Did you guys know that my favorite type of books are retellings? If not, then now you know! When Social Book Club chose this book as the February book of the month, I was BEYOND excited! Who could say no to an Aladdin retelling?!
The Forbidden Wish
by Jessica Khoury
Published: February 23, 2016.
Goodreads Rating: 4.04 stars (5,676 Ratings)
My rating: 5 stars (⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⋆)
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.
I’m a sucker for retellings, so it’s no surprise that I was super pumped to read this book! But, not every retelling is amazing to me… there has to be a certain level of familiarity with the original story, and still, bring some amazing twists to have me hooked! So no… not every retelling can accomplish this, BUT THE FORBIDDEN WISH DID!
First of all, this is an Aladdin retelling. The book pushed me to watch the movie before reading, because when I started reading the book, it felt so familiar I just wanted to watch the real thing before I kept going!
Second, this book is fantasy with a LOT of romance. I tend to dislike books that have a lot of romance, I’m more of an “action-packed book” kind of girl. But wow… wow…wow…WOW! The romance in this book is probably the thing that kept me the most interested. For starters, there is NO insta love! I just hate it when the couple falls in love the moment they meet. That’s just so unreal! And yes, we’re reading fiction blah blah blah but really… no insta love, PLEASE! With that being said, the romance in this book is just SO GOOD! At the beginning I felt weird about it, and I wasn’t really feeling it. But as the book develops, the romance is on point! OH I MUST ALSO ADD, the book had a HUGE opportunity to bring in a love triangle, BUT THE AUTHOR DIDN’T PURSUE IT! I’M SO HAPPY!!!!! SEE? Not every damn fantasy book love story needs a love triangle.
Third, one of the best twists of the story, is that the genie (jinni) is female! She’s so bad ass, powerful, and just a really amazing character. Oh my God… the “princess” is also a really bad ass character! The female representation in this book is full of women on their way to empowerment. There is also a group of females warriors that remind me to the Hunters of Artemis haha. Like I said, the female representation in this book is awesome!
I loved how the focus of the story isn’t entirely on Aladdin. The story is developed amazingly and we see so much more than expected. The book also has some amazing battles 😉 but I won’t get into that. Just know that The Forbidden Wish is everything I could ever wish for in a retelling. It gives you all of the elements from the original story, with some amazing new twists!
This book left me with the need to find another Aladdin retelling that can live up to the standard this book has set. I NEED MORE!
No doubt, this book deserves a 5 star rating from me.
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