Monday, February 22, 2016

Review: The Forbidden Wish

Title:  The Forbidden Wish
Series:  None
Author:  Jessica Khoury
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retelling
Publisher:  Razorbill
Publication Date:  February 23, 2016
Source:  I received an ARC of this book from Jen over at J(en)Adore!

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. 

Find The Forbidden Wish online

I hadn't heard of this book before I received an ARC of it as part of a giveaway and, let me tell you, I am so happy that I was given a chance to read it early.  This was an incredibly rich and interesting retelling of the story of Aladdin, told from the point of view of the jinni.  

 I loved the narrator of this story, Zahra.  I've never read a retelling of Aladdin from the point of view of the jinni and I just couldn't get enough.  She gave a whole new dimension to the original story and I enjoyed seeing the way the events unfolded from her perspective.  Also, the way in which she narrated was awesome.  She spoke as if she was talking to us as her friend, addressing the reader as "you", someone she knew in the past.  It's hard for me to explain, but it made it easier for me to get sucked into the story and feel more invested int he characters because I felt like I was a part of the world.  Not only has she a great narrator, but she was an awesome character.  Strong, sassy, and intelligent.  She was totally able to stand up for herself and I loved seeing her rise to challenges.

The world was another part of this story that really stood out to me.  It was so well written and lush - I could imagine it easily.  The descriptions made me feel like I could jump right into the world with Zahra and Aladdin. The author did an incredible job of crafting a rich and thorough world that set the tone and scene of the entire book.  Not only was the present world solidly built, the past seemed just as vivid and well-crafted.  It was really interesting seeing Zahra compare the old world she knew so well and the world she was released into, 500 years later.  

Aladdin and Zahra had amazing chemistry.  The both had such strong personalities - they stood out individually and as a unit.  Aladdin was funny and confident and stood out from the regular YA love interest tropes.  He had a big heart and you could tell that he cared deeply about the feelings and well being of those he liked.  My only complaint is that I wish we had seen more build up in the relationship between Zahra and him.  It felt like they went from more of a mutually beneficial and necessary relationship to a love-based relationship a bit abruptly.  

The ending wrapped up everything so nicely.  I absolutely loved how things were resolved, though I'm a bit disappointed we won't be seeing more of this world and these characters.  This is my first book from this author, though, and I'm really looking forward to exploring her other works and anything she might release in the future.

“The will of this boy thief flows in golden streams. It is the thread with which I weave, the colors with which I paint, the element with which I create.”   

Five Teapots

Thank you to Razorbill and Jen for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book!


  1. I loved this book too! I thought the world-building was lovely, and I especially loved the detail on the djinn. I thought Zahra's character was wonderful, and I really could relate to her and her situation. Aladdin was funny! I shipped those two so hard, and I'm so happy with the end. I almost wish this were a series... but one book was perfect for it! Nice review :)

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    1. I agree! The djinn history was so complex and well thought out! I loved reading about it. And same, I would so love a series but I was so happy with how this one ended that I can't be too upset about one getting one book! Thank you!

  2. Ahhhh this sounds AMAZING!! I have never read a Jessica Khoury book before, but I'm thinking this will be my first and I'm SO EXCITED. I love Persian folklore and I adore retellings, so squeeee! NO DOWNSIDES. Also Zahra sounds amazing. :D

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. This is my first Jessica Khoury book and it was the perfect one to start with! I think you should definitely pick it up as soon as possible, it's just so lovely!


Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns