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As You Wish

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What if you could ask for anything- and get it?

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.

417 pages, Hardcover

First published January 2, 2018

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About the author

Chelsea Sedoti

5 books514 followers
Chelsea Sedoti fell in love with writing at a young age after discovering that making up stories was more fun than doing her school work (her teachers didn’t always appreciate this.) In an effort to avoid getting a “real” job, Chelsea explored careers as a balloon twister, filmmaker, and paranormal investigator. Eventually she realized that her true passion is writing about flawed teenagers who are also afraid of growing up. When she’s not at the computer, Chelsea spends her time exploring abandoned buildings, eating junk food at roadside diners, and trying to befriend every animal in the world. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she avoids casinos, but loves roaming the Mojave Desert.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 857 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
May 15, 2018
I honestly thought I was going to hate this, because there are so many negative reviews for this book! I ended up really enjoying it. I wasn't the biggest fan of Chelsea Sedoti's first book, but I could definitely see improvement with this one. I liked following our unlikable main character's story and seeing how it all played out. It went in a direction I was not expecting it to go in, which was a nice surprise.
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews715 followers
January 10, 2020
So I seemed to have enjoyed this book a lot more than most people and now I'm confused about whether or not I missed something. The book follows Eldon, who lives in a small town where everyone gets one wish on their eighteenth birthday, as he tries to figure out what to wish for. I think what most people hated about this book that made me like it is that Eldon is kind of a shit head. I often find that I enjoy shitty flawed characters a lot more and this feels like when I enjoyed things like Sorrows of Young Werther or The Catcher in the Rye and everyone else was just like I hate the protagonist he's whiny and annoying. Mostly I think I too can be annoying/whiny/a shithead so books with characters like that just feel more commiserate with my own self and experience. I also didn't find the book to be slow, I feel like I read this one in one whole sitting as well and I thought the pacing was good which is the other thing I see reviews saying. I thought the plot unfolded nicely and it gave us time to see the characters develop. Also it does only follow Eldon for like a month I think so I'm not sure how much more change for him as a person I would've bought. The only thing I found some what annoying was the passages where we get people's stories in like a weird disembodied way and it's just like "see a girl". It felt really juvenile but other than that I really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Fidan Lurin.
70 reviews53 followers
July 13, 2017
As You Wish takes place in an idle and depressing small town called Madison on the outskirts of Las Vegas. It’s buried deep in the Mojave Desert and its residents keep a magical secret which causes them to discourage visitors and newcomers to the town - not that anyone would want to enter that hot, dust, and tainted town anyhow. On the day of their eighteenth birthday each resident, upon having their wish formally approved by the towns mayor visit a dark, dense, yet possibly detrimental cave which will grant them one very special wish of their own choosing. Some wish for money. Others wish for beauty. The reckless wish for an endless supply of drugs. The humble wish for others’ health. What do all the wishers have in common, they never end up satisfied with their one wish - there is always something that could have been better, but they only realize this days, sometimes years, later. Following this special day, each moment, day, year of the residents lives blurs into one another as a banal routine envelops them into the mysteriously inescapable town. Along comes Eldon and the enchantment the town holds so dear to it gets carried away by the desert heat…

Eldon, our protagonist is a selfish brute whose eighteenth birthday is swiftly approaching. Unlike most of Madison’s residents Eldon is not looking forward to this day because rather than feeling the magic and liberation that the day will hold, struggles to decide what he will wish for. Rather than feeling the infinite possibilities as something advantageous, views them as utterly restricting. He knows that no matter what he chooses and whether he even decides to wish or not he will be left feeling regret and this regret will follow him for the rest of his life.
The entire novel is a countdown of the thirty days leading up to Eldon’s birthday with multiple pauses in narration for segments of his written "Wish Diary" in which he documents the wishes of others and their unhappiness with their reflected lives because of their wish.

The premise is both enchanting and fascinating, yet poorly illustrated. For one thing, where is the plot exactly? Nothing really seems to, in the truest sense of the word, happen. Every chapter consists of Eldon’s consistent complaints and confessions to his own selfish, yet indifferent feelings towards others. He critiques his family and friends and only after a confrontation, often physical, does he realize that he is at fault. He watches the town from an external perspective and passes judgements along to those around him without seeming to feel any emotional connection to anything or anyone, except for his sister, Ebba. He laments over Ebba who sits in a comma at a nursing home and is likely to never wake up. There are constant mentions to this mysterious sister all through the novel making her seem more like a spirit living and guiding Eldon’s every thought, action and feeling rather than a physical being within the space of the story. Also, this book is over 400 pages of, in essence, the same thing. Each chapter is a variation of Eldon’s bitterness towards the logic of the town he grew up in with few progressions being made to his persona. He knows and often even mentions how much of a total douche bag he is, but he never seems to change. Sure he ends up destroying Madison’s secret and thus marking a pivotal moment in the town’s history, but very little, if anything of him changes.
Additionally, the novel addresses way too many taboo topics such as abuse, God, and sexual orientation that deter away from the narrative into a risky ideological territory which seems to be left open in the story only to arrive at yet another.

Despite the whimsical and potentially mind-blowing tone that could have been absorbed into the novel, I’m left to give it a flat 2.5 stars because of the way in which it was written. All the work’s ideas and philosophical meanderings seem to become sacrificed for a degrading and disturbing style.
Profile Image for Sheila G.
506 reviews97 followers
January 6, 2018
See the FULL review of this book on my blog at: shesgoingbookcrazy.com

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Content Warning: Underaged drinking, drug abuse, attempted suicide, premarital sex.

Have you ever thought about how much you said, "I wish..."?

It's funny because I hadn't; not until just a few weeks before I read this book. Coincidence? Maybe.

Either way, whether you think about how much you wish for something, or not, this book will force you to do so.
Wishing never gets you anywhere. Except, of course, in Madison, it does. If you're lucky,
that is. Wishing either gets you everything or nothing. And it's a gamble everyone is willing to take.

Welcome to Madison, a small, secluded town situated in the Mojave Desert. Little goes on in Madison. People come and go, passing the establishment without hesitation. The people in Madison don't mind either. They encourage passers-through to pass through---as quickly as possible. Madison holds a secret, only known to those who were born and raised there. Everyone on their eighteenth birthday gets to ask one wish in the magical wishing cave. The wishes aren't a hoax, they come true. However, wishing isn't quite so simple, as Eldon comes to discover. With his upcoming eighteenth birthday, he has no clue what to wish for. It's unusual for Madison kids to not have an idea what they want---beauty, popularity, position, intelligence, wealth---but for someone like Eldon, who has experienced more of the dark sides of life, wishing isn't quite so simple.

Several major themes stand out within Eldon's character alone. One of the main ones includes this "dark side," or his experience with processing grief from losing his sister. Even though she's still alive, she's left brain dead after being struck by a vehicle on her bike. Having been close with his sister, Eldon is still trying to figure out how to feel about her situation. He can't wish for her to heal because of the stipulations put on wishing. Yet, he doesn't want to have to let her go.
When someone dies, it doesn't just take them. It takes a piece of everyone who ever loved them and everyone they ever loved.

