Thursday, February 25, 2016

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Add to Goodreads
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.

I am really, really digging this onslaught of YA novels featuring Middle Eastern culture, and more specifically, jinn and related folklore. I know that there have been retellings of Aladdin previously, but this tale isn't retold all that often, especially compared to some, as seen in this graphic of YA retellings created by EpicReads. That being said, I don't think I've ever read one that turned the original story on its head quite like this one.

The Forbidden Wish is told from the jinni's perspective, and I think it's all the more gratifying for it. Zahra's been locked away for centuries, but even so, she still feels the bitter sting of betrayal her actions caused all those years ago. That palpable grief and guilt can be felt throughout the story and it made my heart ache for her character.

Zahra's voice is flowery and full of beautiful prose, even especially when she is withholding the full truth or scope of things. Aladdin's voice, on the other hand, was course and clipped and made him sound every bit the "street rat" he'd been when he discovered the lamp. I loved that as much as the author changed the larger aspects of the story, she left some of them just the way I remember. That is, from childhood memories of watching the Disney version. =) The story felt familiar in all the ways that count, but it also stood on its own, apart from any previous iterations.

The Forbidden Wish was enchanting, making me fall for the story of Aladdin and his jinni all over again -- and in a slightly different context than I loved their story before. ;0) This retelling was daring and full of sacrifice and sweeping declarations of love. Oh, was very romantic. Unfortunately, it's purported to be a stand-alone, though the mention of another iconic Middle Eastern hero at the end leads me to believe the author may not be done with this cycle of stories yet. One can only hope after the beauty and magic of this story.

GIF it to me straight:

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.

Find Jessica:

WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest


  1. I've heard such good things about this boo :)

  2. I've heard such good things about this boo :)

  3. Book. Lol boo. That's what I get for commenting from my phone.

  4. Book. Lol boo. That's what I get for commenting from my phone.

  5. I've heard good things about this one and I just loooove that cover! :D

  6. I've been looking for more middle-eastern set books ever since I finished reading The Wrath and the Dawn earlier this month! Great review


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...