Young Adult

Forbidden Love and Spellbinding Magic // The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

TFWThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill (23rd Feb 2016)

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?

Hey, dudes! So sorry that I have been MIA. It has been manic since my semester ended and I haven’t had that much time to read lately. But guess what? I read The Forbidden Wish! I have had the strongest urge to read The Forbidden Wish since I read the blurb last year and I am so glad I finally got the chance to read it because it was simply magical. I was taken by the story after the first chapter which left me completely blown away!

“I pour upward through the long dark tunnel of the spout. I am a funnel of smoke, a whirlwind of fire. I open myself and multiply, swelling into a great cloud over the boy’s head. I press a thousand smoky hands against the stone ceiling of the cave. I roll a thousand fiery eyes and stretch a thousand glittering legs. I unfold and unfold and unfold. How good it feels to be out! I crackle with energy and excitement, my blood lightning and my breath thunder.”

The Forbidden Wish is the first Aladdin retelling I’ve ever read and it’s such an interesting take on the original story! I loved that the jinni in The Forbidden Wish had such spellbinding powers. I was hugely impressed and it definitely made me enjoy the book more. I really don’t wish to spoil the book for you so I’m going to be as vague as possible (and hopefully not fall into one of my fanboying frenzies as I write about my feelings towards the amazing gem that is The Forbidden Wish!)

“The things that were once sweet to me are now bitter. The sun is not half so bright. The stars seem dimmer. All this wealth and luxury feels meaningless. All the world is in your shadow, Zahra. I cannot help but see you when I close my eyes.”

What I loved about The Forbidden Wish? Man alive, that’s a hard one to answer because it was just so stunning. I was totally drawn to the story, the incredibly lush descriptions of the settings, the intense yet sweet relationship between Aladdin and the jinni, Zahra. With her beautiful prose, Jessica Khoury made me fall in love with the story of Aladdin and Zahra’s tragic life as a jinni.

“The will of this boy thief flows in golden streams. It is the thread with which I weave, the colors with which I paint, the element with which I create.”

The one thing that made me fanboy over this book was in fact Zahra herself. Christ on a bike with flaming wheels, her powers are incredible and I would never tire of reading about her enchantments and magic. Simply stunning – I couldn’t get enough!

“There is only one thing more numerous than the stars,” I say, looking up to the heavens. “And that is the darkness that holds them.”

I loved the way the story progressed from the first page to the last because I was constantly entertained by this jewel of a book. Whether it’s the heart-stopping action scenes or the searing tension between Zahra and Aladdin, I couldn’t stop reading The Forbidden Wish. When I wasn’t reading it – I have recently taken a summer job – I was constantly thinking about the book. When I finished it, all I could think about was Aladdin and Zahra’s enchanting tale.

“Because happiness itself is a mythical construct, a dream you humans tell yourselves to get through each day. It is the moon, and you, like the sun, pursue it relentlessly, chasing it around and around, getting nowhere.”

The whole concept behind the Forbidden Wish was clever and I didn’t see the ending coming at all. It was a completely mindboggling moment as I was still reeling from amazement upon finishing the book. I strongly urge you to read this fantastic retelling of Aladdin with a spellbinding twist.

“And what do you know of love?”
“That it must be a choice.”
“Oh, my naive thief. ” I pause briefly to meet his gaze. “Love is rarely a choice.”

The plot was just incredible, I didn’t have any problems reading the book. In fact, I tried so very hard to savour every word of it, but all I did was hungrily gobble the book up. The writing was just so rich and lush, I loved that Jessica Khoury wrote the story with such vivid and vibrant metaphors and imageries. She created such a profound story that has resonated so deep within me. GAH! I am still thinking about The Forbidden Wish! If you haven’t read it, please do. You won’t regret it!

I’d like to thank Penguin Random House for sending me a copy for review.


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