Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Be careful what you wish for.”
Before I even flipped this book to the first page, I just knew it was going to be as stunning and as hilarious as Audrey’s previous book, The Haunting Of Hattie Hastings – I had absolutely no doubt in my mind! If you’ve been following my reviews for some time, you may remember a year and a half ago when I was practically screaming about how good that book was, and how everyone in the universe had to read it (or else.) I’ve pretty much stalked Audrey ever since, eagerly awaiting this; her latest novel, which sounded just as wonderful, witty and fabulous as I’d hoped, and clearly, I was not disappointed!
When Jinnie Cooper is dumped by her fiancé, and exiled to a job in an antiques shop in a sleepy Scottish village, little does she know a battered old lamp is about to shake up her life. Genie Dhassim grants wishes. But he also wants a few of his own to come true. Letting him explore the outside world proves nerve-wracking as Dhassim has an uncanny knack of putting his pointy-slippered foot in it. As Jinnie grows closer to her employer Sam, Dhassim discovers his time on earth is running out. Can both Jinnie and Dhassim find true happiness? Or are those wishes that cannot be granted?
Oh Jinnie… Jinnie, Jinnie, Jinnie. What did you do to deserve all this hurt?! Jinnie is, of course, our main character, who has just gone through some considerable heartbreak. She’s been dumped by her fiancé, quit her job and just bought the tiniest, garden-shed-esque cottage because it’s all she can afford. Her best friend, Hannah, is doing all she can to make her feel better, but even after copious amounts of coffee and chat, she’s still not in her happy place as a thirty-five-year-old woman. Thankfully, she soon gets a little good news in the job department, and it isn’t long before she’s snapped up by a local antiques dealer needing another pair of hands. However, little does she know that she’ll be experiencing a lot more than she bargained for in this role. As expected, the author has effortlessly drawn me into the story with her stunning and humourous writing style, and I loved Jinnie already!
After receiving her first wage, collecting some fabulous looking antiques from her lovely boss, Sam, and preparing for a much needed girl’s night out, Jinnie begins to feel a little better. She can’t help but feel particularly curious about a dirty old lamp she obtained from the antiques shop though, but cleaning it up could wait until after her evening of drinks and fun. Little did she know, something magical and unexpected was brewing back at the cottage and I couldn’t wait for Jinnie’s reaction! The book so far has been such a delight, with such a smooth flowing pace you can so easily get lost in. I seriously lost track of time reading and didn’t get any housework done, but what can you expect from an Audrey Davis book?! Such a nice, lighthearted read that we all need right about now!
Lovely Sam, Jinnie’s boss, only gets more and more lovely, even though she’s sworn she’s staying away from men for the foreseeable future. He makes the odd flirty gesture as she finds out he’s divorced – bingo! Hang on, didn’t she say she wasn’t interested?! When she returns home from her day of work, she decides to clean that filthy old lamp. As expected, she gets the shock of her life! To my delight, this genie was quite the character and had a really unique personality – I was laughing as soon as he made an appearance! One thing I always say about the author is that her characters are truly wonderful, and I think the genie, Dhassim, is quite possibly my favourite one yet! I had a feeling Jinnie and Dhassim would have quite the journey and I was really looking forward to reading what they get up to throughout the book.
“She felt as if her future was one enormous black thundercloud, prepared to drench her already sodden hopes and dreams.”
Oh my word…the more I read, the more Dhassim had me in stitches! Even though his inability to stop eating all her food and use her beauty products was driving Jinnie insane, for readers, it was absolute comedy gold! He was so funny and flamboyant, but Jinnie doesn’t see this side of him – at least not right now. As well as learning about Jinnie and Dhassim’s shenanigans, the author also gives us a little more back story to other characters, such as Jo, the owner of a small coffee shop with a lonely life, and Ed, the son of a bar owner whose mother is unfortunately suffering with her memory. This helps us to understand other important characters further, and I had a good feeling that their suffering and Dhassim’s magical abilities could be the perfect pairing. Could Dhassim help more than just Jinnie throughout his visit?
The fun really begins when Jinnie jokingly wishes for a TV to watch a wildlife documentary – miraculously, a big fancy one appears in her living room! Dhassim tells her that his WIFI (Wish-Instigating Finder Instrument) isn’t working as it should, and wishes should only come true when asked via Dhassim directly. However, Jinnie plans on using the device’s malfunction to her advantage, especially as the nerves set in before she starts her second part time job at a local pub. I loved each wish that Jinnie asked for, (whether she was allowed to or not) and I felt excited for the endless possibilities that could come from this. I only hoped she wouldn’t get too carried away and take these wishes for granted before something bad happened! At this point, I found myself thinking of all the ways Dhassim’s wishes could help other people in Jinnie’s community, those who really needed a little help and happiness in their lives.
