The Wish List

by Eoin Colfer

Hardcover, 2003



Local notes

Fic Col



Disney-Hyperion (2003), Edition: 1, 252 pages


Meg Finn is in trouble. She's dead, but not at peace--she's in limbo, her good deeds perfectly balanced against her bad deeds; Heaven or Hell wait, a tip of the scale away. So she's back on Earth trying to tip the scale to the good by helping her last victim, and her former "partner" is also back, trying to force her to tip the scale to the bad.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

252 p.; 5.25 inches


0786818638 / 9780786818631



User reviews

LibraryThing member KarenAJeff
Meg Finn is in trouble. She's dead, but not at peace--she's in limbo, her good deeds perfectly balanced against her bad deeds; Heaven or Hell wait, a tip of the scale away. So she's back on Earth trying to tip the scale to the good by helping her last victim, and her former "partner" is also back, trying to force her to tip the scale to the bad.… (more)
LibraryThing member sara_k
The Wish List is by the author of The Artemis Fowl series. Like Eoin Colfer's other books The Wish List has a melding of supernatural and mortal worlds but this time the melding does not involve the world of faerie but the worlds of the afterlife. Like the other books, technology pops up in unexpected places.

Meg is killed by her partner in crime during a home invasion; this should send her right to hell along with Belch and his dog (now one being) but just before her death she tried to stop the crime and put her life at risk to save the life of an old man. One in several million, Meg has a life exactly balanced between good and evil deeds. Meg is given a chance to redeem herself by returning to earth and fulfilling the Wish List but Satan has decided that she must not succeed and he is sending someone to stop her. Humanity ensues.

Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member lalalibrarian
I listened to the audio book. Satan's character sounded like a cross between Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. :)
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
This was published a year before Artemis Fowl and was reprinted after Artemis became a great hit, for which I can't blame the publishers. It is a story about the Christian afterlife as propagated in story and tale in Ireland for centuries. It has a minion of the devil and a minon of God fighting for the control of a balanced soul. It is a well-used story, showing some age but I enjoyed it.

On the face of it it's obvious that Meg Finn should go to hell. She was involved in a breakin on Lowrie McCall with Belch Brennan and his nasty pit bull Raptor, the outcome of which was Lowrie injured by the dog and Meg, Belch and Raptor dead, because Belch needed to prove his superiority and threaten Meg and accidentally blow them all to bits. When Meg arrives in the afterlife she's balanced between good and evil and gets a chance to go back and earn her way into heaven. She has to help Lowrie. Lowrie decides to make a wish list of things he wishes he had done, and the two of them go to it. Meanwhile Hell send Belch after her.

