Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Koury

The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1)Title: The Forbidden Wish 
Author:  Jessica Koury
Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: February 23rd, 2016
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Audio
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.

It seems like this has been on my TBR forever. I have even had it on my audio forever. For some reason, I always seem to skip past it. I finally read it though, and oh my goodness I waited too long. This book was just amazing. Beautifully written, romantic, adventurous, it stole my heart completely.
Zhara is a Jinn. She has been trapped in a lamp for hundreds of years, she has been enslaved to her lamp for thousands of years. She is found by a thief, Aladin. He frees her and she comes out to a world where her magic and her kind is forbidden. Aladin wants to use her to get revenge on those that killed his parents. Zahara wants to use him to earn the freedom from her lamp. What neither one wanted was to fall in love. Something that is forbidden for the Jinn. 

I really didn't have high expectations for this book. I have read a few Jinn books and really remember only one other I loved. So I thought this just wasn't a subject I was sold matter how pretty the cover is. Since this one was a retelling of Aladin... and who doesn't love Aladin... I decided to give this one a go. I hadn't really read any reviews and I really wasn't prepared to fall in love with this book. But I did. This book was so so so amazing. I couldn't breath when I finished. I was not ready for it to end and I needed more. Unfortunately, this is a stand-alone unless you count the novella prequel. So I loved this book. For so many reasons. The writing, the setting, the story, the tone, the characters, the romance, the trickeries, the rebellion, the age-old war, It was all set up so perfectly. I was deep into this story from beginning to end. 

It's no secret, I am a character lover, if I love a book I have to love the characters and the characters in this book have so much to love. Aladin, oh Aladin. I mean this author had Aladin figured out and made him oh so wonderful. Yes he is a thief, yes he lies, yes he is trouble but he is also charming and caring and loyal and honest... yes he lies but he is honest. I said that. He is honest with who he is. He is funny, he is smooth. He is a thief who stole my heart. 

Zahra is amazing too. There wasn't anything about Zahra I didn't just love but I can't pinpoint what I loved about her. She was written beautifully. When she spoke- the book is from her point of view- it was like warmth coming out of the pages. She was soft but strong. She wanted her freedom and felt she would do whatever it took to earn it but she had such a heart and she was love in a bottle... when it comes down to it she didn't have it in her to be cruel. 

The relationship between Zahra and Aladin was so enjoyable to watch unfold. They were never enemies. From the beginning, there seemed to be an understanding and a respect for each other, even if there were truths that were being hidden. It took a little bit of time for them to fall for each and it was never a big moment when they realized.They just sort of fell into step with each other and formed a relationship of friendship and tenderness that formed a strong bond that yes turned into love. Almost like they were the air each other was breathing and didn't even know they were taking a breath. 

The story was truly something spectacular for me. It was written fabulously and everything just melded together seamlessly. I didn't even notice the time that was passing. This book snuck up on me for sure. I loved the story of Aladin and Zahra together, I loved the story of Aladin and the story of Zahra, I loved the story of the past and the present and how they intertwined. 

I just didn't want it to end. It was freaking fantastical! 

Jessica Khoury

Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she's dreamed of being an author.
When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration.

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, and forthcoming Kalahari.


  1. I didn't expect this book to be so good!

  2. Ooh nice! I STILL need to read this one! I was pretty much sold on the retelling of Aladdin alone! But having a female "genie" seemed to entice me even more! Glad to hear this one was a winner!

    I haven't read too many djinn books myself. Honestly there's only one series coming to mind that focused on them, but they were told in a different sort of way. It's an adult series, but fabulous one, The Weather Wardens by Rachel Caine! Not sure if that's the one you previously read or not, but it was one of my first "adult" books but I fell so completely in love with it! I highly recommend it if you're wanting more djinn stories!


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