As Christmas approaches and she’s reunited with her closest friends, Jinnie feels rather content, even with an eccentric genie living rent free in her cottage! With festive celebrations in full swing, Jinnie gets a little ahead of herself when Sam arrives at the pub for a Christmas Eve beverage. Could her impulse actions change everything for the better, or has she ruined things completely? Jinnie also finds herself getting a little emotional as she wants all her friends to be happy, healthy and with the things they want in life. Jinnie is such a caring character and always seems to look out for those around her, and I just hoped the second half of the story would be kind to her! Especially when there are more wishes to be had…
Jinnie’s feelings for Sam and Ed begin to get confusing – does she really like two different men at the same time? After speaking to Dhassim about his own experience of love, Jinnie receives the request she’s been dreading – Dhassim wants to go out into the real world! Now, I had my worries about this; what if he couldn’t stick to a plan without the truth coming out? Even worse, what if Jinnie couldn’t keep him a secret and people thought she was utterly bonkers thinking he came out of a lamp?! The author’s humour was fantastic throughout the book, and I especially enjoyed Jinnie’s lies as she tried to get Sam to lend her some of his clothes for Dhassim! During this conversation, she was digging herself further and further into a hole she’d find difficult to get out of, especially when Sam asks if he can meet the guy she’s talking out. I was so looking forward to how she’d get herself out of this one – would it ever be possible to share this secret with Sam, someone she knows and trusts?
“She was certain he would be a true and loyal friend. And those weren’t always easy to find.”
One thing I particularly enjoyed throughout the book was that the author doesn’t just focus on Jinnie and Dhassim’s story. We hear about a friendly relationship blossoming between Jo and Ken, Ed and Angela as well as Jinnie’s separate relationships with all these characters individually. I also liked how these characters all knew one another – it was like one big perfectly connected jigsaw puzzle, with each character playing a huge part in how we read and understand the story. One particular part of the story I was really looking forward to exploring was the discovery of a second lamp – Dhassim sounded just as curious about it too! Could this lamp belong to his first and only love, Aaliyah? Someone he’d lost contact with many moons ago? I don’t think I’d be able to contain my excitement if these two were reunited! I really wanted Dhassim to get his own little bit of happiness, especially after doing so much for Jinnie. Will he also get his own wish?
Dhassim announces his time in little old Cranley is coming to an end, yet Jinnie still hasn’t found that other lamp. Despite her initial thoughts on Dhassim, Jinnie has become fond of him and I really thought she’d miss him when his time was up. She feels like she needs to do more for him in this time, which I wasn’t surprised about – her caring nature shows its face once again! Meanwhile, Jinnie asks Sam for advice about the engagement ring she still has in her possession. Following his advice, she gets dressed up and prepares herself to face her ex-fiancé head on – good lass! Jinnie has obviously gotten stronger in herself since Mark broke up with her and I think being around new people in a new place has done her the world of good. It was so nice to see this growth in character. I know a few people who need to take a leaf out of her book!
I felt myself get a little sad inside when Jinnie sees something she really doesn’t want to see. Even though she’d told herself she didn’t need a man in her life to be happy, she sees the person she’d grown to like with someone else. However, after hearing the story from both Jinnie and the other character’s point of view, I had a feeling that what she thought she’d seen wasn’t necessarily what had actually happened. Again, focusing on a number of different characters throughout the book helped the reader to understand each character more, and it gave us such a great, fulfilling reading experience. This was the kind of book you just wanted to last forever, and I was sad it was going to end! There was still time for Jinnie to get her own happily ever after, but would Dhassim be the one to help her get it?
The time comes for Jinnie to make her final wish -the one wish she really wanted to come true. Even though she had doubts about how morally wrong it was, she agreed to use her final wish for herself after using other wishes to help those in need, something I thought was really wonderful for her to do. However, when going through the usual wish-asking process, Dhassim’s WIFI rejects the wish for one of the BEST possible reasons which nearly had me in tears! Oh my god, my heart! Jinnie’s outlook on a number of things changes from that moment on, and I was so so excited to see what her next move would be. You can always guarantee that the author brings feel-good endings to her books and I braced myself for what the final couple of chapters would bring. What would the future hold for our beloved Jinnie?
“I’m sad and lonely, but I’m not desperate.”
Just when we think we’ve got the ending we hoped for, we get yet another pleasant surprise – this time for Dhassim. The second lamp of the pair finally surfaced, but would it contain what we all hoped it would? (Despite the lovely outcome, I burst into laughter at the result – it’s making me laugh again just thinking of it! Look out for the unexpected accent, that’s all I’m saying!) The book ended on the best possible note and the author has created such a lovely, heart-warming story with so many lovable characters and so much wonderful humour! I think Jinnie is quite possibly one of the most well put together characters I have followed in a book like this, with a heart of gold and such a kind, loving nature. I knew I’d love this book before I even began – a well deserved five stars from me! 🙂
Before you start this book, you must prepare yourself – you will smile, laugh and probably cry in parts, and this will continue right to the very last page! As a huge fan of Audrey’s books, I had such high hopes for her third novel before I even began – it turned out to be better than I could have ever imagined! I loved the beautifully created characters, each with their own personalities, hopes and dreams, and there is a deep story of both love and friendship with two very unlikely characters. It’s filled with magic, and not the kind that makes you roll your eyes – it flows unexpectedly well with the rest of the story, and I couldn’t have asked for a better adventure to enjoy!
Thank you so much to my favourite indie author, Audrey Davis, for delighting me with another beautiful, unforgettable story. I eagerly await number 4! (No pressure…) Also, a huge thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my slot on this blog tour! You can order your own copy of A Wish For Jinnie from Amazon, available in Kindle or paperback. You can follow Audrey over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates.