Literary agent Ribar's debut novel is a deceptively light girl-meets-genie story. Margo, a talented senior with musical aspirations, feels cast aside by her newly reunited parents (it's like the opposite of The Parent Trap) and slighted when she is overlooked for the lead in the school play. The coveted part goes to the awkward Vicky, and no else appears to notice what a train-wreck she is on stage. When Margo finds a magic ring in the girls' bathroom, she becomes the master of a cute and unassuming genie named Oliver, who had previously granted Vicky wishes. Margo is captivated by Oliver, who can also read her true desires, and when he grants her wish to become a better songwriter, the results are spectacular. The theatrics of an evil, rival genie's shapeshifting aren't nearly as menacing as the repercussions of blind wish fulfillment. While the relationship between Margo and Oliver initially falls in line with paranormal romance conventions, Ribar also weaves some psychological intricacy and darkness into their bond. Broader questions about ownership, inauthenticity, and greed give the story additional substance. Ages 12–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013 Release date: 03/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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