Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury.

21396155The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury.
Published: February 23rd 2016.
352 pages.
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads | Amazon

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 has been a while since I added a book to my favorites list, and this one definitely belongs in it.

I am not allowed to hope. I am forbidden a wish of my own. And so I will not think of the world above, of the open sky, of the fresh air and the light of day.

I went into this book not really hoping for much since I haven’t been feeling any books lately, but really, by the end of the first chapter I was lost in this story. If you – like me – are a fan of fairytale retellings with astonishing writing, you’ll hit the check pot with this one.

I don’t even know where to start; the world building is so well done that you can picture everything so precisely. The story is developed in a way that it feels natural, nothing rushed or forced. It’s beautiful to see the relationships evolve and how genuine they are.

Zahra, oh how I loved her, she has been trapped inside the lamp in the desert sands for 500 years, lonely and haunted by past memories of the last human she befriended. Zahra is certain that she deserves the isolation and that she will never be free again, which made my heart break for her. She’s so strong and resilient, she’s been through so much and has carried a lot of guilt. I loved how in the midst of all the tragedy, she didn’t let that become her, she was never the “oh poor me” character.

Aladdin, the thief-turned-prince, you probably were maybe a little too obsessed with him when you were a child, fast forward a couple of decades and here you find yourself, obsessed with him all over again. I mean, how can you not? He is such a fun character; likable and imperfect, he’s boyish, smart and a total flirt, mix all of that together and you have the best type of character.

“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.”

Okay now let’s talk about girl power. I was not expecting to find a “girls bite back” situation in this book and I am living for it. Caspida and her Watchmaidens are so badass, they’re loyal and there is a mutual respect and admiration between them. I loved how that they don’t treat each other like enemies or with pettiness. They unite and support one another.

Brilliant read, it has everything you want in a fantasy book, and the romance is actually a big part of it, which for me just made everything a thousand times better. It will fill you with goosebumps and leave you speechless.

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