Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Published by: Razorbill; February 23, 2016
Format/Source: Digital galley provided for free via First To Read in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
It was quite a while before this book was released that I first heard about it. And from the beginning, I was seriously excited about the world that would be created and anxious to see what twist the author would put on the story of Aladdin, one of my favorite stories. What the author manages to create is a breathtaking world, full of interesting characters and my new favorite version of Aladdin.
The Forbidden Wish tells the story of Aladdin, a boy from the streets, and Zahra, the most powerful Jinni, and how their love changes everything around them. I love that this story has some of the elements of the story we already know, but it’s presented in a new way. Khoury has said that this is a story she has been wanting to tell, and you can definitely sense that in her writing. This whole book felt special and beautiful.
All Zahra wants is what any Jinni would want, her freedom. She is banished to a city no longer inhabited and she stays there for many, many years, until a magical ring leads Aladdin there and he becomes her new master. They return to his city, a place where Jinn are hunted and considered enemies. The King of the Jinn has been searching for his son, who was captured, and offers Zahra a deal. If she can find and free the prince, she receives what she wants most, her freedom. The closer she gets to completing her mission the more she starts to realize her feelings for Aladdin, and she can’t have her freedom and be with him, so she must decide what matters more.
I absolutely loved Zahra. I loved her voice in this story. I loved her spirit and determination. She has been through a lot in her very long life. The last time she felt love for a human, it resulted in very bad things happening and that definitely still has an effect on her and her relationship with Aladdin.
It did take me a little while to get on board with the romance between her and Aladdin, but once I was in, I was hooked. Even though I knew it was going to happen, didn’t register for me right away, which I almost think worked out really well. It wasn’t rushed at all, and it never felt forced or fake, it felt real and very beautiful.
The Forbidden Wish is a beautifully written story that will make you fall in love with Aladdin all over again, and you will also fall head over heels for the Jinni from the lamp. If you’re as big a fan of re-tellings as I am, you’re not going to want to miss this story.