cover image As You Wish

As You Wish

Chelsea Sedoti. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4926-4231-2

For 17-year-old Eldon, his windblown hometown in the Mojave Desert is “the kind of place you wanna leave as quick as you can.” What it isn’t, however, is ordinary: the town’s residents are able to make a wish on their 18th birthday, which comes true. Eldon has 25 days to figure out what matters most to him, and everyone has an opinion (his mother pressures him to wish for the money they desperately need to save his sister, who is on life support). Eldon decides to research past wishes and their outcomes; third-person interludes appear between Eldon’s first-person chapters, detailing various citizens’ wishes. He discovers that most wishes have made the wishers’ lives worse, and that a perfect wish may not exist. The countdown structure creates a natural hook, and Sedoti (The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett) makes good use of her what-if premise to give readers much to consider. She successfully captures the feelings of uncertainty that come with nascent adulthood, the desire to leave home, and waiting for one’s life to begin. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Jan.)