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The Forbidden Wish Hardcover – February 23, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Lyrically written, this work is a twist on the familiar tale of Aladdin. Seventeen-year-old Aladdin finds the lamp in a cave, and the story is told from the point of view of the Jinni of Ambadya, a girl named Zahra. She must shift shape in order to remain discreet among the humans. Eventually she is given a deal: she is to free the jinn prince before the moon cycles. If she fails, the human race in the city will perish. If she succeeds, then she will return to Ambadya as a free jinni and no longer be a slave to the lamp. Aladdin and Zahra become allies. As she works to free herself, she falls in love with him only to find that if she is to claim her freedom, then she must betray him. Readers, knowing that she can't have it both ways, will want to know what she will do to solve her problem. Other characters involved in the story add to the drama, making it even harder for Aladdin and Zahra. Khoury's writing is evenly paced and well done, making this a good selection. VERDICT A solid choice for anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings and light romance with magic and hope.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
**A Goodreads Best Book of February**
"An exciting tale of deception, forbidden love, and dangerous magic, starring a cheeky thief and powerful but vulnerable jinni. Fans of fairytale retellings set in faraway lands full of romance, daring-do and pulse-pounding action will fall for this swoon-worthy tale."
—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"Lush and magical . . . anyone who ever loved Aladdin or One Thousand and One Nights is going to be hooked."
"Gorgeous and complex, this is a wish granted to fans of fantasy, romance, or just good storytelling."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
—School Library Journal
"Playful chemistry and Khoury’s assured storytelling should make it easy for readers to lose themselves in this rich and complex story of allegiances and betrayal."
"Though the dynamic ending fully concludes their story, readers will likely long for more stories—say, 1,000 of them. Dripping in magic, strong women, and forbidden love."
"Deliciously sensual yet understated . . . rich and compelling. The competing allegiances and ambivalent outcomes test Zahra’s long-held assumptions about self and other, her beliefs about love and freedom. Teens will appreciate Zahra's tough choices as ones they face for themselves."
—Voice of Youth Advocates
"The well-loved tale of Aladdin and his magic lamp is dusted off and given a twist."
—School Library Connection
"Lush, romantic, and exquisitely written—The Forbidden Wish is a rare, glittering jewel of a novel. I was captivated from the very first sentence and never wanted it to end! Absolutely stellar—and utterly unforgettable."
—Sarah J. Maas, author of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series
"The Forbidden Wish reminded me of all that I love about the story of Aladdin, now told through the eyes of a narrator who is as human and flawed as she is powerful and cunning. Add to that a compelling new romance and I found myself adoring this tale immensely, from beginning to end."
—Marissa Meyer, New York Times bestselling author of Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles
"The Forbidden Wish has everything you’d hope for in a retelling of the Aladdin story—hanging-by-your-fingertips danger, palace intrigue, a dark villain, forbidden love, a swashbuckling hero, and a feisty, dagger-eyed princess, and yet each richly written chapter in this thrilling adventure story is full of unexpected surprises. I was utterly absorbed from the first page!"
—Colleen Houck, author of the New York Times bestselling Tiger's Curse series
"This is Aladdin like you've never imagined. Filled with unexpected twists and turns reminiscent of a magic carpet ride, Jessica Khoury's The Forbidden Wish is a must-read for anyone who loves a fantastic story."
—Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm going to admit, when I first bought this book, I had some doubts. Retellings are always so hit or miss for me these days. I don't know if this is because there are so many now, and so few are actually well done, or what. But suffice to say, now even with retellings that sound really good, I am full of doubt when going into the actual book. However, as you can telling by my rating, I had nothing to worry about with The Forbidden Wish. This is a gorgeous retelling of the story of Aladdin that will appeal to every reader. I never thought I would enjoy this novel as much as I did, but this book drew me in from the very first page, and I never wanted to stop reading. Jessica Khoury's writing gave me chills with its beauty, and swept me away to foreign lands that I never wanted to leave.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the girl power! First, our jinni, Zahra is a female, and she is one of my new all time favorite female leads. She is powerful, bad-ass, and strong. She doesn't back down from fear or trouble, preferring to confront it head on and let nothing stand in her way. Can I get an AMEN! However, beneath the tough shell that Zahra has, she is also flawed in many ways. In this, she becomes extremely relatable. While obviously not in the same exact ways, I think a lot of people will be able to relate to the struggles that Zahra faces. At the end of the day, Zahra is very lonely and sad because of past actions. But in the process of helping Aladdin, she realizes that there is a whole new world (sorry I couldn't help myself!) that she can discover! Her past actions do not define her.
