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Review: The Forbidden Wish

Jessica Khoury - The Forbidden Wish
Expected publication: February 23rd, 2016 by Razorbill
Pages: 352
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 3.5/5

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.
Okay, so, meh.

Well, not really. Let me take that back. Jessica Khoury is a gorgeous writer and I was literally stricken by 600% of this story. Let me explain a bit.

I'm a big fan of Disney. Of Aladdin. Of anything Disney may ever copyright, so I nearly screamed when I saw this.

Zahra, a jinni, hasn't interacted with an actual human in thousands of years. She has dearly awaited the moment of someone finding her lamp, so when she's discovered by a street boy, who is more surprised to find that she is a girl, she's somewhat perturbed. But before wishes can be made, the ruins start to crumble and they make a haste escape.

In this new world, magic has been forbidden and the very existence of jinnis has been extinguished. They exchange names. The street rat (heehee) goes by the name, Aladdin. She's Zahra. Aladdin explains his revenge plan against a rotten Prince Darian. Thus, they set off on their journey to destroy him.

The revenge plot doesn't quite go as planned. Wish #1 is used messily and Zahra chides Aladdin to use his wishes carefully.

Sexual tension sexual tension sexual tension.

Wish #2. Zahra wants to be freed from her lamp and fast, so she convinces Aladdin to cast his next wish, turning him into a phony royal, so he could successfully break into the palace and wed Princess Caspida to infuriate Darian.

More sexual tension erupts between Zahra and Aladdin before evolving into outright instalove. Aladdin attempts to womanize peacefully and fails Flaws erupt in their plan. Caspida is more interesting than anyone in the whole story. For real, the girl is so badass. She and her Watchmaidens. Let them reign.

I was glad to see this wasn't a flatout copy of the original Aladdin, though. Zahra and Aladdin's relationship was so overdone. At first, I liked their sexual tension. They were adorable. I love nicknames. Banter. All that, really. But the moment they kissed, Aladdin was already trying to tear her clothes off. Like, chill, nasty. Buy her dinner, at least.

And it continued. Zahra became so needy - so desperate - for Aladdin while Caspida reigned and ruled. The writing was gorgeous, believe me, but I couldn't tolerate them. Caspida and her Watchmaidens made the story. They were a feminist army. They deserve their own soundtrack.

The ending was predictable and a teensy bit cliché, but a gorgeous book, nonetheless. I would've preferred Aladdin to be a tad gentlemanly, but that's just me. If you love retellings just as much as moi, check it out!


  1. Aww, although I am sad to see that my gut instinct about this book was right. I have never had much with books about YA jinni romances. The romance itself doesn't even sound romantic, gahh. But yay for Princess Caspida! Maybe I will read the book just for her hahahha. She sounds super badass.

    Thanks for the review Peach!

    1. Princess Caspida so obviously made the story! She was so badass! Literally, the ultimate feminist goddess. hahaha. The romance was mega iffy. If you plan on reading, Caspida is totally worth it!

  2. Hi there!! Jessica definitely built a gorgeous world and the Watchmaidens were pretty kick ass. I really liked the story and how it was so different from the Disney movie.

    Thanks for the review!!

    1. Hi! I totally agree! Jessica's world was absolutely stunning & The Watchmaidens deserved a story of their own, haha. I was glad to see it was so different from the Disney version as well!

  3. I'm glad it wasn't a straight retelling but it definitely sounds like it had its share of problems! Great review Peach, thanks for the review!

    1. Princess Caspida definitely made the story, though it definitely had its fair share of problems. Thanks, Jeann! :D


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