Title: The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish #1)
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Genres & Themes: Young-adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Aladdin.
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 Arabian Nights from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
This book is one of the most beautiful retellings I’ve ever read!
Unlike many retelling and fantasy books, it’s a standalone. But that doesn’t deprive the book of its magic. Although it’s a standalone and a single book, it’s as good as many of the series if not better.
Let’s start with what I love about this book:
- Jinni – she is such a complexed and fierce character with a lot of secrets – secrets and a story that unravels slowly throughout the book.
- Aladdin – He’s simply WOW. He’s a good-looking thief with sass and flirty nature. What else can we ask for?
- Princess – I didn’t connect with her character at the beginning but after a while, I fell in love with her character too! She’s strong, tough and has a band of Handmaidens – more like warriors – and the best part is they treat each other like sisters. Not the mean-to-each-other part (you’ll understand if you have a sister) but the part where they care for each other and the Princess too much that the girls wouldn’t even think twice to kill or get killed for her.
- Writing – Jessica Khoury possesses a poetic writing style. Her words are lyrical and beautiful. I know it’s a retelling but she has woven an intricate world and written every detail so exquisitely that you’d feel like you’re sucked into the world yourself.
- Romance – I started shipping Zahra – Jinni – and Aladdin so badly I was shouting in my mind OTP!! Make it happen!! Yes, I’m weird and lame. Anyway, their romance is slow-burning and so intense and powerful.
- Story – I know it’s a retelling but there’s a lot more to it than that. I can’t reveal a lot of stories because obviously, I don’t wanna spoil it for you so READ IT!!
- Another thing that I love about this book is that it’s accurate. Like if you read a book about middle eastern culture then most of the time the information in the book is not well-researched and there are a lot of inaccurate things. But, that’s not the same with this one, thankfully!
Let’s get to the Cons part:
- The ending was a bit predictable. And by bit, I honestly mean bit. Because I knew some of the things would happen, I just wanted to see how. And how they happened literally amazed me.
- The beginning part was a teeny tiny bit of boring and hard to get into.
- no cons?
Have I yet convinced you to buy and read this book right this moment? If I haven’t then I’m gonna force you and nudge you till you read it. Because this book is definitely going to be one of my most favorite books of all time.
Recommending this to everyone!
About the Author:
Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff’s Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she’s dreamed of being an author.
When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration.
Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, and forthcoming Kalahari.