Fair warning, guys. Look at the title of this post. It’s not a joke. Click through here and there be spoilers.
If you haven’t read my review on As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti, you can check it out here.
So can we just take a moment to talk about how messed up of a town Madison must be?
Giving people the power to wish for anything and not putting more restrictions on it is terrifying to me. Maybe I thought about it too much, but although there are guidelines, they don’t feel strict enough to me. Here are some loopholes I thought of as I was reading through the book:
- You can wish for someone to die or be harmed.
- You can wish for someone to love you.
- You can wish for people to want to have sex with you.
- You can wish to read minds.
- You can wish to know everyone’s secrets.
- You could wish to own someone else’s property.
The list goes on. I was thinking about grabbing the ten commandments and showing how you could break every single one, but it became too horrifying and I think six is enough.
This whole wish system is a nightmare when it comes to consent and one of the biggest tragedies in my mind was the story of Eldon’s parents, with the father who can’t help but quietly love his mother for the rest of their lives. It’s a horrifying story of forced love, of taking someone’s desires to live a different life and forcing it to fit your own desires. That got me thinking about the other things that people could do with their wishes.
If a wish could change the way that someone loved someone else, could you changes the political views of a person? Could you take a queer person and make them straight or vice versa?
I’m surprised there’s so much trust when it comes to the way that the town wishes. I suppose that people are just so invested in getting their own wishes when the time comes that no one considers leaving this screwed up situation. Your neighbours could destroy everything you are with a single wish and you wouldn’t be able to do anything to stop it. And when you think about the lengths that people go to, that’s pretty benign.
Part of the reason I’d be interested in an entire side novel that was nothing but a collection of wishes is I’d want to know what would happen if there was someone who was truly sick getting the chance to make their wish. What if the person is a pedophile or a serial killer? There are people who can have those desires begin before the age of eighteen, so they would all be in the running to have their wishes fulfilled.
I stopped and tried to think of what I would wish for as a serial killer (yes, I actually put time into thinking about this. I’m a true crime junkie, don’t judge) and all you would need to do is wish that the police could never catch you.
If the mayor could wish himself into office by rigging elections, it’s obvious that people are able to screw around with the laws of society. Why not get yourself a get out of jail free card?
You could steal the money from everyone in the town and the police would never be able to catch you. Maybe everyone would know it was you, but it wouldn’t matter because they would all be trapped within your web.
There are way too many ways that this system could be exploited and no way to undo the damage that it’s done which is why, as much as some people may have been surprised by Eldon’s decision in the end, I was glad of it. Get rid of the wishes and lead a normal life, that is way too much power to give to eighteen year olds without more rules in place.
What do you think? Am I overreacting about the life-ruining power of wishes? Let me know in the comments below.