In addition to Zahra being an awesome female lead, we have the princess, who doesn't feel challenged by Zahra, instead wanting her as a friend and confidant. There is never a time in this story where they are battling each other, and this is something I very much appreciated in this story. This book could have taken an entirely different direction if these two girls would have chosen to be enemies, and I can tell you that it would have hurt this novel a great deal. The princess herself is tough-as-nails, and has a take-no-prisoners personality. The princess has a group of female warriors who, along with herself, are working to right wrongs that are occurring in the kingdom.
The romance in this novel was also extremely well done. First and foremost, there was no insta-love! Major win right there!! Jessica Khoury gets big bonus points for this in my book. But even though the reader is expecting Zahra and Aladdin to fall in love due to the synopsis, the love between them never feels forced. Jessica Khoury writes this novel in a way that the romance that blossoms between them is natural and normal. She never writes this novel as if the entire purpose of the book is to get Zahra and Aladdin together. There is a very important story outside of the romance, and this story is what is more important. The romance between Zahra and Aladdin is simply another element of the story, not the story itself.
Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all readers. The writing is enthralling and captivating, sweeping you away to desert lands filled with forbidden love, adventure, and betrayals at every turn. Everything about this book is perfection, and it is a must read. Don't miss out on this retelling!
Happy reading :)
I SENSE THE BOY the moment he sets foot in the cave.
For the first time in centuries, I stir.
I am smoke in the lamp, and I curl and stretch, shaking off the lethargy of five hundred years. I feel I have half turned to stone. The sound of his footsteps rattles me like a clap of thunder, and I bolt fully awake.
END EXCERPT ↑
As you can tell from the blurb, this is a retelling of Aladdin. I was afraid I wouldn't like this book for reasons, but I really did enjoy it. I love Zahra the jinni from the lamp. Aladdin is a twat at times but he's wonderful too.
Even though Aladdin found Zahra's lamp and he's her master for now, he's very kind to her. Zahra is one of the most powerful jinn in the world and she has been alive for 4000 years!
Aladdin is out for revenge against Darian and his father who did some really messed up stuff to his family. And Zahra gets to come along for the ride. She does a good bit of shape shifting in the book and I loved that, the things you can ease drop on when your something else!
Caspida is the daughter of the King but also a descendant to one of the gods of long ago. I loved her character as well. She was like a female Robin Hood but only in the sand, not the woods. lol She also has a bad to the bone band of women that were awesome too.
Darian and his evil father are looking to take over the throne but not if Aladdin, Zahra and Caspida have anything to do with it!
There are other things happening in the book and it's all good reading. It's a wonderful little love story that has a little of everything. Will Zahra and Aladdin make it? Will they be able to love each other even though it is forbidden? Read the book to find out. =)
Happy Reading ♥
I am a huge fan of Aladdin and I when I first started reading The Forbidden Wish, I was mesmerized by the elaborate descriptions and the lavish writings of Jessica Khoury. This retelling of Aladdin from One Thousand and One Nights is not a mere imitation of Aladdin but a extension of the world of the Aladdin that most of us know today. Khoury transports the reader as a spectator in this magical journey in which Zahra has to choose love or freedom. Which decision will Zahra choose?
The secondary characters are all unique as well and are not just mere background filler. Each character has its own identity. The Watchmaidens are fierce! Ensi with her magical potions, Khavar with her snake, Nessi with her Jinn charming flute and of course the Amulen Princess Caspida with her spirit and wit.
I found it interesting how Zahra tells her story like she is talking to Roshana. It works. She tells her encounter with Aladdin and about her journey as if it's a folktale. Her storytelling is entrancing and I wanted to savor it.
The romance between Aladdin and Zahra is forbidden but sometimes it is hard to resist happiness. Thank goodness for the slow burning romance. At first the two aren't too fond of each other but they gain the appreciation of each other's company. For so long, Zahra has been confined to her lamp and for so long has Aladdin been an orphan running around the city as a thief. Aladdin's main goal in life is to avenge his parents death while Zahra is trying to figure out whether freedom or love will make her truly happy.
Definitely check out The Forbidden Wish for a captivating retelling of Aladdin through the eyes of a female jinni. It's hypnotic and the novel contains just the right amount of action, adventure and romance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I went into this story without any expectations.Read more