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Eoin Colfer – The Wish List

January 16, 2012

170. The Wish List by Eoin Colfer (2000)

Read By: James Wilby
Length: 5h 46m (252 pages)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Started: 29 December 2011
Finished: 31 December 2011

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? I’ve enjoyed Colfer’s other books, and I thought the premise sounded interesting.

In Meg’s case, only
the perfectly-balanced-twixt-
good-and-bad die young.

Summary: Meg isn’t a bad person at heart, but she’s done some pretty bad things. For example, she and another kid, Belch, are breaking into an old man’s apartment (an activity about which Meg is having second thoughts) when she dies in a freak accident. But when she reaches the Other Side, there’s a problem: her soul is perfectly balanced between good & evil, and so they can’t decide whether to send her to Heaven or Hell. Meg must return to Earth as a ghost, and use her new lease on the afterlife to help someone – in her case, the same old man whose apartment she broke into – and he’s got a very specific list about the life choices he’d like to rectify. But Hell’s not going to let her soul escape their clutches without a fight…

Review: Eoin Colfer’s books are a reliable mix of zany, snarky, and sweet, and The Wish List is no exception. It’s not often that a kids’ book starts with its protagonist dying in a gas explosion, but Colfer somehow makes it work, and what could be a very serious story about sin and souls and second chances is lightened up by the constant stream of Colfer’s humor. Even though a lot of the action involves following an old man around Ireland as he (with Meg’s help) rights 50-year-old wrongs, there’s still a madcap feeling to a lot of it that reminded me of the Artemis Fowl books. It’s not the most morally complex book, and there are a few plot elements and running gags that didn’t always work for me. But even though it didn’t knock my socks off, it definitely had some nice moments, Meg & Lowrie’s bickering made me laugh, and it was short and sweet and kept me entertained. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Recommended for those who are looking for books that take a slightly skewed perspective on the afterlife, or for a fun mid-grade/YA adventure featuring ghosts.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Confessions of a Bibliovore, My Love Affair with Books, Red House Books
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Meg and Belch were doing a job.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2012 12:31 pm

    I hadn’t even heard of this book before. Sounds interesting!

  2. January 16, 2012 3:17 pm

    I’ve actually never read anything by Eoin Colfer. This sounds entertaining! I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing list :)

  3. February 8, 2012 2:24 pm

    I’ve been wondering about this one. Sounds like fun!

  4. December 10, 2012 4:00 am

    This is a beautiful book and definitely one for young and old alike.

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