*Do not read this review if you haven’t read book one, The Art of Wishing! I don’t recommend that you even read the synopsis for the second book until you’ve read the first book.
The Fourth Wish by Lindsay Ribar
Series: The Art of Wishing #2
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Penguin on July 31st 2014
Also by this author: The Art of Wishing
Format: Hardcover (384 pages) • Source: Library
Here’s what Margo McKenna knows about genies:
She’s seen Aladdin more times than she can count; she’s made three wishes on a magic ring ; she’s even fallen head over heels in love with Oliver, the cute genie whose life she saved by fighting off his archenemy. But none of this prepared her for the shock of becoming a genie herself.
At a time when she's trying to figure out who she wants to be, Margo is forced to become whomever her master wants. Everything she's taken for granted—graduating from high school, going to college, performing in the school musical, even being a girl—is called into question. But she’s also coming into a power she never imagined she'd have.
How will Margo reconcile who she is with what she’s becoming? And where will she and Oliver stand when she's done?
- I was so excited to see how Margo would deal with becoming a genie. My favorite part of the second book was just that: learning how it works and seeing all of the different kinds of magic she could do now. The book jumped right into the middle of the action and confused me because it didn’t pick up right where the previous book left off. Well, it didn’t seem that way at least. Regardless, you soon learn what happened and again, you get the slow release of information about the world.
- I absolutely LOVED the gender stuff in this book. As you can imagine, genies can shapeshift into exactly what their current master would want to see in a friend, partner, etc. That means that they can switch genders in order to make wishes happen for each person. It was awesome to read about that flexibility and (basically) complete acceptance from both Margo and Oliver on that end. It was handled in a great way because the characters were open about it and had the attitude that it was the person beneath the gender that was important. So healthy and awesome to read!
- This book kind of reminded me of the Shadowlands series by Kate Brian (really just the ending of the third book). Without giving too much away, there’s a lot of talk about giving up your own personal stuff for the greater good and helping more people. I liked this aspect because I feel like this book had a little message in it, unlike the first book.
- The ending confused me again! Both books end with some weird wish exchanging and maneuvering that took me a while to fully grasp. I was able to clear up what happened luckily. Overall I am pleased with how it ended, though. I just hated scratching my head for a few minutes before.
- Margo was a selfish twat throughout this whole book. I get that she made a major life change and had to deal with the consequences, but jesus! When the issue with Jamie came up, I couldn’t believe her reasoning for not following through on what he wanted to do. It was so self-centered to assume what she did. I’m glad that her attitude faded at the end of the book, but in the meantime it was hard to connect to her as a character.
- There was a lot of information repeated from the first book, or just rehashing a lot of what happened. I understand that a lot of people probably read the first book and then had to wait a year for the second book, so that’s when that is helpful. When you read the first and immediately read the second, it can just be a little annoying. Not a huge thing.
Overall, it was completely fascinating to learn about what it would be like to be a genie and follow Margo as she grew into her powers. I want to be a genie! The magical world and abilities that Oliver and Margo have are really what made this book worthwhile for me. Margo, as a character, was selfish and hard to connect with this time around. I sympathized with her sometimes but I don’t think I would have handled things the way she did. Jamie balanced Margo out in his quest to serve the greater good; I loved him as a character and am happy with how his story worked. The gender flexibility in this book made me really happy because it happened naturally and had a positive message for the reader. Love beats all of that! Aside from another confusing ending, this book wrapped up really nicely. It gets 4 stars again from me and had even greater messages for the reader to take away from the book.