AS YOU WISH, by Chelsea Sedoti, Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks

 

What if you could ask for anything- and get it? 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

Out January 2nd, 2018

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Many have hated this book because the main character, they thought, was written to be hated, which is a risky route to take for any author. But I see more to Eldon.

Eldon, appears to be a representation of all the darker sides to human nature that everyone struggles to avoid or show.  Eldon is written as a constant struggle. He struggles with life in this small town, he struggles with the people in it. He feels stifled and ‘ripped off’ in life, and he seems to be very angry most of the time. This anger brings out the worse in him and he deflects these emotions by taking them out on others. The human side of Eldon does allow feelings of regret for his actions shown in how he sees himself throughout the novel.

Self-loathing festers and spreads and Eldon, only a teenager (soon to be 18) has a lot on his plate to deal with. Then there’s his sister and the guilt and anger he feels about her. Now, there’s pressure about a wish and the outcome of making one on his eighteenth birthday. He’s worried about this as shown in the diary he’s keeping about others, their wishes and the outcomes.

The complexity of this character is almost the entire book. The rest of the elements found in the story are the triggers in Eldon’s life that make Eldon… well Eldon. This part of Eldon’s nature is not understood by him, nor are there any efforts to help him. Many other issues can metastasize from Eldon continuously channeling feelings inwardly, and instead of resolving the triggers that cause bouts of reactions–Eldon’s temper and behaviors toward others, he will self-destruct . He seems to be attempting to rid himself of these feelings but his attempts backfire, leaving him more frustrated and feeling guilty, which in turn causes more self-loathing. It’s a cruel vicious cycle. All the secondary characters are there to push and prod Eldon into reacting. Very complex!

I found the story deep and fascinating. The teen is troubled and unable to deal with everything happening in his world despite all his best efforts, even if those efforts are negative. It’s deep, insightful and profound and although hit hard by negative reviews, I would encourage people to give it a chance and read this book.

I gave it:

3.5-star

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