From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Senior Margo McKenna knows something is up when she loses the lead in her school play to an unknown and talentless sophomore named Vicky. To escape during one particularly frustrating rehearsal, she goes to the girls' room, where she finds a ring. When she picks it up, the mysterious new kid, Oliver, instantly appears. Margo discovers that he is really a genie and his master is Vicky. By finding the ring, Margo becomes his new master. She uses her first wish to become a talented songwriter. Soon after, she discovers that another genie, Xavier, is hunting Oliver and plans to kill him. As Margo rushes to find a way to save Oliver's life, the pair begin to fall in love. Although the rules and logic of genies and wish-making are tricky to follow at times, Ribar does a good job of developing realistic and likable characters. The heavy focus on the relationship between Margo and her parents, who have recently rekindled their relationship and remarried, dissipates midway through the novel and, by the end, disappears completely. Rich with romance, magic, and action, this novel will captivate teens while also cautioning them to be careful what they wish for.-Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
For anyone who thought Disney’s Aladdin was the last word on genies, think again. High-school senior Margo McKenna finds herself in possession of a genie’s ring and the limitless opportunity three wishes offer her. Margo is thoughtful and meticulous—a maker of plans with dreams of songwriting success. She will not make her wishes lightly, especially when her attractive genie, Oliver, reveals that his life is in danger and he wants the final wishes he grants to be truly special. Margo and Oliver are extremely likable, with an easy camaraderie that pulls the reader straight into the story. (Margo’s take on “those girls” who fall in love with otherworldly beings is especially, self-referentially amusing.) They are supported by a strong cast of secondary characters who are closer to magic than they realize. Margo and Oliver’s backstories unfold to set up for a finale that sneaks up on the reader and (hopefully) sets the stage for a sequel. A strong and pleasing debut. Grades 7-10. --Kara Dean
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