- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (October 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786818638
- ISBN-13: 978-0786818631
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Wish List Hardcover – October 1, 2003
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Meg Finn has led a miserable life. First, her mum died, saddling her with a useless, nasty stepfather. Then, angry and alone, Meg found herself committing acts of petty crime with dim-witted hood Belch Brennan. Finally, just as she was about to go straight to honor her sainted mums memory, Belch went and got them both killed as they attempted to rob crabby old Lowrie McCall. And if that wasnt bad enough, now St. Peter and Beelzebub cant decide which way Meg is supposed to go. She is one in a million: a soul perfectly balanced between good and evil. Now Megs got to go back and somehow tip the scales UP--the further, the better! To earn her wings, Megs been assigned to help the last person she tried to hurt (Lowrie McCall) who has a wish list of wrong choices that he wants to make right. But Beelzebub cant stand the thought of a bad soul going good. So he sends back the soul of powerfully stupid Belch, (who went straight down without stopping) to muck things up for Meg and Lowrie. But Megs got smarts on her side and more than just a few tricks up her insubstantial sleeve...
At times, best-selling author Eoin Colfers Wish List reads like a head-on collision between Dawsons Creek and Touched by an Angel. But rabid fans of the Artemis Fowl books wont notice or care. This black comedy is sure to make every fantasy-reading teens Wish List. --Jennifer Hubert
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up-Meg, kicked out of her house by her stepfather after her mother dies, becomes a troublemaker. When she and her friend Belch attempt to rob Lowrie McCall, an elderly neighbor, a nearby gas tank inadvertently explodes and she finds herself in a tunnel, hurtling toward the beyond. Meanwhile, Saint Peter and Beelzebub argue over Meg's soul-she is not really a bad kid but neither is she a very good one. In order to decide her fate, they send her back to Earth, where she must try to patch things up with Lowrie. After a rough beginning, she and the dying man embark on a quest to help him right the mistakes that he made during his life. Their adventures are both humorous and poignant, as Lowrie confronts his regrets and Meg strives to attain salvation. Whether the events are set in Ireland or in a hereafter complete with computer technology, Colfer concocts a delightful novel that is written in a much lighter vein than his "Artemis Fowl" books (Hyperion). He brings together several unforgettable characters, including an irascible old man, a mouthy heroine, and a malevolent spirit that attempts to stop Meg from completing her mission. The interaction of the heavenly-and not so heavenly-beings adds an unexpected dimension to the novel. An entertaining and compelling read.
Janet Hilbun, formerly at Sam Houston Middle School, Garland, TX
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Top Customer Reviews
When Beelzebub made his initial appearance, I practically sat straight up with my hair on end. Colfer has such a terrific sense of humor, and a remarkable ability with characterization, that I looked forward to the scenes with Beelzebub (and especially his ruminations on Satan) the most. That's not to say that the rest of the story was uninteresting - far from it. The story was refreshingly unconventional, and while I promised myself that I would never mention Artemis Fowl in a review about Colfer's other works, I feel the need to say this: This man can write books without Artemis Fowl in them. Unfortunately (?) Artemis Fowl - not just the character, but the entire series - is so riveting that it can be difficult to look past it and judge the rest of Colfer's work as standing on their own.
Well, difficult for some, but not for me.
This book tells the engaging and delightful story of a girl who made a series of poor choices in her life (although many can be forgiven due to the effects of her horrid stepfather), and one particularly bad choice. It's almost a delightful twist of such concept films as "It's a Wonderful Christmas", or perhaps even a satire, and it works brilliantly. It would have been very easy to fall into cliché ridden roles and experiences, but Colfer is far too deft an author to fall prey to any of those.
Delightful book, highly recommended.
For instance, the character of Meg, if not brilliant, should be at least very charming--or very likable. She really does display the bratty characteristics of her 14 year old self very well, but does not exibit the depth that would make her a fully-developed character. She is a bit like a relentless "wise-crack" machine--sometimes you just wish she would say something with intelligence or intent--or refrain from speaking at other points.
The major flaw with this book is that there is never a sense that Meg can't accomplish the goal she is set out to accomplish. The characters meant to throw a wrench in her plans (Beelzebub and Belch in particular) never get close enough to foiling her for us to believe that she is in any real danger. They start to unravel before they get a chance to meet Meg in most cases. I realize that this very much a "God in the Machine" book due to its very nature of dealing with Heaven and Hell, but the deus ex machina is a little much in some regards.
That being said, Eoin Colfer's writing is easy to digest--he combines very subtle humor in with obviously sharp wit. I will say, dear reader, that this book is entertaining--and most in the age sets of 10-15 will enjoy it.
Parents: if you are purchasing this book for one of your young adults, I would caution you to read it first if you are particularly sensitive to religious portrayals. Although I was not offended by anything in the book, and most will realize that this is truly FANTASY and not meant to be an accurate portrayal of any religious paradigms--people with very fundamental or specific views about religion that wish to shield their children from alternative interpretations (whether this is right or wrong) will want to review this material before hand.