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FREE E-PUB â The Forbidden Wish Ë 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 that 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 4.5 WONDERFUL AND CAPTIVATING stars I actually picked this one quite randomly, and without any high expectations about it, but to my greatest astonishment, this book turned out to be my best surprise of the year so far I honestly couldn t find one thing I didn t love about it or one reason why I shouldn t give this book 4.5 stars So here it is 4.5 amazing stars The story We re following Zahra, a very old and powerful Jinni who s been stuck in her lamp for thousands of years 4.5 WONDERFUL AND CAPTIVATING stars I actually picked this one quite randomly, and without any high expectations about it, but to my greatest astonishment, this book turned out to be my best surprise of the year so far I honestly couldn t find one thing I didn t love about it or one reason why I shouldn t give this book 4.5 stars So here it is 4.5 amazing stars The story We re following Zahra, a very old and powerful Jinni who s been stuck in her lamp for thousands of years But one day, a thief called Aladdin is going to find her lamp and release her from its walls, becoming her new master with 3 wishes at his disposal What Zahra didn t expect was to find herself slowly caring for the boy despite her goal to reach her freedom at all costs and not repeat the past by angering the King of the Jinn who could destroy humans and their worldI have no form, I say, my voice shifting and multiplying, a dozen voices speaking at once I have no name I am the Slave of the Lamp, and your will is my will Your wishes are my commandsThe world building and plot Honestly, I was completely bewitched and captivated by the whole concept of the book the Jinn, orprecisely the retelling of Aladdin I found it to be really unique, unlike any other fantasy book I ve read, and the writing, which I HAD to notice because of how beautiful, enchanting and dreamy it was, made the whole thing come alive in my hands, putting sparks and stars in my eyes, and it made it so easy to picture things such as the city, the outfits, but most of all the Jinn and their magic The world was very well thought out and original, intricate but not overly confusing with unnecessary details and complex concepts regarding the fantasy elements of the story The intrigue was very fast paced, once again the writing making it so easy to be hooked even when there s not much action, but the story was still full of adventure and feelings, and the last quarter of the book was truly badass and full of magic, it blew my mind I also loved that the girls were the highlight in this book, all of them being badass, smart and brave it was full on girl power Sometimes, you can t choose what happens to you, but you can choose who you become because of it The characters First, we have our Jinni Zahra I don t know how, but it seems lately I m only reading books where I find the female lead to be extremely lovable, and Zahra was no exception Despite looking like a sixteen year old girl, Zahra is actually thousands of years old, making her very mature, reasonable, smart, strong, a bit guarded because of a hurtful past, but through her adventures with Aladdin, she s going to learn to becomehuman again, letting her feelings fill her and accepting them, getting lighter and discovering how to have fun with him I loved how despite being one of the last powerful jinn, I didn t feel the special snow flake vibe from her she feltlike a very important side kick character and it was really refreshing As for Aladdin, he completely charmed me He is cocky and a bit of a charmer , he s reckless and impetuous, yet he s also sweet, brave, faithful, loving, joking a lot and most of the times with a grin on his face He s the kind of easy going guy you can t help but love, but he s also haunted by his past and set on getting his revenge for his parents I liked how he showed Zahra to enjoy life and helped her see that loving a human again is not wrong Caspida was also a very strong and badass character, I loved her and her girls, how they fight for their people, how clever they were This book was just full of amazing girls taking control of their lives and not letting themselves be enslaved by duty or men, they re being their own hero, THAT s the spiritThe things that were once sweet to me are now bitter The sun is not half so bright The stars seem dimmer All this wealth and luxury feels meaningless All the world is in your shadow, Zahra I cannot help but see you when I close my eyesThe romance It was quite important in the story, however it never overshadowed the world building or the plot It was a slow burn romance, no insta love, Zahra and Aladdin spending time together and getting to know the other one I liked how for a while we could think it would follow the original story, with Aladdin being charmed by Caspida, but how ultimately the only girl he could see was Zahra Their relationship felt natural and beautiful, with an easy banter, but at the same time it was also sensual and passionate and yet they were also so cute together, it really had me enchanted the whole time 3If you re not free to love, I whisper, you re not free at allWell, I don t know what else to say to convince you that this fantasy is sooo much worth reading, especially because it doesn t leave you unsatisfied there s an actual ending, real closure, without any cliffhanger Wishes have a way of twisting themselves, and there is nothingdangerous than getting your heart s desire The question is, are you willing to gamble How much are you willing to lose What are you willing to risk everything forI had a lot of doubts going into The Forbidden Wish Yet another