His grief is not the only thing factoring into Eldon's identity crisis.
Why can't I come up with things I care about? What's wrong with me?

When the reader meets Eldon, it is immediately clear that there is some indecisiveness in his character. Externally, he seems cool and confident, yet when there is a glimpse beneath the surface, it's obvious that he is enduring a lot of emotional turmoil.
What I'm saying is, these days, I'm nothing special. And that messes with you, you know? Makes you think maybe you weren't that special to begin with. Makes you wonder what you're actually good at. These days, I walk around with a big question mark over my head.

Feeling replaced as other classmates get their wishes granted before him, Eldon finds himself girlfriendless, no longer the star of the football team, and no longer popular. In his quest to discover who he is and what he wants, he also begins to question everything that he knows about himself, about wishing, and about the town of Madison.

It is through this process that he understands the importance of a wish. Eldon's transition from adolescence to adulthood becomes apparent in how he realizes wishes aren't so simple; all wishes have consequences.
"How many other people you think keep quiet about their wishes?" Merrill asks.
I'm wondering the same thing. The residents of Madison are so focused on keeping secrets from outsiders, I never stopped to consider what we've been keeping from each other.

The struggle with human nature and selfishness in all of us, is represented by the city of Madison. Instead of thinking of one another, most everyone used their wish for themselves. This approach to wishing is supported and nearly enforced by the town's mayor. In the end, most everyone ends up miserable.
Maybe dissatisfaction is human nature. Maybe there's no running from it.

The fact that everyone in Madison gets to make a wish means they get the opportunity to change something about themselves or their situation to their liking. By doing so, they are never pushed to learn how to reach a goal on their own, the concept of sacrifice, or to look within themselves.
"Accomplishment comes from toil," Othello says. "Growth is a result of sacrifice."

Let's go through the things I liked:

#1 There are a lot of teachable points throughout As You Wish, many I deem beneficial for young readers. They aren't necessarily easy discussion points either. However, for someone around the same ages as Eldon and his friends, they might really relate.

#2 The conflict in the main character Eldon, as well as the major growth he goes through is impressive. He grows from a self-centered (unlikeable) teen to a conscious, considerate (and likable) young man.

#3 As You Wish forces the reader to contemplate contentment within oneself. I found myself reflecting many times about how much "I wish" for things in my life, but forget to realize how much I already have.

Things I didn't like:

#1 I felt there were some loose ends in terms of the wishing cave itself. It's never told how it got there, by who, and how it was discovered. I felt discontent as it was supposed to be a major "issue" which was taken care of rather easily. The entire book I was waiting for this reveal, but it never occurred.

#2 There is an attempted-suicide by one of the characters that I think could have been approached differently. Instead of the character realizing his worth after the fact, he trudges around, never really resolving anything. I felt that it could have been a better teaching point for readers, yet the opportunity was left untouched.

#3 Overall, this book has a rather depressive tone. I don't expect all books to end happily ever after, but I felt like there wasn't a reprieve, even in the end.

#4 I don't think it's OK to have so much swearing and inappropriate content in a YA read. I noticed the amount of language right from the get-go and found it distasteful and inappropriate for this genre.

Vulgarity: Far too much.
Sexual content: While there are no scenes, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the topic in unpleasant ways.
Violence: There is an attempted suicide, with some details given. Also, there are a few fist fights.

My Rating: 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Jenny Baker.
1,261 reviews195 followers
December 19, 2017
3.5 stars

As You Wish was a quick, fun read! I’m actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Everyone in Madison, Nevada gets one wish that comes true. That’s an interesting premise and I was interested to see how this played out. On their eighteenth birthday, Mayor Fontaine walks the wishers to the wishing cave and it’s quite a hike. You wish alone, although it wasn’t always the rule. The rule changed due to an accidental wish. It was so tragic! Wording of the wish is everything, because if you word it wrong, you won’t get what you really wanted. Some people made the mistake of thinking that their wish created an either-or scenario, but it didn’t. They also made the mistake of not being specific. There were so many awful outcomes! Some of the wishes were typical such as money, beauty, athletic ability, intelligence, etc. All wishes had to be approved by the Mayor at least a week in advance. There were a couple of exceptions to this and it didn’t go well with the Mayor. There are rules, but the rules are flawed. I’m assuming that they’re intentionally flawed.

Some of their rules are:

1. You can’t tell anyone outside of Madison about the wishing cave.
2. You can’t wish for anything that impacts the entire world.
3. Your wish will only be in effect in Madison (mostly).

The story is narrated by Eldon Wilkes, a high school senior who’s considered an arrogant, selfish jerk even by his own friends. At first, his bad attitude was off-putting, but after a while, he just sounds like a typical, annoying teenager who is often sarcastic. There were a lot of interesting characters, some were really cool with distinct personalities such as Archie Kildare, Fletcher Hale, Eleanor “Norie” Havermayer, Merrill Delacruz, Eldon’s parents (Luella and Harmon), Mr. Wakefield, Juniper, Penelope Rowe, Abby, and a bunch of others. Throughout most of the novel, I hated Luella Wilkes, Eldon’s mom. God, she was such a selfish, bitch!

I loved how the subplots and backstories gave the wishing storyline more depth. There’s a tragedy that directly impacts Eldon and his family, and it involves one of his classmates. You see a compassionate side of Eldon and that made it so much easier to sympathize with him. By the way, I correctly guessed his wish! God, I was so excited when he said his wish! There’s typical high school drama such as broken relationships, boys on the football team fighting with each other, secret relationships, plus there are subplots with a drunk Uncle who Luella and Harmon are always rescuing, and some interesting backstories related to some of the characters’ wishes. I loved how the author worked in Area 51 and UFOs into the story!

The novel moves at a nice pace. It has 432 pages, but it didn’t feel that long to me. I still finished it in two days.

There were a few lines that sort of got my attention such as these. I’m paraphrasing the first one.

Stop taking your anger out on people who don’t deserve it. It’s an unhealthy coping mechanism.

You can’t see something you’re not looking for.

Helping people is good, but it’s also a two-way street. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

There were a few things that I didn’t like. As I mentioned, the rules were (probably intentionally) flawed. I don’t know if it made part of the story feel forced or if it just made the leaders in this town look like a bunch of idiots. There wasn’t any rule stating that you couldn’t wish for something that directly impacted another person in town. Think about some of the consequences that can lead to! One wish can completely alter another characters entire future and there’s nothing they can do about it, unless their wish comes afterwards, and then maybe they can undo it.

Another thing I didn’t like was the ending. I didn’t feel that resolve that makes you feel completely satisfied. I understood Eldon’s decision, but I still felt like there was something missing. I needed more tidying up.

