.

Should he use his wish the way his mother wants him to and try to save his sister? Is it even possible to save her? Is it fair to use his wish for someone else? Is it fair to pressure him to use his wish the way his mother sees fit, and not on something he might want? Can he find a way to wish for something that makes everyone happy? Eldon decides to do somewhat of a project, where he asks people throughout the town what they wished for and whether or not they were happy with their wish and its result, in an attempt to figure out what he should do.

This was one of the best books I have read all year! The story was original; finally something unique and different and the book really stuck with me. It really had me thinking what I would wish, either if I was in Eldon’s shoes, or in real life. I have no idea what I would do. I know for sure if I was Eldon; I think I would probably wish for money, or maybe grades/references etc. to get out of town. In real life though, I know for sure that what I would wish for at 18 is not what I would wish for now. If you could make one wish, one choice that could shape the course of your entire life, what would you wish for?

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