After buddy reading many books, Christina of Booklover's Teaparty and I decided to do something different and do a co-review.
Title: The Forbidden Wish
Author: Jessica Khoury
Publication: February 23rd 2016 by Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
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.
Was there anything that stood out with the storyline to you?
Christina: I thought it was very a original storyline! It's an Aladdin re-telling, but the jinni is female and well the princess doesn't have a tiger so there were differences, which I liked because I felt the spirit of Aladdin an his personality was still there.
Stephanie: First thing that stood out to me was how it's a Aladdin retelling but with a female jinni. That alone I thought was pretty original.
What are your thoughts on Aladdin and Zahra in the book?
Christina: Oh how I love them! And I love how Aladdin calls her Smoky, it's adorable. Another thing is while the romance between these two are important and has a strong presence there's so much more going on than just that so while I love their romance to little bits and pieces, it's just the right amount we experience without taking too much from the story.
Stephanie: I. Loved. Them. Both were great characters, especially Zahra. I loved how Aladdin called her 'Smokey' sometimes. The romance was also great and more than that I loved their dynamic together.
Favorite secondary characters and why?
Christina: They probably don't count as one, but I loved the Watchmaidens and the Princess Caspida as well for that matter. They were pretty badass all of them. It’s one unit and they go together so gotta count.
Stephanie: Hard to say! I really liked Princess Caspida and her Watchmaidens. So really, I can't really pick one favorite character. Mostly because they all could kick some serious ass and were great to read about.
How would you describe The Forbidden Wish in one or two words?
Christina: Magic & Captivating
Stephanie: Vivid & Magical
What did you think of the writing in the book?
Christina: Simply gorgeous. When I started it I just kept thinking ‘My god this is beautiful’. What really stood out to me about that is the fact that it’s Zahra’s perspective, but she’s also telling it as if she’s telling the story to Habiba (her former master) and I just found that extremely beautiful both for the story and for the writing style. Her magic and what she could do also made it possible to see things in a different way sometimes which was just really well done whether it was a cat or fly.
Stephanie: It was soooo gorgeous! Seriously, the writing was beautiful so of course I adored it. And the way the characters were written in a strong way so that was amazing as well. Loved it!
Christina: "We are adrift on a sea of moonlight sand, the silence as infinite as the space between the stars."
Okay woops another short one: “Even a thief may have honor, and even a jinni may have a heart.”
Stephanie: I decided to go with a somewhat funnier quote.
"You’re a—you’re a—"
Say it, boy. Demon of fire. Monster of smoke. Devil of sand and ash. Servant of Nardukha, Daughter of Ambadya, the Nameless, the Faceless, the Limitless. Slave of the Lamp. Jinni.
". . . a girl!" he finishes.
How was it different from the Aladdin we know?
Christina: As mentioned a bit before there’s definitely changes from the Aladdin story we know with the female Jinni and all, but yeah still think Aladdin’s personality remained. The boy from the streets was still there. Wouldn’t have minded Abu was there though.
Stephanie: Like I said before it different because the jinni is female and there's so much we find out about her, the names are different except for Aladdin's of course. So it's definitely not a retelling pulled straight from the movie.
What are your overall thoughts?
Christina: Overall I loved it. It was filled with magic, love and plenty of action so you weren’t bored for a second. Jessica Khoury writes beautifully and creates amazing characters. It was magnificent and I almost wish I could forget it and read it again (those 3 jinni wishes would be gone quick wouldn’t they.. spending them on forgetting books to experience them for the first time.. anyways), definitely not a book that disappoints.
Stephanie: Overall, The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury was a magical, romantic and action-packed race against time with beautiful writing. It's a page-turner that won't let you down. At least it didn't let me down — I loved the story!
About the Author:
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, Kalahari, and The Forbidden Wish.