Overall, it was enjoyable and even with the cons, I’d still recommend it.
Profile Image for Cody | CodysBookshelf.
724 reviews209 followers
July 14, 2017
Release date: 01.02.18

DNF at 32% (Though I did skip to the final chapter to see how things ended.)

Jesus Christ, this was the worst book I've tried to read in a long time. Maybe young adult fiction is not for me anymore? I don't know. This book is set in a small town in the desert, near Area 51. Nothing much goes on in said town, except for the occasional tourist on his or her way to find aliens. Oh, and everyone in town can make one wish that comes true on their eighteenth birthday. Why? "It just happens," one character says. "There isn't a reason."

This book is so damn lazy. The characters are drawn in the broadest of strokes, and the main character (Eldon? Ellwan? I don't know) is the worst. He's a total brute: insensitive to the point of being cruel for no real reason other than his girlfriend left him for a guy he — said MC — plays with on the football team. That's . . . it, basically. And the fact that he was once the best on the football team but no longer is due to other players' wishes making them better has him down, too. So there's a lot of generic teenage angst and confusion about the future, which is okay . . . if written well. It's not, here. This main character is mean to his friends, his parents, everyone. And yet, he constantly reminds the reader that he's super hot and can have sex with any girl he wants. Yay, character development?

32% is more than fair, I think. This book is flaming trash and may no one pay full price for this turd when it comes out in January.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC, which was given for free in exchange for an honest review. This is it. Sorry your book sucks so much, but at least the cover is cool.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews701 followers
December 24, 2017
I was alllll over this synopsis. I love the idea of a small town with a secret like wishes...sadly it was quite disappointing.

Eldon was a hard character to like and I’m not sure I ever really did. He acts before he thinks and often his actions are harsh words and punching. There are some other characters who had promise, but Eldon doesn’t let them get close enough to be helpful.

Plot wise, it was sloooooooooow. I did like Eldon going around and asking people about their wishes. I was intrigued to know what happened at the end, but I did spend a lot of time wondering if I could DNF. Especially when I reach the last few chapters and everything just fizzled out.

Overall, it was an interesting idea, but I don’t think this author’s books are for me.

**Huge thanks to Sourcebooks for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Krysti.
357 reviews126 followers
July 23, 2017
I really love the premise and setting of this story. The idea of an off-the-map, small town that is hiding this magical, and at times dark, secret is absolutely fascinating. The characters in this story are in this unique situation of getting to wish for just one thing and being guaranteed that that one thing will actually come true. The crux of the situation though, is that the wish has to be made at age 18 and the wishers are forced to live with the consequences of that wish for the rest of their lives.

The pacing of the plot in which this story was executed was a little bit too slow for me. Though I did enjoy getting to meet many of the townsfolk and learning what their wishes were and what consequences they were living with because of those wishes, the main plot just didn't grab my attention quite as much as I'd hoped it would.

There is some beautiful prose sprinkled throughout the story, and there are a lot of important themes that Sedoti touches on as well, which I also enjoyed seeing. The setting was perfect for the story. That small, secluded town atmosphere really lent itself well to the mysterious tone of the story and made all of the characters feel that much more connected to one another.

I can't say that I cared for Eldon as a main character. He had moments were I was really rooting for him, but overall, he came across as being very selfish and at times even kind of a jerk. While I certainly enjoy a flawed main character, Howthorn from Sedoti's debut novel is a great example of this, I just found it really difficult to connect with Eldon's character in that same way.

I adored THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT, and even though I didn't enjoy AS YOU WISH quite as much, I am a fan of Sedoti's writing and creative story ideas, and I can't wait to see more from her in the future.
Profile Image for Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd).
1,173 reviews251 followers
December 23, 2017
“The sky is mostly dark now. Stars replace the sunset. Out in the desert, creatures creep out of their daytime hiding places. In the hills, the wish cave is dormant, waiting for the next birthday. Waiting to change someone’s life.”

I really loved this story a lot, which was fantastic because I’ve heard some very mixed reviews. Specifically about how everyone hates Eldon, but I am happy to say that I really liked Eldon, and I really liked this story. As You Wish is a compelling tale of fate and choice. We’re introduced to the town of Madison, where at 18 you are guaranteed a wish that will come true. We follow Eldon as he approaches his 18th birthday and is struggling with his wish.

Things I Liked
Eldon is sardonic and kind of a jerk, but he readily acknowledges that he’s kind of an asshole and I appreciate that. But I felt like how he was acting was so appropriate and reasonable and well established. He’s so disillusioned with life in Madison and being reduced to a wish, a single choice he’s sure to regret, that he doesn’t know how to deal with what he’s feeling and he acts like a jerk to have some semblance of control. He’s also devastated after his sister’s tragic injury and blames everyone, including himself. Eldon was so complex and compelling and I loved reading from his perspective.

Madison is such an interesting town and I love the wishing concept and what it’s come to mean for the town - how it’s replaces religion and become everything. You are reduced to your wish, and Eldon resents that. There just this whimsy and small town structure that was perfect for the story., along with a large cast of quirky characters.

I also liked seeing the complexities of wishing explored. Does success, love, happiness have meaning or worth if you just wish for them? Do you feel like an impostor for achieving something via wish and come to resent it? It was very thought provoking.

I really liked the writing style. I loved that it was a day-to-day format and we really got to see Eldon’s journey. I also LOVE LOVE LOVED the wish history chapters we got. They fleshed out the town and made all the citizens real. It was so raw seeing the aftermath of people’s wishes, while also having some great humor. Though I definitely teared up a few time reading about people’s wishes.

I loved the fantastic trio that forms with Eldon, Merrill, and Norie. They just fit well, and even through their fights and anger and uncertainties; they work. They challenge and support each other perfectly.

Things I Didn’t Like
I felt like it too a bit too long to establish the rules for wishing. I have no problem not knowing the origins of the wishing cave or how/why it works, but we don’t really get into what you can and can’t wish for until just over 100 pages in.

Major Fontaine was super sketchy and got a little cartoon villain-y for me towards the end of the story. I always felt like there was something off about him, and we do learn more about him in his wish history chapter, but he was a little one dimensional.

I just loved so many things about this book. I was utterly captivated and I couldn’t put it down. As You Wish is filled with compelling, complex characters who captivated me from the first page.

“The school, the town, the world is full of wishes. Why don’t people stop wishing and start doing? Why is everyone so willing to wish away their lives? I want to scream at them to stop. There’s more to life than wished. Wishing never gets you anywhere.
Except, of course, In Madison, it does.”

Trigger Warning for suicide attempt

I received a copy of the book from Sourcebooks FIRE in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer.
1,512 reviews5 followers
July 11, 2018
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

It's rare that a book makes me as hot and bothered as this book did... I thought it was rather a strong premise so that is why I sought a copy of the book. I really loved the original cover with the beautiful purple night sky and the shadowed house and person peering up into the stars. It felt like Nevada and really made me excited for the tone of the book!