YA retelling Yet another YA romance But I should never have doubted my trusted Goodreads friends because there is nothing typical about this book.Firstly, it is very romancey Let s get that ouWishes have a way of twisting themselves, and there is nothingdangerous than getting your heart s desire The question is, are you willing to gamble How much are you willing to lose What are you willing to risk everything forI had a lot of doubts going into The Forbidden Wish Yet another YA retelling Yet another YA romance But I should never have doubted my trusted Goodreads friends because there is nothing typical about this book.Firstly, it is very romancey Let s get that out of the way Normally I don t like my books so heavily romantic, but maybe that s just because they are so seldom done well and generally sacrifice character development and plot for sweet nothings Maybe it s because, in my opinion, the best romances are the ones in books that are not really about romance at all You see, I never felt like the ultimate purpose of this story was to get Zahra and Aladdin together but, maybe as a result of that, I ended up wanting it anyway.Now let s break down all the great things about this book.The writing is so gorgeous it literally gave me goosebumps Khoury describes this world of deserts, palaces and magic in lavish, beautiful detail Rarely do authors paint pictures of their setting so well I could picture it exactly and even feel the sense of magic in the air A truly evocative use of words.Girl power You know this story, right At the very least, we ve probably all seen the Disney version It s the one about a street thief turned prince, a clueless sultan, an evil vizier, a male genie, and a humorous parrot also male There is a woman in the movie, and she s won by the street thief turned prince who shows her the world Even this watered down 1992 version isn t exactly what you d call feminist.The Forbidden Wish, however, is For one, the jinni is female a powerful, smart and badass jinni who takes shit from nobody, but is still flawed, lonely and sad The princess is feisty and strong minded, as is her band of tough girlfriends who are also great warriors And, best of all, these girls are not enemies They grow in strength when they come together and support one another No petty slut shaming or woman hating From the jinni to the mortal women, there is a mutual respect and admiration So many authors could learn from this book.Then there s the romance I honestly enjoyed it, even though I didn t start shipping until about halfway through Aladdin is likable, probably made evenso by his weaknesses for alcohol and petty crime He s imperfect, boyish, and an impossible flirt, but these qualities are really quite adorable Also absolutely no instalove.And we also have the story outside the romance It s an old tale of powerful jinn, wishes that should never be spoken, and the worst mistake a jinni can ever make It takes place in both the past and the present, unveiling Zahra s story at the same time as she fights for her freedom in the present Can she ever win her freedom And what price will she have to pay for it I especially loved the way Zahra narrates the story, constantly addressing Habiba , whose story is gradually revealed over the course of the novel It adds another layer, and leaves us with some final touching moments.Such a strong, incredible novel I have to warn you unromantics about the heavy romantic element, and yet it feels a shame to label this complex and powerful story a romance It s so many other things too.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Store I am not allowed to hope I am forbidden a wish of my own And so I will not think of the world above, of the open sky, of the fresh air and the light of day.I will be lost, a myth, a dream Trapped forever with myself in this prison of sand and magic I cannot imagine aterrifying doom I thought I had resigned myself to this fate long ago, when it seemed no one would ever find me Now I know this to be untrue, and that hope has pulsed deep within me like a dormant seed, waiting to flou I am not allowed to hope I am forbidden a wish of my own And so I will not think of the world above, of the open sky, of the fresh air and the light of day.I will be lost, a myth, a dream Trapped forever with myself in this prison of sand and magic I cannot imagine aterrifying doom I thought I had resigned myself to this fate long ago, when it seemed no one would ever find me Now I know this to be untrue, and that hope has pulsed deep within me like a dormant seed, waiting to flourish at the first sign of escape Holy smokes, this was great This book is a retelling of Aladdin in which the genie is a girl To be honest, there is very little resembling Aladdin here, with the exception of the genie and Aladdin himself Despite that, I found myself greatly enjoying thsi book There s romance, yes, but I did not find it overwhelming There s also incredibly vivid writing, really, the writing is awesome, there s unexpected moments of humorYou re a you re a Say it, boy Demon of fire Monster of smoke Devil of sand and ash Servant of Nardukha, Daughter of Ambadya, the Nameless, the Faceless, the Limitless Slave of the Lamp Jinni a girl he finishes.For a second, I can only blink at him Heehee And the genie herself is pretty bad ass.Zahra is a jinni She has been trapped in the desert sands for 500 years, desolate, alone, and haunted by past memories of her last master Zahra has almost lost hope of seeing the outside world again, when a boy named Aladdin appears and summons her from the lamp They re not exactly friends from the startI ve heard the stories, he says I ve heard the songs They call you the Fair Betrayer, who enchanted humans with yourHe pauses to swallow Your beauty