The Forbidden Wish – The Aladdin retelling to crush the Original

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Publication date : February 23st, 2016goodreads

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)

Rating : 4.5 stars

quotes(No Spoilers)

*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 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.

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37 thoughts on “The Forbidden Wish – The Aladdin retelling to crush the Original

  1. I LOVE YOUR REVIEW. Also, I have been wanting to read this book for so long, I need to put it at the very top of my TBR (right next to Six of Crows *cough*). It sounds like such a fantastic, beautiful book, and I love how the romance doesn’t overshadow the other parts of the story. As much as I love a good romance, I think it’s always a bit annoying whenever it takes too much place, especially in stories like that. Can’t wait to read that one!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Oooh, you made this sound so good. I received this last year in a subscription box and I still haven’t read it, even though I thought it sounded decent. I’ll try to pick it up soon because I’m so here for slow-burn romances!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg I AGREE TO ALLLLLLL OF THIS. Tbh my review does not even need to be written anymore because it’s exactly this. xD I loved this book so so so much!! I never imagined there would be a retelling of Aladdin I’d love as much (or even more *gasp*) than the original until I read this book! ❤ The worldbuilding, the writing, the magic, the romance, was all so perfect. Lovely review, Fadwa! I'm so glad you loved this book as much as I did aha.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. GIRL, WHAT. I had NO idea that this was an Aladdin retelling, which is surprising even for me because I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this book! I’m glad you enjoyed it – I’ve come to the point where I only trust Muslim people’s judgments on books inspired by Middle Eastern elements after the garbage fire that was Rebel of the Sands. Looking forward to this. Great review. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • REALLY? That’s like the only thing that made me read it 😂
      Same! I don’t trust anyone else with because with all the rave reviews going around for that book and the actually trash it was, yeah, no thanks. The author or this one is Irish-Syrian I believe so she might have grown up knowing what Jins are, who knows? Hahaha
      Thank you ❤

      Like

  6. AMAZING REVIEW! ❤ I'm sooo happy to see that you enjoyed this book sooo much. 😀 I haven't read The Forbidden Wish yet, but I really want to – especially now that I read your review. I have been interested in it ever since I heard that it was an Aladdin retelling. I hope to pick it up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I ADORED this book!! So much! Our opinions basically align here, and you’ve got me hankering for a reread! More people need to read this book!

    (Also, I just love your blog aesthetic.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whoa! I didn’t have this one on my radar but obviously I need to change that.

    “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.”

    I tend to read really “emotionally heavy” books, but I do like to change things up and read a happy book. You are making me very curious indeed.

    Fantastic review Fadwa!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, yes you do !! I wasn’t going to read it until a couple friends kept pushing me to do it and I’m forever grateful to them haha.
      I like both actually, each for separate obvious reason. Emotionally heavy books tend to exhaust me so I like to counter-balance that.
      Thank you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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