After I had received word I would get a copy and before I obtained that copy they changed the cover to this unisex birthday cover that saps away the magical realism of the book! (Thus my 2 star cover rating below!) That sent up warning signs and I wrote this post... wondering what was up!

So now the cover is off putting and I wished as hell that I hadn't sought out this book... but you know I really enjoyed those first two chapters. The thing is at first Eldon seemed like a kid who had to make some pretty essential decisions for his future and was crazy scared he'd mess it up! I could relate to that kid and even though I didn't have a magic wish I have needed to decide what I want to do with my life, what school and job I would get into and other things that would determine my happiness level with my day to day life.

Here's the thing I read the first couple chapters and then had to wait a month! I DID remember what I read but when I FINALLY read another 80 pages... I WAS SHOCKED... basically I learned nothing new inside those pages!! Uh... whot happened?! Red flags are waving and sirens are starting to blare. But actually these 80 pages were the LEAST OFFENSIVE of all I read in this book. I think its made WORSE by the fact I LOVED the PREMISE! I really did... And I don't read much magical realism and the fact that when I do I got this... well its upsetting...

There's some spoil-y things I want to talk about BUT DON'T WORRY they are below in spoiler tags!

Here's some of the ways Eldon offended!

-All the whining about what other people's wishes were doing to ruin his life.

-He has some SERIOUSLY PROBLEMATIC thoughts about an epidemic that is sweeping our nation... RIGHT NOW!! (see Spoiler #1 below!)

-Assuming someone likes you enough to make out with you just because they spend time with you and your friend is just... EWWWWW! And so damn arrogant and self serving!

-How he treats his best friend Merrill is just... NOT HOW TO TREAT A BFF! And I don't find his words later much of an apology but self centered Eldon is too concerned with... well, himself!

-The way he acts out against the town and their secret just made me steam!

Here's some of the ways the WRITING offended!

-PROBLEMATIC ideas -- Spoiler #1

-When I read the mayor’s wish story and found it a horrible story of mental abuse... I realized I HATE THE WISH STORIES... they are written in this creepy narrator voice that is mocking the person in the story! It doesn’t read as if from that character at all... it’s disturbing how awful these stories are...

-I found it awfully suspicious that ALL the wish stories ended the way they did

-I was super offended at what a SAINT Eldon turned into at the end...

As a reader I CAN NOT in good conscience suggest this book to anyone... BUT the reason I gave the book a 2 star instead of a 1 star is that it has SERIOUS POTENTIAL!

The relationship between Eldon and Merrill was super sweet BFF material! I LOVED Norie! She was able to give Eldon a serious wakeup call with his friend and even though I wasn't sure he internalized that like he should, I still applaud the attempt! I also likes his relationship with Fletcher, Penelope - the save the world girl, the annoying wish guy (forgot his name) and the teacher who was a little too earnest (does his name matter at this point?!) There was this great attempt to flesh Eldon's life out with people... much like we have in real life!!

I also understand that some of Eldon's actions were a way to process his loss... and he IS a teenager... This just isn't the kind of character that I want to follow into a magically real story...

⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Premise & World Building
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ Cover & Title
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ Development & Storycraft
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ Writing & Narrative
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing
⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Relationships
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ Feelings

BOTTOM LINE: I sincerely regret picking this book up!

Thanks to Bookish First and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.

You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
Profile Image for Mary.
1,474 reviews497 followers
January 6, 2018
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5

My reviews and (maybe) some other random thoughts can also be seen at


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.

* Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for sending me the ARC that I won via a BookishFirst.com raffle! My review is honest and unbiased *

*The hardcover was published on 02 Jan 2018*
Profile Image for Althea ☾.
623 reviews1,952 followers
December 10, 2022
// Received an advance readers copy in exchange for a fair review //

"Wishing made it a sure thing though."
"But who wants a sure thing? Life is about gambles,"

well that felt like a really long read. . .

this book !!!!!!!!

it had such a unique plot, a unique world, and I am in love with the writing style of the whole book. The history narrations of some characters was a creative addition to this already wonderful story, it made everything much easier to understand and kept up the unique twists of the book. The characters were very easy to relate to and every single one of the characters was given just the right amount of depth, whether they be in the story for a few pages or for the majority of the book. I loved seeing them grow and change.

this is a wonderful coming of age book that I am sure a lot of teenagers can relate to (particularly, older ones). The moral of the story in general is something that everyone should learn and read about. The story is practically about finding yourself, it teaches you that it's okay if you don't know what's going to happen because that is what life is about, it's okay not to be perfect. And what really stood out to me is how to still believe in the magic that the world has, but to not let it control you and to see what is beyond that magic.

"maybe we destroy our own lives"

wishing here means so much more if you relate it to real life and I can really see this book being a classic for me, personally.

"Mayor Fontaine is awful and terrifying. But like the rest of us, he's human too."

this was not cliche in any means of the word and I am just left in awe at how amazing this was. It got me hooked so bad that I did not even want to finish this book too quickly.

just go where life takes you.

"being extraordinary is overrated."
Profile Image for Courtney.
126 reviews60 followers
January 31, 2018
On the outskirts of Las Vegas, in the Mojave desert, there lays a small town called Madison - where almost nothing exciting ever happens. Everyone knows everyone else's business, there's one park that's usually left empty, there aren't any churches since the people of Madison really only follow their own religion and everyone always seems to get 'stuck' living there; its a small, dusty, hot and desolate place located in the middle of no where. But its one with a very, very big and interesting secret.

Tons of tourists pass through on their way to visit places such as area 51 in search of extraterrestrial phenomenon, never realizing that this bleak town is where the magic really is. Which is just fine to the people of Madison - while they're friendly enough, they aren't exactly inviting towards outsiders. In fact, the residents work extra hard to keep tourists uninterested in staying longer than need be, in hopes of keeping their secret to themselves.

On everyone's 18th birthday, the residents of Madison get a very special gift: they get to have one wish (any wish, so long as it keeps to the rules) come true. The whole town is built around the wish cave - where all the magic happens. Children are raised to think up the perfect wish, high schoolers attend wish classes, teenagers receive wish counseling and on and on. Instead of dreaming up and working towards their futures - they're wishing them. Once their wish day comes, however, they don't have anything else to look forward to besides dealing with the consequences of their wish.

That's where Eldon Wilkes comes in. He and his friends are all seniors now, but instead of looking towards graduation, they're all anticipating (and some are even dreading) their wish day. Despite having his whole life to come up with his perfect wish, Eldon still has no clue of what to wish for. He could wish for money to (maybe) save his sister, for his ex-girlfriend to love him, for his uncle to live a sober life, or even for his popularity back that he lost due to other wishers - but none of those things seem right to him. With the help of his friends, Eldon does some soul searching and works on his "wish project" by interviewing other wishers and learning the outcomes of the choices they made. It isn't until he hits rock bottom that he finally knows what to wish for. Every action has consequences, and the choices you make can effect those around you. How will Eldon's wish effect him and the people of Madison?

