Publisher : Razorbill
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 352
Synopsis : 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? (From Goodreads)
*swoons* *swoons* *swoons* *swoons* Okay, I’m good. I LOVE THIS BOOK YOU GUYS. This is the Aladdin retelling I never thought my life was missing, until I read it. This is such a feel-happy book, it will just make you smile broadly with its story, relationships, magic and everything in between. It will also suck you in and keep you turning the pages until there are no more pages to be turned. And you’ll keep thinking about it and how warm and fuzzy it made you feel for a while after putting it down. At least that’s what it did to me.
The writing in The Forbidden Wish is the most precious, exquisite thing I’ve read in a while. It is so poetic that it brings to life the magic of the book. It makes it more mesmerizing, more tangible, almost real. And most importantly it fits Zahra’s (the jinni) character. The book is written from her POV and she is thousands of years old so that ought to show on the writing and it does. Zahra recounts the story as a long letter to her Habiba (translates to darling, dear, etc…) queen Roshana -whose identity and role in the book you learn later on- and she loved her which you can see through the text, the narration holds a lot of emotion.
I can’t not mention the descriptions obviously, they are very vivid which helps a lot with the complex world building. Speaking of which, that world building is amazing. It is very detailed and thorough, the history that was laid down as a base to the story was really impressive and left no room for confusion, inaccuracies or plot holes.
More importantly, it has the most accurate depiction of Jinnis (or jins) I’ve ever encountered in a book, they are portrayed as the complex beings that they are. This resembles a lot what we grew up hearing and believing (although not 100%, you gotta leave some room from imagination and creativity), from the shapeshifting, to the silent language, to the existence of good ones and bad ones. The slight problem I had is that there were multiple Sheitans (when Sheitan is used for a unique creature which is the equivalent of the devil).
The Forbidden Wish is pure magic, the story is threaded of many subplots that end up connecting and making perfect sense. The main one being the romance. THIS is how I want all my romances to be, it is so soft, gentle and most all SLOW BURN, the pace of it made my dead heart sing. Zahra and Aladdin’s relationship starts off as a friendship which keeps on evolving until they can’t see their respective lives without each other anymore, and THEN they realize how deeply in love they are.
The romance doesn’t eclipse the other -no less important- parts of the story. One thing that I particularly love is how it reaches far beyond Zahra and gives every character their own goals and motives (at some point the book even shifts its focus onto princess Caspida), some less honest than others which makes for an exhilarating and addictive adventure that gives the book a fast pace -when needed- and a guaranteed page-turner.
Zahra is very intelligent and full of contradictions if you ask me but in the best ways. She has a very strong personality but is also full of doubts, she is both selfless and selfish, gentle and firm, proud and ready to sacrifice herself for others. She has flaws. And all of these things make her all the more loveable. I adored everything she stood for, as well as how the author kept a part of her past veiled throughout most of the book but teased us enough to remind us that that is something we really want to learn.
Aladdin is such a fun character. He has a flirty personality, he is also cunning, hilarious and very smart. All of this being said, he has some deeply rooted insecurities that break that confident, borderline egocentric facade that he puts up. Last but not least, we need to talk about princess Caspida. I love how she broke that damzel in distress stereotypes, she’s powerful, wise and an amazing fighter, her part of the plot was so refreshing to read, I loved it.
The Forbidden Wish is a mesmerizing story that puts a twist on the original Aladdin and easily surpasses it. It is a beautiful tale of friendships, love and freedom. Relentlessly hopeful and ultimately happy. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on it.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Forbidden Wish? If so, what did you think?
Did it make you as happy as it made me? Did you love it more than the original?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.