You promised them everything, and then you ruined them A thousand and one replies vie for my tongue, but I swallow them all, bury them deep, deep in my smoky heart Letting out a long breath, I shrug one shoulder So what now Will you toss me away Bury me again He laughs, a cold, sharp laugh Throw you away When you can grant me three wishes Would I throw away a bag of gold just because I found it in a pile of dungThat s where the similarities to Aladdin ends.I really liked Zahra She is powerful, but vulnerable From the beginning, we know she suffers with regret over a girl, a sister Over the course of the book, we uncover her story Zahra constantly remembers this Habiba, addressing her directly in her memories, and it s a constant guessing game as to what transpired that haunts her so much, that fills her with so much sorrow I found her actions realistic She may be powerful, but she is still trapped by who she is Zahra cannot go far from Aladdin without suffering greatly, bound by her curse The whole betraying Aladdin and gaining her freedom thing isn t the stupid romance centric excuse it seems Her reasons for hesitation is quite valid, and her feelings towards freedom is complex For the first time I think about what comes after I win my freedom For so long that s been my single goal, but what happens next Do I return to Ambadya, where they hate me Do I stay in the human world, where they would destroy me if they knew what I was I have nowhere to go to and no one to spend my freedom with, and for the first time I begin to wonder if that s really freedom at all, or if I m exchanging one prison for another Aladdin is no longer a Disney prince He is a charmer, at times a drunkard He burns for revenge, yet is aware of his own weakness in obtaining it He charms everyone with a vagina, and is an inveterate flirt Yet I never found myself hating him He s not an asshole He s just who he isZahra, if I wished for someone to die, could you do it Outwardly, I am stone, but inside I rock like a stormy sea I loathe this wishthan almost any other It is cruel and cowardly, and I reevaluate this boy thief There is a darkness in him I hadn t seenI also liked the fact that there are other female characters in this book Such a thing is a rarity in YA fiction This book can be confusing There are a lot of names to keep track of, and I wish that Zahra hadstrength in her, but overall, this was a highly enjoyable book.Read this review andThe Book Eaters 4 1 2 stars.My, my, what an enchanting retelling of Aladdin brimming with magic, humour, villains and good kissing Give me thy hand, said the Queen, and let us be friends For does not the poet say, one true hearted friend is worth ten thousand camels laden with gold This the Jinni pondered, before replying, The poet also says, woe to the man who befriends the jinn, for he shakes hands with death Zahra is a jinni For thousands of years, she has granted wishes Freedom is som 4 1 2 stars.My, my, what an enchanting retelling of Aladdin brimming with magic, humour, villains and good kissing Give me thy hand, said the Queen, and let us be friends For does not the poet say, one true hearted friend is worth ten thousand camels laden with gold This the Jinni pondered, before replying, The poet also says, woe to the man who befriends the jinn, for he shakes hands with death Zahra is a jinni For thousands of years, she has granted wishes Freedom is something she knows is impossible, but that doesn t keep her from trying to break her curse and quit being a slave When Aladdin finds Zahra, she is given a choice betray him and forever be free of the lamp, or let his city, Parthenia, fall to ruins and everyone inside it die.Is that really a choice I ve read thousands of books, and I ve met thousands of characters, but I can easily say that Zahra is a new favourite heroine of mine She stands out It s not her beauty that makes her special, or her hidden kindness, but her determination She believes herself to be a monster after all, she did kill her most trusted friend, Habiba Zahra puts on a hard and sturdy mask, but deep inside herself, she is not a four thousand year old magical creature of nightmares, she s just a a girl With unreachable hopes and dreams The desert ripples, throwing the boy onto his back I shift to human form and stand beside him, staring at the ground that held me captive for centuries When the dust clears, there is nothing but a glinting blue stretch of sand, pure and virgin, coursed with wind ripples The only evidence that there ever was a garden of wonders, the only testimony to the great city lost beneath the sand, is a single pale coin that lies on the surface, winking at the moon.And, of course, there is me There is forbidden love There is adventure There is betrayal It s one of the best fairy tale retellings I have ever read Aladdin retellings are quite rare in the minority The last one I perused is called A Whole New World and, if we compare its greatness to this one, The Forbidden Wish would be the sand and A Whole New World a plain and small rock buried by it I loved this book.We know of cases of beautiful covers bad books, but I m so relieved to say that this retelling never, at any point of the story, falls into that category Even a thief may have honor, and even a jinni may have a heart The only thing that keeps me from giving it a five star rating is the stalling There are days and days of stalling at the beginning of the book, when Aladdin and Zahra enter the palace and are waiting for the Fahradan celebration day.Regardless, this is a winner Love is a path lined with roses, I say bitterly But it leads to a cliff s edge, and all who follow it tumble to their doom You will not find your happiness there Blog 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