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti is a YA magical surrealism story about making wishes and what its like to have them come true. Since this is YA I feel I should warn everyone that this story includes mentions of suicide, substance abuse, and some wishes even grant characters power over others' free will (like forcing someone to be in love with you).

The writing was easy to follow but the pacing was extremely slow, and like I said not a lot happens in Madison. It took me a long time to read this book and there were a few times I almost gave up on it. The world building was just alright, but there was a lot that was left unexplained: how or why did the wish cave come about? When was it discovered and how long has it been going on? Who made or figured out the wishing rules? No one seemed to know anything about it, which was frustrating.

There wasnt very much character depth, either. The most in depth character we get is Eldon, but he was such an unlikable one at times that not even his tragic story really made me feel for him. He acts with out thinking, he's harsh to everyone around him, he's sometimes violent and despite all the the other things everyone else is going through he really only thinks about himself. I wouldn't mind all that if he actually showed character growth and we got to see him become a better person, but that never happens. By the end of the story its implied that he's going to try to make a change - but its never actually seen. The people closest to him were still basically calling him a jerk and pointing out his immature behavior at 96% into the book. He doesn't change and doesn't really show that he's learned anything from what he goes through.

Another character that I really didn't like was Eldon's mother. She wished for his father to love her when he wasn't even attracted to her beforehand. I can sort of understand a young person making a selfish mistake like that... But later on she apparently falls out of love with her husband and makes life even harder for him because of it. Then, when Eldon's younger sister gets injured in an accident, she tries manipulating her son into making a hopeless wish to save her life. Not only does she put that weight on his shoulders, but she crushes him by saying that if he doesn't make that wish then he'll be responsible for her death. Out of everyone in the world - his sister means the most to him, so that really hit him hard. She was so controlling and manipulative that she could be considered abusive, and her "apology" at the end doesn't make up for any of it.

I did like Eldon's father, his best friend Merrill, and other friends Norie and Penelope. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to them, so I never really felt connected to any of the characters. Mostly, I just either felt bad for them or hated them.

I did really enjoy the premise of the book. The idea of being able to make any wish you have come true seemed like it could make an interesting story. It was fun to see how different characters made their wish, learn why they wished for those things and to see how they felt about them afterwards. It made me think about what sort of wish I would make if I was given the chance and imagine what the outcome of my choice might look like. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to the plot of the story. The book follows the MC as he thinks up what to wish for and complains about the things that bother him. The entire story just drags up until he makes his wish and we don't even really get to see what happens afterwards. I would have maybe liked if there was an epilogue where we get to see the effects of his wish and (hopefully) how he changed into a better person... But I'm not sure that I could have read much more.

Overall, this story wasn't for me. I didn't hate it - there were a (very) few things I did enjoy, but mostly it just frustrated me. Every time something interesting happened the story dropped back down to being dull again. It was long, boring and I just couldn't connect to or enjoy any of the characters.

**** I received an eBook copy of this title via Netgally in exchange for a honest review. ****
Profile Image for Angelica.
805 reviews1,124 followers
January 1, 2018
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.

**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**
Profile Image for Anna Priemaza.
Author 3 books184 followers
August 29, 2017
If you need your books to have loveable narrators and happy endings and justice being served and unicorns and picture perfect humans, then Chelsea Sedoti’s books probably aren’t for you.

If, on the other hand, you love flawed narrators, cynicism, people who make mistakes, and storylines that leave you thinking about right and wrong for days, all tied up in absolutely brilliant narrative voice, then you need to read every book Chelsea Sedoti writes ever.

I fall enthusiastically in the latter camp. I absolutely adored THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT, and I worried Chelsea’s second book could never live up to her debut’s awesomeness, but I needn’t have worried. AS YOU WISH blew me away. Just like LIZZIE LOVETT, AS YOU WISH has such strong narrative voice, and the story has a distinctly Chelsea feel, but the concept is entirely new and unique.

AS YOU WISH is set in a small town that has a secret: all its residents get to make a single wish on their 18th birthday, and that wish comes true. Which means the town is full of sad, pathetic people who have spent their lives regretting their foolish teenage choice, and who would be better off not wishing at all--at least, from cynical narrator Eldon’s perspective. Eldon, whose own 18th birthday is around the corner, and who’s trying to figure out how he can make a better choice than all the failures around him.

I adored AS YOU WISH as much as THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT (maybe even more, if that’s possible?!?). I read an early version over a year ago, and I still find myself thinking about it now--wondering what wish I’d have made at eighteen, what wish I’d make now, whether the people in town made good or bad decisions, whether Eldon himself made good or bad decisions. This is a book that will draw you in for a lightning fast read, then leave you thinking for a long, long time.
Profile Image for Brian Yahn.
310 reviews593 followers
Want to read
February 5, 2018
I randomly "met" the author of this book on Reddit. As it turns out, we're the same age and grew up in the same small town (roughly) in the middle of nowhere. She posted the first page of this book, and I fell in love with her writing. It reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut in some ways, of Chuck Palahniuk in others. I'm really excited this is available and I finally get to read it.
Profile Image for Cesar.
354 reviews235 followers
June 17, 2018
3 stars.

As You Wish caught me by surprise when I first started reading it. Before, I knew about the book and didn't have much interest in reading it. Then after some thought, and seeing mixed reviews, I decided to pick it up just to see why it got such a mixed reception. Now that I'm done with it, I can understand why some people liked it or hated it.

As You Wish centers around Eldon and his upcoming birthday. He lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere called Madison and on the surface, it's just a small town but it holds a secret. When someone turns eighteen, they can make a wish that can alter their life as well as others. And Eldon's eighteenth birthday is arriving. The problem? He doesn't know what to wish for.

What starts out as a teen questioning his desires turns into a story of questioning one's outcome of life, second chances, and finding answers in a fog of doubt. Though, the road to the end is bumpy, hence the 3-star rating.

For the most part, the story, while entertaining, was slow paced and took a while for some plot development to go on. It's over 400 pages and most of it is about Eldon and him contemplating what his wish is going to be. Along the way, there is family drama, friendship, finding answers to the unknown, and much more.

Aside from a slow pacing, there's our protagonist, Eldon. Eldon is a hard character to like because he does some douche-y things throughout the story. Not to mention he has some anger issues and can say some things that don't make him a humble person. I felt indifferent toward him. The story does shed some light on how he feels about his family and friends, making him seem almost relatable to an extent. But he does some things I don't like. So I don't hate him or love him. Plus, the town of Madison is full of cliche characters. You've got the town drunk, the power-hungry mayor, the weird old ladies who are... weird, the town shut-in, etc.

Moving on to what I liked, I did enjoy the magical realism aspect of the story. The main focus of the story is wishing and how wishes can either make your life happy or miserable. There are so many good examples of people living happy or unhappy lives in Madison because of these wishes. It showed how some people are willing to wish away their problems or wish for something good to happen instead of actually doing something.

