Goodreads: Eden’s Wish
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home, but to Eden,the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.
When Eden finds a gateway to Earth inside the lamp, she takes her chance. In a moment, she’s entered the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.
Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures-but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power-including hurting Tyler and Sasha, the mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends-and protect the magic of the lamp-Eden will have to decide once and for all where she belongs.
Eden’s Wish is exactly the type of fun middle grade story I would have loved reading as a child–short, sweet, full of life and just a touch of danger. As a more experienced reader, I can see that this book doesn’t stand out in the market; it’s clearly riding the growing trend of genie stories and doesn’t offer anything new either to that or middle grade novels in general. However, I still enjoyed the story, and young readers who are not concerned about whether this book is going to still be around in ten years will certainly do so, as well.
Protagonist Eden is basically Disney’s Rapunzel in genie form; she hasn’t seen much of the world outside her lamp, and when she gets the chance to do so, she’s a mix of unbridled excitement and awkwardness. She doesn’t really understand how school or social conventions work, but she’s totally excited to find out. While Eden’s personality fits her situation, it does read like a bit of a rip-off. The good news, however, is that it means readers get to see the very familiar setting of middle school in an entirely new light. Is it weird you have to raise an arm before speaking in class? Should school be exciting?
I was actually more invested in these world-exploring scenes than the main plot–the idea that two groups of genies are after Eden and her lamp. It’s obvious what choice Eden needs to make. The fact that even the good genies come off as unnecessarily brash and intimidating doesn’t negate the fact that they’re right. Eden just has to figure out how to make the choice on her own terms. This does mean the book is a bit more about the journey than the destination, but I liked the other parts of the journey better.
Overall, Eden’s Wish is just a fun, fluffy book perfect for children who want a mix of fantasy and contemporary in their novels. The book is currently a standalone but clearly set up to be open to sequels. Recommended.
3 thoughts on “Eden’s Wish by M. Tara Crowl (ARC Review)”
Genie stories are a growing trend? Where have I been?
Yes! It’s more like a mini-trend, so I don’t think it’s going to be like the vampire craze, but there has been a noticeable increase in genie books! I also noticed a lot when I was at ALA; basically every publisher had their token genie book in display.
Interesting. I just haven’t run across any of them yet. Well, except for the book you just reviewed. 🙂