Wishful Thinking by Kayla Bulster

Sami is a genie who has worked for years to protect the human race from demons. It’s been a little lonely, but she’s enjoyed being able to help people. Sami’s just started over at a new high school (she’s going to study to be a teacher this time) when she meets Nate. Nate is different from the other boys that she’s met in the past 300 years and Sami finds herself feeling things that she didn’t know she could feel. She also finds that she wants to tell Nate her secrets–especially since his relationship with her might soon put him in danger.

I’ll be honest, this book surprised me. Genie’s aren’t generally 51H7uohK68L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_my thing–I prefer reading about other mythical creatures–but this one kind of worked for me. I liked the concept of genie-hood. They don’t live in lamps, they can give someone more than three wishes (it just has to be a different day), and they have to be touching someone to grant their wish. I thought it was an interesting take on what everyone thinks when they hear “genie”. I understand the “why” of the genie’s limitations as far as the plot goes, but I do wish the author had been able to come up with and explain the “why” within the history of genies that she created. I think that’s something that was a little lacking…what is the genie creation story? Tell me why demons and genies are battling for the human race. The book was fine without all of that, but I think it would have been more interesting and provided another layer of depth to Sami and the rest of the genies.

Characters that are immortal or age super slow are always a little tricky for me. One of my initial thoughts was, “Okay, so Sami is super old…but she chooses to repeat high school an infinite number of times. Why???” So I was glad when the author gave an explanation to that (and one that actually made sense!). My other issue, though, is her relationship with Nate. There were just some holes that I didn’t feel got filled in. It makes me uncomfortable to think about a 300-year-old person dating a 17-year-old guy…even if Sami looks like she’s 16, the reality is she’s been alive A LOT longer than Nate has. It just seems like there would be a disparity in maturity levels. Also, Sami makes a point to mention that she’s never felt this way about anyone before. So what makes Nate so special? Don’t get me wrong, he seemed like a great guy, but like…a normal kind of great. It seems impossible that Sami hasn’t run into other great guys in other high schools. Maybe it would have been better if there had been more of a friendship at the beginning of their relationship instead of the “we both like each other but we’re not technically dating” thing they had going on. The last hole in their relationship for me is the fact that they do not have a happily ever after relationship. Nate is going to get older and Sami’s pretty much going to look the same. What’s going to happen when Nate’s 70 and Sami still looks like she’s 25?

I felt like the plot was well thought-out, but maybe a little too straightforward. It definitely could have been more suspenseful than it was. I kept expecting one of the other genie characters to double-cross Sami, but they never did. It was a good plot, but it could have benefited from a plot twist.

My overall impression is that the author could have done a little more showing instead of telling but I thought it was a sweet story and I ended up liking it. It’s an easy read and it made a nice break from some more intense books that I was reading. I would definitely recommend this book to younger YA readers.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Moderate
Language: None
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild

Note: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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