As much as I want to say more, I can't find the words not because there's so much to write, but how there isn't much else to talk about. So yeah, a short review.


As You Wish was a decent novel with its flaws. Not too outstanding, but if you are interested in it, then give it a go.

Thanks for reading my review!

Profile Image for Laura.
2,697 reviews81 followers
May 20, 2017
The problem with an obnoxious narrator is that his is the only voice you can hear through the whole book, and in this case, he was even called out for being an asshole by his friends, so it wasn't just me that didn't like him.

Other than that, this was an interesting take on the getting the one wish and getting it right. It seemed to stretch on quite an bit, which is why the three stars. The concept was cool. Imagine if you could have one wish when you turned 18. What would you wish for, and how could you screw up your life by wishing the wrong wish.

That part, exploring what others had wished for, was fascinating, but Eldon's constant bitching about how the one wish he wanted to make, he couldn't, got me down after a while.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
595 reviews817 followers
March 14, 2018
5 stars

By the end of the first chapter, I was almost certain this book was going to be five stars. And, this definitely came true.

Chelsea Sedoti's As You Wish is a profound coming-of-age novel about self-discovery, wishing, and finding your path in life. Set in a small desert town called Madison in the Mojave Desert, As You Wish tells the story of a teenage boy named Eldon.

Madison isn't just any ordinary town, despite what they might want you to believe. They hide secrets from tourists who pass through, hoping to see some sort of extraterrestrial life.

In Madison, every resident receives a wish on their eighteenth birthday. The origins of wishing are not fully clear, nor is how the process works, but countless generations of Madison residents have wished in the Wishing Cave as they recreate the accounts of the original wisher.

There are rules associated with wishing, though why they're there and if they actually are true is something you'll just have to read to find out.

Eldon doesn't know what he wants to wish for. It hasn't been easy for him, not with his sister in a coma and his mom hounding him to wish for unlimited money. Wishing is all everyone in Madison ever talks about, and he has had eighteen years to think about it and still is unsure of what to do.

As he thinks more and more about his wish, Eldon starts to see the true effects of the wishes on the small town of Madison.

Eldon's journey is a poignant one that will make the reader think about what it means to wish and how it can affect an individual and a society.

Although my prediction might have seemed a little presumptuous, I could tell by the way Sedoti began to weave in the plot and craft such a unique voice for Eldon during the three minutes of gas filling in the first few pages that this was going to be a very enjoyable read for me. As long as Sedoti didn't screw up the ending or include any slurs against minorities, I was ready to preorder this novel.

And, Sedoti pulled through with flying colors.

Eldon is a flawed character. He's anything but perfect--not knowing what he wants to do with his life and how he wants to use his wish.

As I've said in previous reviews, the line between character flaws and likeability is a fine one. I think Eldon definitely leans more towards the flawed side, but I still really liked his character.

I'll write a blog post about this one day, but YA literature is overrun by the need for the main characters to be likeable, but that's not the case in most literature. The main characters aren't always partially likeable in real life, and this is something that's definitely glossed over in YA lit.

Nevertheless, I think Eldon is a very complex character, and his good qualities still shined through.

He cares for his sister and feels guilt for when he does something wrong, although he doesn't always acknowledge this. It shows how he isn't a completely hopeless case as he continues to feel the guilt, whether it's when he blows off his mother or tricks the principal, Mr. Wakefield.

Eldon still has a long list of flaws, arrogant and careless as he goes to parties and engages with multiple girls. He's inobservant, especially when it comes to his best friend Merrill, and he has no sense of what he wants to do in the future.

In all honestly, he's quite the asshole. He's got a short temper and is also very selfish and self-centered, just look at his ex-girlfriend, Juniper.

All of this makes Eldon sound like a pretty bad character, but throughout the novel I saw him change and slowly realize that he's been going about things wrong.

The largest change in his character comes during the end of the novel, but I enjoyed seeing the little things, like when he visited his sister.

I think the plot was structured well, though it definitely picked up in the last few chapters. I'm a person who doesn't mind reading slower paced books, which it is during the first half (this book is 400 something pages) and so a lot of time was put into shaping Eldon's character, which I enjoyed.

Either way, the plot was formed well and there was foreshadowing to what would happen during the ending. I enjoyed the plot twists as they were fully justified and helped further the plot rather than drag it along.

I would classify this as a contemporary with mild magical realism elements to it, or, as my Spanish teacher would say, "¡El realismo mágico!" (We're reading Jorge Luis Borges' work in class).

It took me a while to decide whether I should dub this magical realism or not, but in the end I decided it fell under the category as magical realism is when the magical seems normal to people. A lot of books are falsely categorized as magical realism, but As You Wish definitely falls in the category.

Sedoti forms the town of Madison into an almost cult-like group of people whose lives center around wishes. The story isn't just about Eldon, there are short chapters telling the stories of other people in the town and how their wishes affected their lives.

Whether it's Barnaby who accidentally made the wrong wish, or Mayor Fontaine and his sleazy wish, or other people in the town.

These chapters are a lot like The Sun Is Also a Star when there are chapters about other people, for instance Irene the security guard.

I enjoyed reading this and it made it not just the story of Eldon, but of the whole town.

There is little to no romance in this book as it's more of a coming of age novel rather than a romance. Mentions of sex and more mature topics are referenced from time to time but it's not the main focus of the novel.

I didn't not like anything about this book, and I think it was executed nearly perfectly. It's important to remember that not all main characters have to be likeable, they just have to change. I found Eldon likeable enough because I could relate to him, but I know some people might not connect with his character.

All in all, I enjoyed reading As You Wish as it was a thought provoking novel about a flawed boy figuring out his life. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a meaningful read with some magical aspects to it and who doesn't mind some snark and anger and complexity to the main character.

I can't wait for this to come out as I will be purchasing a hardback copy (& the cover is gorgeous! The gold on the cover is stunning!) to add to my bookshelf!

As You Wish comes out on January 2nd, 2018 & you can preorder it now!

I'll end with a quote from the digital review copy (subject to change in the published version):
"'That will be your downfall. You're looking for someone else to save you, when really, we can only ever save ourselves.'"

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks FIRE for sending me a Digital Review Copy of As You Wish in exchange for an honest review!

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Vicky Who Reads
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,434 reviews234 followers
January 12, 2018
I love books with magical realism and was really intrigued by this premise. I was curious to see where Sedoti would go with this idea, and while I was not disappointed, I was not blown away either.

•Pro: I was immediately pulled in this story. I thought Eldon had a great voice, which was perfect for this story, and I liked being in his head.

•Con: I don't exactly know why, but the middle of the book seemed to drag a little. Maybe the book was too long?

•Pro: I was really surprised and pleased with the ending.

•Pro: This wish was probably the biggest decision Eldon ever had to make, and it was important that he struggled with it, because it was about more than the wish. This was him making a grown up choice and marking that passage from childhood to adulthood. Eldon's immaturity was addressed in many different ways, and I did think that he grew some during the story. He had a long ways to go, but he was slowly making progress.