It's light, predictable, fun and I enjoyed it as a fun diversion.
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LibraryThing member HustonAlba3
This book was an amazing read. I really do hope they make it into a movie. The begining is about a girl named Meg who did something wrong in her life which led to a bad time of stealing and myschief. She dies in a gun fire accident, but she's speacial, so when she dies she does not go to heaven, neither hell... she gets a second chance to make things right.… (more)
LibraryThing member hoosgracie
It took me awhile to warm up to this story, but ultimately I enjoyed the play of good and evil and the journey to come to terms with death.
LibraryThing member missmath144
A girl dies in the process of committing a crime in which she tries to keep her partner from hurting an old man. So she's bad for committing the crime but good for trying to protect the old man. Should she go to heaven or hell? Well, she gets sent back down to earth to make amends. She has to do this by helping the old man fulfill his list of things he wishes he had done -- like play ball in Yankee Stadium (or whichever stadium is in his town, I forget), kiss the girl he took out once and really liked, etc. Meanwhile, God and Satan are working to get her to their sides, and they have cell phones, computers, and holograms to work with.… (more)
LibraryThing member BookWhisperer
This YA book was a breath of fresh air, something completely different than I have read lately. It is the belief that was we do in this world will determine where we go in the next. It is not what we believe it is what we do that defines us. The Wish List, invokes that belief to enlighten us with a story of a girl that had made many wrong decisions in her life, but the one right before she dies might have saved her. Now can she continue on a angelic path so that she will be graced with her eternity in heaven, or will she make another bad decision that could send her to hell.… (more)
LibraryThing member kristy-zeluff
Outstanding and original. I listened to it on CD, which I highly recommend. Excellent performance.
LibraryThing member ykolstad
This is an interesting, (OK wacky) take on the after-life. Normally this type of book would not be my particular cup of orange soul-residue, but I'll admit that I didn't want to stop reading until the it was over. I liked how the author withheld the details of the terrible deeds that Meg had inflicted on her step-father until the end. This is a kinda-creepy, often- silly book that finishes with a cool blue twist that just makes you feel (surprisingly) good.… (more)
LibraryThing member heidilove
WOW! Colfer proves that his wonderful honest and funny approach isn't limited to the Artemis series. If this delightful little trip into hell is a glimpse of things to come, please bring it on!
LibraryThing member ajramsden
Fourteen-year-old Meg Finn had done enough bad deeds in her lifetime to put her on the fast track to hell, however, during her last moments on Earth it is the good act of trying to save an old man’s life that might save her soul. During a botched robbery, Meg and her partner in crime, Belch, are accidently killed with Belch and his evil dog going to hell and Meg in limbo. Meg’s spirit is sent back to Earth with the task of setting things straight in order to escape eternity in hell and she returns to Lowrie, the old man she helped save, but who was also injured during the robbery. To get into the pearly gates Meg must help Lowrie complete his “wish list,” a list of regrets he wants to change in his life, but time is running out and Belch is back from hell with a mission of his own: to see that Meg fails.
While fantasy and supernatural type books are usually not what I typically read and it took me awhile to get into Wish List, I could soon see why this book is popular for teens. Colfer’s writing style is hysterically funny in some scenes and it helps that the book never takes itself too seriously. I think that this title would also be a good recommendation for reluctant readers if they have no issues with the afterlife topic.
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LibraryThing member hahnasay
A good story. Easy to read and has a good message.
LibraryThing member Dog_Ogler
Very funny and clever book.
LibraryThing member burnit99
Meg Finn is a 14-year-old girl, trapped at home with an abusive stepfather after her mother's death. She has been lured by 16-year-old thug Belch to burglarize an old man, Lowrie McCall. Things go awry and both are killed in the act. Belch's spirit goes straight to Hell, but Meg has tipped the scales dead even by trying to protect the old man from Raptor, Belch's pit bull. So, to determine her afterlife address, she is sent back to the old man as a spirit with a mission: to help him in whatever way he decides important during his remaining time on Earth. Satan wants the girl, so sends Belch back to gum up the works. I've read a few other books with similar plots, but Colfer brings his unique style and humor to this one, and it is certainly the most entertaining of the lot. There's also a final paragraph that succeeded in getting me all teary-eyed.… (more)
LibraryThing member essa868
A cleverly written story about girl trying to make it to heaven. There's nothing better than reading about Saint Peter and Beelzebub duking it out.
LibraryThing member gerleliz
Enjoyable, fun short read
LibraryThing member fyrefly98
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.
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LibraryThing member TheDivineOomba
Unlikeable characters pretty much killed this book for me. Read half of it.
LibraryThing member Librabookworm
I found this to be a very engaging and well- written book, Colfer depicts the people and places with the utmost clarity. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light hearted 1- 2 day read. Very good.
LibraryThing member br13karo
The Wish List by Eoin Collifer is about a girl named Meg. Meg is in a bad time in her life and decides to go with Belch, a boy her age who is a trouble maker, to rob a old man named Lowrie. But when Lowrie catches them, threatens to shoot them, then gets attacked by Belch's vicious dog, meg runs outside to the alley. Belch then takes Lowrie's gun, goes out to the alley, and tries to shoot Meg, but misses. The bullet hits the gas tank behind Meg, and they both die. Belch goes to Hell, but Meg's auora is purple, half red, half blue. So Meg gets to try to save her soul by going back, as a spirit, to grant Lowrie his last wishes, before time runs out, or the devil gets her.
I really enjoyed this book. I Iiked how the author portrayed the concept of Heaven and Hell. Eoin described how she saw Heaven and Hell so well, that it felt like I was a spirit drifting along "The Tunnel". Eoin also did an excellent job of describing the devil. She gave him such a specific personality, and distinctive charectoristics. I loved how well I was able to picture the story, due to the wording and the descriptions. But I also like how creative Eoin Collifer got when it came down to Lowrie's wishes and Meg's powers. They were just so unexpected but i can't be specific because I don't want to give it away. The Wish List is so different than any other book that I have ever read. I would reccomend it to anyone who appreciates reading really good books, and who takes the time to really imagine everything that the author has written down.
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LibraryThing member akmargie
Not my favorite Eion Colfer but a very interesting take on life after death and what it means to be good or evil.
LibraryThing member ogorobez
Meg and Belch were doing a job. Meg and Belch. Sounded like some sort of comedy double act. But it wasn't. There was nothing funny about breaking into a pensioner's flat. Raptor was slobbering on Meg's boots. 'Do we really need the mutt?' she hissed, wiping her dripping boot in the flowerbed.
Belch turned away from the window. Piggy eyes glared out from under gelled spikes of hair. 'Listen, Finn,' he whispered. 'Raptor is no mutt. He is a pure breed, from a long line.' Meg rolled her eyes. Belch returned to window-jimmying, worming the blade of the screwdriver between the frame and the sill.

For the thousandth time, Meg Finn wondered what she was doing here. How had she sunk this far – skulking around the granny flats with a lowlife like Belch Brennan? Her reflection glared accusingly from the window pane. For a second she saw the ghost of her mother in that face. The same wide blue eyes, the same braided blonde hair, even the same frown wrinkles between her eyebrows. What would Mam think of this latest escapade? Meg's involuntary blush answered the question for her.

Something slit in the window frame. 'We're in,' grunted Belch. 'Let's go.' Raptor scrabbled up the wall into the dark interior. He was the point-dog, sent in to check for hostiles. His orders were simple. Bite everything. If it screamed, it was hostile. The pit bull was not what you'd call a stealth canine and managed to barge into every stick of furniture on the ground floor.

'Why don't we just ring the bell?' groaned Meg. 'Oh stop your whining, Finn,' snorted Belch. 'Old Lowrie is deaf as a post anyway. You could set off fireworks in there and he wouldn't stop snoring.' Belch hoisted his considerable bulk over the sill, exposing a drooping belly in the process. Meg shuddered. Disgusting.

Her partner's face appeared from the darkness. 'Are you coming, Finn?' Meg paused. This was it. The line between bold and bad. The decision was hers....
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LibraryThing member jmoncton
Funny, upbeat story about a girl who after dying, is half-way between spending eternity in heaven or hell. She gets another chance on earth to hopefully send her heaven ward. Funny and sweet.
LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
Mr. Colfer sets the stage - girl must find a way to tip the balance if she wants to get to heaven. There are some entertaining characters and a growing attachment between Meg and Lowrie. The only part I found lacking was the idea that Meg was a delinquent. All the back story shows her doing very understandable things - not truly immoral things. But that might be a bit of nit-picking.… (more)

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