Monday, October 14, 2019

Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Series: Standalone
Genre: Fantasy/Retelling/Romance
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Edition: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Purchased

   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. 


Ok, 2016 Marie, why did you wait three years to read this book? This book was a really enjoyable read. 

I loved Zahara, she was a fantastic character to navigate this story. Seeing things unfold through her eyes was a really unique way to retell the story of Aladdin and the lamp. I loved getting all the back story to the world of the Jinn, what happened to Zahara and her previous master. The origin of the Jinn. In very few pages of this standalone (I guess there is a prequel, but it's a wattpad exclusive, and it's not really that long) there is a lot of back story setup, and character development that doesn't feel rushed at all. There are periods of time when a week or more has passed with nothing mentioned of what really happened during that time other than a passing sentence. But I suppose it's done that way because nothing of note really happens at that time so it's not worth mentioning.

Aladdin, he is the classic shameless flirt, thief, chip on his shoulder, doesn't want to be a hero kind of guy. I like that he isn't perfect. He isn't a monster, but he is mostly just lazy and really unwilling to be proactive when it comes to getting what he wants. He knows what he wants, he just seems to really lack the motivation to really do much about it, until Zahara gives him the idea of how to get close enough to get what he wants.

While this book does center around love, it's not all romantic love. And I think more books need to have that. Love for family, and those you see as family, is just as if not more important than romantic love. 

That being said. I really like how the romance was handled in this book. Again, there was nothing that made it feel like it was rushed or shoehorned, or forced. And while we didn't get to see every moment of them together. I did believe they did fall in love in that short amount of time.

The only issue I had was pacing. I wish that more of the time spent in the castle, or more of the time after the events of the climax were part of this book. It just feels like there should be just a little bit more to round things out. Or that could just be me wanting more of these characters, who knows?

If you haven't given this a read, and you love both retellings, and the story of Aladdin, then I highly recommend this book. 

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