•Pro: Ebba! I adored all the things I learned about Eldon's sister and wished with my whole heart that we could have gotten to know her better.

•Pro: The Wish Histories were fabulous! It was an interesting way for us to examine the cause and effect related to other people's wishes. I found these passages very insightful, and they left me really contemplating the saying, "be careful what you wish for".

•Pro:I did find myself feeling quite a bit of sympathy towards Eldon, when his life was so negatively impacted by the wishes. He lost his social status, athletic status, and even more due to wishes. I could totally understand his reluctance to embrace his wish.

•Pro: There are some really touching moments shared between Eldon and his family and friends.

Overall: I enjoyed being a part of Eldon's journey as he struggled with how to use his wish. This concept was intriguing and left me with a lots of things to consider.

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Kira Simion.
819 reviews126 followers
September 16, 2017
"Everyone gets a wish..."

I wish to read this finished book now!

Edit: 7-28-17


Edit: 9-15-17

"Everyone gets a wish..."

I wish to read this finished book now!



3 intrigued fizzle stars.

While I absolutely adore the premise, the beginning narrator, and the torment of magic in wishes, I felt that flame slowly dwindle down to a spark then to ash.

The protagonist, Eldon, is truly unique. He is wise in that he knows his wish can have a monumental impact now, but could be 'just another wish' in the future.

However, while he seemed wise, realistic in some ways, and a bit like me in his trust issues, he was also cynical, rude, and pessemistic in addition to all that.

Thing is, the 'bad' outweighed the 'good' when it came to his attitude. I love a person who shows all these attributes in the beginning because it usually means they'll learn (some) lessons and move on/change. This was not the case. He makes changes to other people, their secrets, and relationships, but never did I ever see effort of himself altering himself.

I was disappointed in that.

However, I did have some aspects I did enjoy.

Oh my gosh, this idea was absolutely the main reason I wanted desperately to read this book! I mean, WISHES! POWER! Tragedy (in some sense)! I loooovvvveeeedddd it. When one person in this town turns 18, they get a wish. On one side of the coin, one can view the possibilities: luxury, MONEY, BOOKS, power, love (ehhhh), you get the point.

Yet, on the other side of the coin, something else to consider, though as ugly as it may be, is the flip side. The obsession that comes with the wish for love. The downfall when you become the best of the best only to have it ripped away from you with another's wish for the same (or more).

This was the main reason I jumped for joy when I saw I was given a copy. (And I thank you for this opportunity Soucebooks Fire).

In addition to that, there was the setting that creeped me a bit out, intrigued my curious, mystery loving side, and made me want to live in the place (Madison) for a while. (Though not forever because I have a home here where I am and I quite enjoy it).

I received an electronic advance reader copy in exchange for a fair/honest review.
Thank you very much Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an electronic copy and for Chelsea Sedoti for writing! I can't wait to read! The idea itself sounds so unique!

I received an electronic advance reader copy in exchange for a fair/honest review.
Thank you very much Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an electronic copy and for Chelsea Sedoti for writing! I can't wait to read! The idea itself sounds so unique!
Profile Image for Kayla K. (Kayla's Book Nook).
357 reviews7 followers
June 27, 2017
Last year, I read and adored Chelsea Sedoti's debut novel, The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett. With its outstanding mystery and interesting storyline, I couldn't get enough. Finding her sophomore novel on Netgalley made me even happier, as the storyline looked yet even more interesting than that of her previous novel.

And it turned out to be that I was right! I adored pretty much every tiny thing about As You Wish. From its 3-dimensional characters to the beautiful way of words that Sedoti has, you honestly can't go wrong with this book.

To sum up the plot, it follows Eldon, who lives in a small town named Madison in which people are able to make wishes on their 18th birthday. The small catch is that these wishes cannot leave the town, and outsiders can't know about them. Eldon is about to turn 18, but as he watches all of his friends turn of age and make their wishes, he senses something very wrong with the picture and decides to take action. 

I had mixed feelings about Eldon while reading. At first, he was quite judgmental and arrogant as he often gave out mean remarks and got into physical and verbal fights with others. As the story continued on and as Eldon looked more and more into the realm of the wishes, I was able to see what a selfless, brave, wise person he really was. All he wanted was to do some good for his community, and I could tell that he would have done whatever it took to get there.

The intriguing premise, which is what initially pulled me into the story, was pulled off AMAZINGLY! I was always eager to read and never, ever eager to set my iPad down. The details and events were smooth, and this story always had something interesting going on. For the cherry on top, I also loved how this book ended- I won't spoil anything, but let's just say that something that should have happened so long ago in their world finally happened. 

Overall,  As You Wish  has become one of my new favourite books as it is one of the best books I've read in a while. It gave out so many life lessons, had extravagant character growth, and a riveting storyline. If you love magical realism books and are looking for a unique one, As You Wish will be out on January 2nd, so get excited! :)

*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
May 30, 2017
"It’s kind of sad. After you make your wish, your birthday stops mattering. Nothing is ever going to top the year you turned eighteen. So everyone stops celebrating, and it becomes just another day."

Eldon's 18th birthday is coming up and he doesn't know what to wish for. In the town of Madison, Nevada, on every child's 18th birthday they have to make a wish that can change their life forever. Whether it be to become rich , have someone fall in love with you, or basically anything it will come true as long as your wish stays in Madison. If you leave so does your wish.

I enjoyed this book. I started it last week on a road trip home. I was auto approved for this book on Netgalley so thank you to Sourcebooks Fire. This isn't my first read by Chelsea Sedoti. I read The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by her last year and really enjoyed that one. I don't know what I was expecting from this book but I got a lot more than expected. Like I mentioned Eldon's 18th birthday is coming up and he has no idea what to wish for. His parents tell him to wish for his sister to get better who is in a nursing home on the brink of death after getting hit by a car. Throughout the book Eldon interview past wishers and asked them how their wish changed their lives. For example, Eldon's mom wish was to have this popular boy who wouldn't give her the time of day to fall in love with her when she was in high school. There was one guy who wished away his sexuality.

I found it interesting to be going along with Eldon and his best friend Merrill as they figured out what Eldon should wish for. It became nerve-wracking at times cause it was so much he could have wished for but he didn't want to mess his life up.

This book touched on how one wish can change your life. No spoilers but there was one part where one character regretted their wish. Eldon was a mysterious character then towards the end I didn't really like him. He started to be annoying. This review is so sporadic but overall I enjoyed this book. It was light hearted at times (thanks to Merrill) and Eldon is really sarcastic which was funny at times as well. This was more emotional than I expected it to be. I didn't cry but it did tug at my heart strings.

This doesn't come out until January 2018 so be on the lookout for it
Profile Image for - ̗̀  jess  ̖́-.
583 reviews277 followers
April 5, 2018
What really drew me in to As You Wish was the premise, because mysterious small desert towns have such a surreal setting. As You Wish is set in a small, middle-of-nowhere town called Madison, where nothing ever happens - except for that everyone, on their eighteenth birthday, gets to make one wish, and one wish only. And everyone always regrets their wish. Eldon's eighteenth birthday is coming up, and so is his wish.

