Published by Razorbill on February 23, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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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?
As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
5 Reasons you should read The Forbidden Wish ASAP:
- The Writing is beautiful. Jessica Khoury writes very poetically and lyrically. The writing alone is lovely, making the reading of this book a treat. Put on top of that likable and interesting characters and an exciting plot, and you’ve got a winner.
- A strong, likable heroine: Zahra is an extremely powerful jinni. She can grant almost anything you could wish for. She is constantly turning into other things (like cats!) and she has been alive for thousands of years. She has some very interesting character struggles, with how to relate to humans, for a number of reasons, not just because she thinks she, as a jinni, is better than them.
- An adorable, mischievous hero: Who doesn’t adore Aladdin? I feel like I don’t even really need to say much more here. He’s snarky, a ladies man, and yet swiftly falls in love with Zahra, and actually is rather honorable. He adapts well to situations, even though he’s adorably unsure of himself at times. He thinks he wants to marry the princess (although his reasons might surprise you), until he gets to know Zahra better.
- An unobtrusive love triangle: I’ve been reading quite a few of these lately. Last year I was completely fed up with love triangles, and this year, I’ve been reading some that haven’t so much been love triangles as they were obstacles for the real relationship. I’m totally good with obstacles. They keep a relationship interesting. I can’t handle the “I just love them both so much” argument. Like, no. You don’t. Anyway, the “triangle” in The Forbidden Wish hardly counts as a true triangle, but it was a good conflict in the Zahra/Aladdin romance.
- High stakes: all of the intense conflict Zahra faces end in her either winning or spending an eternity of misery somewhere horrible. This made all of her efforts very serious and important and kept me reading breathlessly straight through to the end.
The Forbidden Wish is a wonderfully written, engaging retelling of Aladdin. I think anyone who enjoys that story, or is looking for a romantic, atmospheric tale of jinnis and magic will devour The Forbidden Wish.
The Forbidden Wish is filling the category “Read a Book with a Cat” in my 2016 Bingo Challenge; in The Forbidden Wish, Zahra turns into a cat multiple times. To find more info on my 2016 Reading Challenges, go HERE.
Content: some disturbing images, some violence, kissing. Recommended for 15+