Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: The Forbidden Wish

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Magic | Romance
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date:
Source: February 23, 2016
Format: Physical

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 (goodreads).

I could have never asked for a  better Aladdin retelling!
Plot: Zahra is a jinn that has been laying in wait in a city of ruins for over 500 years. When a young thief unwittingly rubs her lamp, she has no idea what to expect from her young master. And let me tell you, these crazy kids have the adventure of a lifetime. 

I'm still on the fence on my rating, I'm somewhere between a 4 and a 4.5, dare I be difficult and give this book a 4.25? I loved every moment of this book and how Khoury uniquely tied in the Aladdin story that the Disney princess in me loves. There was a clear beginning, climax, and satisfying conclusion that actually has me waiting on Khoury's doorstep for a companion novel (I know it won't happen, but a girl can dream). 

Characters: Khoury's characters made The Forbidden Wish special to me. Being inside Zahra's mind really helped add depth to this novel and her story was remarkable. Aladdin was a loveable playboy and their banter made my heart flutter. While Khoury didn't dedicate a lot of time introducing the secondary characters, they were easy to fall in love with and their voices felt natural . 

Worldbuilding: Khoury's writing is nothing short of beautiful, and her vivid description of this mystical land really stood out. I now want to devour anything set in the desert and have a bit of a reading slump. Worldbuilding is hard in fantasy, but Khoury made it seem effortless. My one minor complaint with the word is the consistency of language. Khoury did a wonderful job in including translations of Arabic phrases, but in the same line a character will refer to another character as "man." Like, "Whatever you say, man." It brought me out of the moment because that specific phrase felt very modern and didn't have a proper place in the novel. 

Short N Sweet: Was Aladdin your favorite Disney movie growing up? Then The Forbidden Wish is a book that you need on your shelves, immediately. 


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