The Wish List is a novel by Eoin Colfer.
The novel begins with the protagonist, Meg Finn, dying horribly in a gas explosion after a break in goes wrong and the guy she's helping (sort of) accidentally blows them both up. However, because she tried to do good just before she died- saving the life of the old man Lowrie she was stealing from- she gets sent back to tip the scales, so to speak, one way or the other, to heaven or hell. To do this she has to help Lowrie complete the items on his "wish list": a list of things that he feels will correct the many mistakes he made in his life. In the meantime, both heaven and hell are out for her soul.
Contains examples of the following tropes:
- Abusive Step-parents: Her step-father really isn't a nice guy.
- Back From the Dead
- Bittersweet Ending: Meg gets to heaven and sees her mother again, but she doesn't get to stick around Lowrie like she planned.
- Celestial Bureaucracy
- Chekhov's Gun: The blue stones.
- Demonic Possession: Well, kind of. Meg can do this.
- Any spirit can. But it costs a fair amount of energy.
- Finger-Poke of Doom: As things seem hopeless for team Evil, Myishi manages to cause Lowrie to have a fatal heart attack by appearing on the visible spectra in front of him just before he can complete the final wish, exploiting his already failing heart.
- Freudian Excuse: Megs childhood, in her own words, was "no great shakes", and goes some way towards explaining her mean-streak, especially in comparison to the story's antagonists.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Both main characters. Meg can be a spiteful little horror, but quickly cottons on when she has gone too far (such as when she tells Lowrie that "its a bit late for this life" and then immediately realises the full ramifications of what she has said) or when things are deadly serious (her reaction to Belch's pitbull savaging Lowrie, and her attempts to get Belch to stop the attack; an attempt which saves Lowrie and saves herself from hell.) Lowrie, for his part, is a grumpy old man, but is still sensitive enough to take Megs issues in life and her desire for retribution against her abusive stepfather seriously. Both characters, in this way, demonstrate hidden sensibilities even if they are outwardly not particularly nice.
- Missing Mom: Of the dead variety.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: A slight subversion, considering both people involved are already dead. Meg Finn has earned her final reward and is on the fast track up the tunnel towards Heaven, but Belch attempts to drag her in the opposite direction, prompting (according to Saint Peter afterwards) the first instance of violence in the tunnel, accompanied by this:
Belch, you can go to Hell! (kick to the face)
- Race Against the Clock: Meg naturally loses life-force as time wears on, and Lowries heart condition begins to deteriorate as the stress of the stories events gets to him, turning the book into a race to fulfill all four wishes before the pair expire, condemning Lowrie to an unfulfilled life and Meg to the fire below.
- Ramp Jump: Belch tries to do this near the end, but Reality Ensues as the fence he tried to ramp simply ends up tangled around his bike. It wasn't even necessary, given that he could have just plowed through.
- Save the Villain: While he's not the villain, Meg's step-father is still brought back from the dead by her--and then vows to be a much better person, having caught a glimpse of Hell.
- Shout-Out: Myishi is a character.
- Also, a possible one when describing Belch using up Franco's "life". "He was just a ghost in a shell."