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review 2017-05-01 23:13
Book 24/100: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
The Forbidden Wish - Jessica Khoury


There are so few "Aladdin" retellings out there, and so this wasn't quite the retelling I wanted it to be.

What I would like is a retelling that really delves into the potential historical and cultural setting of the original tale, sticking fairly close to the bones of the story because that hasn't really been done yet. I feel like after a few rich, close-to-original retellings have been published, that's when you can start doing funky things with a story, and "Aladdin" just isn't at that point yet. So, after getting over my disappointment that this retelling was not particularly true to the original, I tried to enjoy it on its own merits.

But my enjoyment ended up being somewhat uneven. It takes place in a vaguely Middle-Eastern fantasy world that borrows more from current YA tropes than from the original tale or the historical or cultural context in which it is based. There is a love triangle, of course, mostly focused on Aladdin and the genie, who is female. The love story didn't particularly grab me, which is the driving force in the book -- I was more interested in the princess and her struggles to come into her own amidst political turmoil and being constantly undermined by her power-hungry uncle and hounded by her cousin, who was also her betrothed. The tale also seemed to owe just as much to Disney's rendition of "Aladdin" as to the original tale, both in its description of Aladdin's appearance and personality and in its emphasis on the importance of freedom to a genie and the role a master's wish can play in granting that desire.

So while I know I shouldn't hold too much against this book for not being the "Aladdin" story I wanted it to be, I also feel like it probably wouldn't have particularly interested me if it were not billed as an "Aladdin" retelling -- and its relationship to the original tale was thin enough that it could have just been a story about a genie who falls for her human master.

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review 2016-05-23 20:00
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
The Forbidden Wish - Jessica Khoury

This book was amazing.  It was such a unique retelling of Aladdin and the world itself was even more unique.  The relationship between the characters had me hooked on this book.  The story was so gripping and it was impossible to put the book down.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fairy tale retellings.  

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review 2016-04-16 01:10
"Woe to the man who befriends the jinn, for he shakes hands with death."
The Forbidden Wish - Jessica Khoury

This was a magical retelling of the story of Aladdin! Though I should add that there were a few key differences from the familiar story, as the jinn for one, is female. And she was a brilliant character: flawed but very powerful.

Verdict: I really liked this story even though it was heavy on romance!


Zahra, the jinn, after spending thousand of years enslaved to her lamp, begins to dream of her freedom as for the first time it seems like something truly attainable...

Aladdin finds her lamp and on his way of revenge, he will fall in love and endanger his entire kingdom...


Jessica Khoury's writing should be praised: it was excellent and very descriptive. I liked the world she created and the humanity she breathed on her characters. Oh and the names - where did she come up with these names? My favorite character was the jinn, Zahra. She was selfless and fearless, terrible and kind...The narration is from her point of view, an element that certainly makes the story more immersive.

All the characterizations of time on this story were brilliant:

Time has a way of burying things, shifting like the desert and swallowing entire civilizations, erasing them from map and memory. Always, in the end, everything returns to dust.

So, what is the Forbidden Wish? Read and you will find out!  
If you are fond of retellings don't pass on this one!

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review 2016-04-14 13:00
Thoughts: The Forbidden Wish
The Forbidden Wish - Jessica Khoury

The Forbidden Wish

by Jessica Khoury

**Retelling based on Aladdin from One Thousand and One Nights



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.

One of the things I have loved about the few Jessica Khoury books I’ve read is how well she imbues life into her setting and her story. While her characters aren’t the most outstanding, they are readily likable, propelled by the story to be that main hero or heroine we’d love to relate with.

The Forbidden Wish is no different, but in Zahra, she not only creates a readily likable main character, but a unique twist on a well-known character’s story.

I have never read the original Aladdin tale from One Thousand and One Nights, and probably like a lot of other people am only vaguely familiar with that original story through the Disney make of Aladdin. Even so, it was one of my more favorite Disney movies, and so I was delighted to find a retelling with such a different take on the story.

Aladdin is the same--a street rat and a thief. But when he chances upon his magical lamp, he discovers that his genie is a girl. The princess he is compelled to marry, making his “I wish to be a prince” wish for, is a warrior woman, with a strength and independence that I found pretty awesome--especially since the Disney version, for all it’s supposed forward thinking, really displayed Jasmine as a trophy to be won with nothing else really going for her.

I found the new take on this tale quite lovely. In fact, I kind of prefer this new spin to the Disney adaptation, if only because Disney has a penchant for instalove that I’m not a big fan of. And again, in this story, the princess is a woman who can fend for herself and rule a nation. In this story, the romance is developed over time spent together between Jinni and master, creating a partnership and friendship that becomes stronger over time.

In this story, there is more than just the romance between Aladdin and Zahra, even if the entire story is actually based upon the romance in the first place.

The characters in The Forbidden Wish were all created wonderfully, even Aladdin who almost teetered on the edge of carbon-copy if not for his goofiness and his strength in friendship with Zahra. I also liked that he had his faults of weakness for women, drink, and thievery. It’s a pretty nice touch, not having a broody, perfect YA hero.

I wish we could have seen more of the people surrounding the Princess Caspida, especially her Watchmaidens. But as this story seems to be a romance, first and foremost, between Zahra and Aladdin, I’m content with the way things progressed.

I mean, sure, the ending felt a little rushed and overwhelming, but at the end of the day, I really just found that this was a highly enjoyable and delightful read.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/04/thoughts-forbidden-wish.html
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text 2016-04-12 18:25
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Forbidden Wish - Jessica Khoury

Soo Beautiful!!

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