Thanks so much, Jessica, for hosting an Instagram giveaway for this book!
From the moment I saw the cover of this book and the synopsis, I immediately added it to my TBR list. First of all, can I just comment on the beautiful color scheme for the cover? What a perfect blend of my favorite colors! Suffice it to say, the story inside was just as gorgeous as the cover outside. This book’s title is The Forbidden Wish, but here are some wishes that actually got granted when reading the book!
In the story, our main character is a couple thousand year old djinni named Zahra. She’s been stuck in her lamp for hundreds of years until lucky Aladdin comes to the ruins where she lies and rubs her – er, lamp. From there on, we’re taken into a city where magic is actually looked down upon. Aladdin turns out to be a common thief, much like the one we all know and love. There are certainly elements of the original Aladdin – a beautiful princess, a thief who started from the bottom, an evil usurper of the throne, and a powerful genie (djinni?) who can only grant three wishes – but the author adds fun twists that give some spice to the story.
Although the story’s foundation can be traced to Aladdin, The Forbidden Wish can stand on its own with its endearing characters and clever plot.
BAHHH Aladdin and Zahra were just ❤ ❤ ❤ ! There were so many amazing qualities about both of them and I thought that they were made for each other. Aladdin, despite being a thief (and the son of a revolutionary!) has high morals and is just adorable and sweet without even realizing it. Zahra is super kind (almost too kind at times, in my opinion) even though she may think otherwise, and truly tries to do what she believes best for everyone. However, sometimes those actions don’t work out for the best, which you’ll find out in the book. Her character development really shows, especially when you compare her actions from hundreds of years ago to the current time in the book. She has those magical powers, too, so that’s a plus.
Put them together (as well as a little angst which coincides with the plot), and you have a delicious and sizzling romance that got me giggling and swooning while reading.
I really don’t want to spoil too much with this wish so I won’t go into that much detail. Throughout the story, Zahra has the constant support of one of her dearest friends, even if she wasn’t there physically. Seeing short flashbacks of their time together and their sisterly relationship was just a sweet addition to the story that aided in Zahra’s character growth. Their camaraderie really brings out the feels and is just another example of how Zahra, despite being a magical being, has a heart.
So remember that beautiful princess I mentioned earlier in the review? Well, she may be next-in-line to the throne and engage in court pleasantries, but she can certainly fend for herself. There is a daring twist added to the princess and her guard (of women) that I really enjoyed, and it made me fall in love with these more minor characters. They are all fierce and intelligent women that navigate their way through the scheming politics of the bad guys without them knowing.
Additionally, our main characters can hold their own ground too and reading about them do so is just thrilling. Zahra’s magic is pretty awesome when first described in the book, but ooh it just gets more and more fun as I read more and more of the story. Aladdin may just be a street rat in the beginning of the book, but his heritage catches up to him by the end of the book when we’re looking at a revolution.
I’m not really vocal about it when I reread books, but I have no hesitation in saying that I will be looking forward to rereading The Forbidden Wish. (I’ve already read through the tabbed pages too many times to count.) Why? Because I’m absolutely in love with the characters, the world, and the story. Jessica Khoury delivers an gorgeous retelling of Aladdin that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. There were so many excellent additions to the plot that blended well with the original story to become a great work of its own.
Overall, The Forbidden Wish delivered these wishes – and more! Why do I need a djinni to grant wishes when this package is all I need to have them fulfilled?