I was very frustrated with Eldon a lot of the time during this book, because he just was very self-centred. Which is totally a flaw that was brought up, but he doesn't really change in that aspect even though he does change in other ways. Even though I could emphasize with him, I kind of wanted him to notice more things that were going on around him and that even though he was going through some pretty tough events, other people were as well. As for plot and pacing, I felt like it was pretty slow, and not too much happened. However, the magical realism elements were fairly good - I don't usually like magical realism, and it was one of the more fascinating parts of this book.

My favourite part of this book was the setting, because I feel like Sedoti got the aesthetic and mood of the mysterious desert town down pat. Everyone knows each other, and each other's secrets, and all the secondary characters were a lot more interesting than the main characters, honestly. For me, Fletcher and Penelope were the most interesting characters because it brought up the question: What happens when your wishes interfere with someone else's life? There were a lot of philosophical questions brought up in As You Wish and it was quite thought-provoking.

If you like magical realism and Welcome to Night Vale, definitely check out As You Wish.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this book in exchange for review consideration. This review and others can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
904 reviews275 followers
March 25, 2018
This was a surprisingly compelling and morally interesting book. Chelsea Sedoti has taken the idea of having one wish and applied it to so many different outcomes. Both good and bad.This young adult book is a version of a coming of age novel but it doesn't read like any I've read before.

The Wish Stories
Without a doubt the best part of As You Wish are the stories that are told by town members about what they wished for and why. Each of them is like a fable. There is a reason, a justification, an outcome and ultimately emotion that lingers long after. These are the cornerstone of the moral issues that Sedoti is focusing on throughout the book.

Here's where Sedoti falls down a bit. The characters are fairly cliche. Mostly only defined by what they wished for, or plan to wish for (in the case of the students). At the High School we have the jock, the pretty girl, the nerd, the social justice warrior, etc. Then there's also townsfolk that are even more cliche (if possible): the arrogant mayor, the compassionate doctor, the drunk, the town recluse, the odd older lady, etc. While I understand that there are a fair number of characters that Sedoti wants our main guy to encounter (so he can collect their wish stories) the reality was that they felt just a bit too boxed in. Definitely room for improvement here.

The Setting
It will be clear to you from the opening 10% of As You Wish that our small town setting is intentional and critical to the logic (if we can call it that) and rules of the wishing/magic to work. This couldn't be a story told in any other setting due to it's focus on keeping secrets. Interestingly the setting asks it's own moral question to the reader. At what point are you hiding and hoarding something in order to protect it versus not share it?
I don't know if Madison is a real town in Nevada or not; but having been at and spent a lot of time in the small town my grandparents live I've long learned that small towns have a personality and mind of their own and Sedoti has set-up Madison to be no different, and yet extraordinarily different, from any other town.

The Ending
While there was perhaps too many pages after the ultimate climax; I still loved the ending of this book. From about the 40% read mark I knew what I thought would be the best (and most interesting) outcome for the story. However as we experience life alongside our main guy there is cause for concern that we were going to have a very different ending. I'm thankful that it was the ending I was hoping for. This doesn't happen often so it's nice to read a story from someone who thinks of the world the way I do. Any number of endings could have been impactful here; but I think Sedoti chose perfectly.
It even brought almost tears to my eyes (which is quite the feat)!

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone that wants to read about moral issues (young or old). Ultimately I'd say this is more of a 3.5 stars read but I'm willing to round up just because I loved the ending.
You'll find yourself asking some of the big questions in life: what is selfish, what is righteous, what is right or wrong to wish for and ultimately ask yourself what would you wish for?

For this and more of my reviews please visit my blog at: Epic Reading

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Jessica C Writes.
551 reviews50 followers
June 17, 2020
I’m not entirely sure how to go about rating this book. I would say it’s probably around 3.5 stars. It definitely had a really interesting premise, and a lot of the chapters were super cool to read.

But, it took me a while to get into, and there were a lot of times that I was bored. The main character was also so unlikeable, and there were so many points where I wanted to throw my phone on the ground.

Overall, it was certainly unique and fun, but not what I was expecting and not executed as well as I wanted.
Profile Image for Allie.
368 reviews40 followers
June 15, 2017
This felt like a very smartly done allegory about the all the pain and suffering that can come from never forgiving; oneself or each other.

What would you wish for, if given the opportunity on your 18th birthday? What happens when that wish is permanent, can never be undone, even if you regret it terribly and it hurts other people?

Wishing is a magic, cultural rite of passage in Madison, Nevada. Everyone gets one wish--with only a few restrictions--in the hour of their birth on their 18th birthday. They walk into a magic cave, hovered over by the frightening mayor and his goons, with only a candle to light their way. Most of them speak aloud the wish they've been ruminating over for their entire lives.

But what happens if you don't know what to wish for? What happens if you're overcome with the enormity of committing to one particular desire for literally the rest of your life? What happens when everyone you know is unhappy and unsatisfied with their wish? Do you wish at all? Eldon doesn't know yet. He knows what his mom wants him to wish for, he knows what he "should" wish for, but he can't and he doesn't know what to do.

This was an addicting and thought-provoking story. It reminded me of what it felt like to be on the cusp of high school graduation, with adulthood looming before me, and how big and permanent those decisions felt. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a world where mistakes are inevitable but not allowed, at the same time. To never be forgiven for them, to only pay in misery for the rest of your life.

Why wish? I'm glad I was never given the opportunity. But I am glad I read this book.

I didn't enjoy the sexism, the derogatory name-calling by Archie (a minor character, but still), or the pseudo-science perpetuated by the Freudian school counselor. The book will be published in 2018, yeah? So it's beyond time we leave all that behind, methinks.

I love the cover of this book as well. I highly recommend, if you're a reader who enjoys YA!

I was given a free ebook copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Greg Andree.
34 reviews1 follower
June 24, 2017
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 : )
Profile Image for Sarah Louise.
779 reviews347 followers
February 14, 2018
After reading chapter one, I was instantly in love with this story. In the town of Madison, an unexplained phenomenon in the form of a wish takes place on your eighteen birthday. Money? Love? Success? It will be granted.

Sure, Eldon is a bit of an insufferable jerk as he navigates this mystical town, but he knows it, and I enjoyed his impulsiveness. With a grudge against wishing, he begins the task of learning the ways wishing has benefited, or perhaps corrupted, the lives of the locals. Not knowing what to wish for, and the pressure from his mother to wish the impossible, Eldon isn't ready to to commit.

It's such an interesting story, and one that hits on a great message, but it was a slow progress. I loved the secrecy behind the wishes, and the stories spread within the chapters on each of the townspeople, but it became less interesting as it went. I think chopping this book down by 100 pages would have helped a lot.
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