Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review of The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Title/Author: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Publisher/Date published: Razorbill, February 23rd 2016
How I got this book: bought a shiny copy
Goodreads summary: She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

I'm always up for a good fairytale retelling and Aladdin is one of my childhood crushes, so obviously I needed to read this!

And I'm very happy to say that I totally loved it! I was a tiny bit hesitant cause another Aladdin retelling I read earlier this year left me with less than giddy feelings and I was definitely not looking for a repeat of that experience, but I didn't have to worry, because Jessica Khoury took parts of the tale I loved and then added SO MUCH GOODNESS and it was just amazing!

I loved Zahra, she's a 4000 year old being and obviously she's seen a LOT and has experienced major heartbreak, but it hasn't gotten her down yet. She hasn't become this bitter person, but instead is still willing to fight for the people she cares about and I liked that. I also loved discovering her backstory and hearing her talk to 'Habiba' in her mind, sort of narrating the story to her. Though I did guess at one point who exactly she'd been before she was the jinni of the lamp, it was still more complicated than I'd imagined and I loved it!

Obviously Aladdin was wonderful. I mean, he's a thief with a heart of gold and it really shows. He's just this amazing boy who has set himself on a path and Zahra pushes him along on it, but I love that he realises what exactly the important things are along the way. There's some definite character growth going on here and I always like that! And he's kinda dreamy, so I was totally shipping it!

I really liked how Jessica Khoury added to the fairytale of Aladdin with the system of the jinni and how it affects the world that Aladdin lives in. There's so much more to it than simply a boy from the streets trying to make his way in the world and a genie who grants wishes and of course has a desire to be free of the lamp. Even though I totally love the original tale as well. But I like when an author takes a beloved tale like this and than adds his or her own twist to it without it detracting from the orginal. And I feel that with The Forbidden Wish, Jessica Khoury has done exactly that!

So basically, I'm saying you should read this and I'll be on the lookout for more from Jessica Khoury as well as kicking myself for not having read anything by her before!

My rating: 5 stars


  1. I highly recommend this novel to all readers. The writing is enthralling and captivating, sweeping you away to desert lands filled with forbidden love, adventure, and betrayals at every turn. Everything about this book is perfection, and it is a must read. Don't miss out on this retelling!

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