review: the forbidden wish



Firstly, i think I've had bad experiences with YA fantasy books set in the desert. For some reason, i just couldn't enjoy them that much even though i truly wanted to. The Forbidden Wish is the first one that finally broke this spell for me! Rating this 4.5 stars! I enjoyed this more than i thought i would :D

I only vaguely remember the tale of Aladdin so I didn't have to compare it to a different retelling of it. Apart from the first few chapters, the rest of the book was very fast paced and exciting.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

Plot
Tbh the plot was predictable BUT what i loved was that i wasnt sure HOW it was going to happen. I liked that the story started off immediately and continued at a good pace. It also had a mysterious vibe throughout the book because we don't immediately find out what had actually happened that had caused Zahra's curse and also the history with the Queen and all. This, along with the fast-paced plot, kept me hooked onto the book and I finished it within 2 days. I felt like the romance was a little bit sudden because i hadn't realised at which point did it really start. But other than that, I liked the buildup of the romance and i liked that it didn't take over the book.
Writing
I LOVE THE WRITING. A LOT. It has a very elegant vibe to it, like the main character, Zahra, really was centuries old. I found it beautiful that it was written as if she was telling the princess her story or writing her a letter. It sometimes felt like she was telling the story directly to me. I also love the dialogue, especially the conversations between Zahra and Aladdin. They're so witty and sarcastic i loved it!
The worldbuilding was pretty amazing as well. I even thought the magic system with the jinns and all was decently explained and made sense(ahh maybe thats why i had problems with other desert-setting YA books --their magic systems dont make much sense). I really wanna live in Caspida's palace omg. 

Characters
I really like Zahra. She's a badass Jinni who shapeshifts into anything she can think of and that is AWESOME. I'd love to try be her for a day(Minus being stuck in a lamp). She didn't sound like a typical YA character, mostly because she's actually very old and does have a lot of wisdom. Even though she's centuries of years old, she still had a fun personality and i always forget that she isn't just a normal human girl. I wish we could know more about her past - Had there been a previous lover before she became a Jinni? How had she ruled her kingdom? I honestly would love a novella telling us about Zahra's days centuries back. And Aladdin, omg he is very, VERY attractive. I like how honest Aladdin's character is, how he goes with what he feels. He's not heroic and he knows it and he's fine with it. I like that about him, and more. I love how protective he becomes over Zahra as well. Caspida is another very interesting character that i'd love to read more about. There should totally be a sequel or a companion book about Caspida and what happens after. I'd lvoe to read about her and her

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who loves retellings and books with the desert setting like The Wrath and the Dawn.

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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