I guess February is unofficially sequel month. The Art of Wishing spoilers ahoy!
The Art of Wishing was an adorable paranormal romance that surprised me by raising a bunch of ethical issues. In The Fourth Wish, Lindsay Ribar dives even further into the real-world implications of becoming/using a magical being, specifically one that is meant to be submissive.
Last time we saw Margo, she had made a fourth wish to save Oliver and became a genie herself. Now she has to adjust not only to her magical powers, but also to the loss of her autonomy. Margo is a professional control freak, and now what she does – even how she looks – will be influenced by her masters. (She has a horrible crash-course in this after her vessel is found by the class creep.) I cheered as Margo, determined to preserve her sense of self, wrangled with her magic until she was satisfied. Questions of freedom, slavery, sexual assault, consent, gender identity, and sexuality are all explored.
While I was gratified to see a YA book address these topics – and the author does it so well – Margo and Oliver’s relationship does suffer a little in the process. Remember all that cute dialogue I gushed over in my Art of Wishing review? In Fourth Wish, it is far and few between. The major misunderstanding – I guess that’s what you’d call it – could have been settled if they simply had one calm heart-to-heart with each other. (Perhaps Margo and Oliver don’t have time for conversation, as they are both running around granting wishes. I don’t know.) And Margo’s big choice was given this deadline that rang utterly false to me. She has literally all the time in the world.
That’s kind of a quibble, though. I hope Lindsay Ribar writes more books. We need more YA authors like her. 🙂