If you have been keeping up with this blog you will know that Jessica Khoury is one of my favorite authors. I got to meet her in March of 2015 and when I did she had just announced her book The Forbidden Wish. I then had to patiently wait for this book to come out in February of 2016. I saw her post updates and teasers about it. It was the longest wait of my life. Then when the book came out I had to wait until I could purchase it and read it. Well I finally have read it and it was worth the wait!
The Forbidden Wish is about Zahra, the jinni of the lamp. Her lamp is found by Aladdin who was to take down a ruler with her help. However, she is then given the opportunity to gain her freedom but it involves manipulating Aladdin. At first it seems that she is willing to make that choice in order to get her freedom from lamp however as time goes on she finds herself with feelings towards Aladdin and has to decide whether betraying him is worth her freedom or not.
I absolutely loved that this was a retelling of Aladdin but that it as not so in your face retelling like a lot of Cinderella retellings do. I liked that characters, except for obviously the character Aladdin, held some resemblance to the Disney version but were not based on those characters. She created a whole new world with her book (pun very much intended) and it was brilliant in my opinion.
I really liked Zahra as the main character. She was by far one of my favorite female character in Khoury’s books. Even though she was this powerful magical being she felt so realistic. She was selfish but also kind and protective of those she cared for. She didn’t let being powerful get to her head (mostly because she was also trapped by the lamp). She even acted human though. She got embarrassed and fell in love and acted stupidly when she did.
I also really liked Zahra and Aladdin together. Their relationship was so fun to watch progress. Even though it was only a short period of time it was still fun. Some of my favorite scenes in the book were their interactions together and I wish there had been more. They felt so real and cute. You could almost forget that she was a magical being and he was just a poor orphan.
The one thing I didn’t really like was the end fight scene. I got really confused about what was happening and who was what. It was also very long. I would turn the page thinking it was going to end but it would just keep going. That only added to my confusion about the ending.
Overall though it was a great retelling of the story of Aladdin. She created this magical world that felt so real. I cannot wait to meet her again in like a week and a half to get this book signed!