The Forbidden Wish

The Forbidden Wish

Book - 2016
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"Forced to hid her true identity, Zahra, a teenage genie, finds her chance for freedom challenged by her love for her master, Aladdin."--NoveList.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, [2016]
ISBN: 9781595147677
Characteristics: 340 pages ; 22 cm


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CCPL_Teens Mar 01, 2021

Fans of Aladdin will definitely want to check out this imaginative fairy tale retelling. Khoury's story is told from the point of view of the genie, a girl named Zahra. After Aladdin finds her lamp, they become reluctant allies and then more in this story full of adventure and romance.

Nov 04, 2020

The Forbidden Wish
By Jessica Khoury

Ok, so here's the thing. There are some elements I usually don't like as much; it was very romantic, the author hasn't really made anything that I liked, but here it was so well done, that I actually liked the story. The writing was captivating and the characters (especially Zahra), were very fascinating. I didn't feel like it was about the romance, because there was a story outside of that, and the way it was told was gorgeous. I felt like there were things, little bits of wisdom I could take from there. There was feminism, but not to the point of it being ridiculous. And even though there was a prejudice between the jinni and princess, they still respected each other. The characters weren't perfect and even after reading so many books, I still remember it. I mainly recommended this book because of the writing, since Six of Crows, has a quite nice writing style without being overbearing. However, this style is a little different, but still very good.

Jul 23, 2020

The Forbidden Wish did a fantastic job of fleshing out the main characters, and keeping with the theme that things aren't always as they seem. It was really interesting how Zahra continues to talk to Roshana, and how that affects the way she interacts with the other characters, especially Caspida. I loved how though Aladdin was her master for most of the book, it never felt that he had an undue amount of control over her, and how she was a strong character on her own. Though the romance seemed slightly rushed at the end, Khoury didn't downplay the sisterly love Zahra shared with Roshana, instead treating both Zahra's platonic and romantic relationships as equal. Overall, The Forbidden Wish is a great read, and I highly recommend it.

I loved the strong female characters in this book. The supernatural elements were fun and I'm a sucker for a romance so even though it wasn't perfect I still really enjoyed it. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes teen fantasy novels with just a touch of romance. Grade 6 and up.

Dec 22, 2018

I really enjoyed the twist of the Genie in the story of Aladdin being a woman. The female relationships in this story and the strength of their character - really had me rooting for them. She was cool & her story was filled with depth and interesting tidbits. If I had one complaint - it would be that I wish Aladdin was as filled-in of a character. So often in YA Novels - when there's a romance - character development seems one-sided. If you want us to cheer for the couple - together - or even just make us cry if it doesn't work out; I'd like to know a little more about them.

Jul 07, 2018

The Forbidden Wish was a beautifully written book with a twist on to the story of Aladdin. Zahra was a strong and proud lead for the book and was just wonderful. The book was captivating and making you hold your breath waiting every move. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading. While reading I felt that I was there in Parthenia, every item was described in great detail. The story itself was very interesting and I loved the authors choice on having a group of strong, brave woman who stuck together in the name of sisterhood. I just loved this book so much and it's one I would definitely read over and over again.

forbesrachel May 29, 2018

The Forbidden Wish has an unusual power dynamic between its two main characters Zahra and Aladdin. Unlike most female/male romances, Zahra is clearly the more powerful of the two. The lavish description exudes magical strength, and even though she is enslaved to the lamp, and therefore her master, she is clever enough to turn wishes on their head when she wants. But with Aladdin, she decides not to, something about him calls to her. Aladdin himself is not intimidated by powerful women, rather he is confidant enough in his own skills that he can respect them for theirs. He also doesn't treat the jinni as his slave. As their relationship develops, and as their only chance at freedom becomes tied together, they more eagerly rush to defend the other. The world that Maas' has created focuses on power dynamics in other ways too. The people versus the privileged, inner court politics, the human versus the supernatural, and even a person's own struggle between what they want versus what they need. Zahra's past mistakes haunt her, she constantly refers back to her Habiba as she narrates her tale (one example of the positive female relationships displayed throughout). Above all, she desires to be free and to not repeat history, but Aladdin shows her that what she truly needs is something different. The romance between the two may not have been a strong point, but The Forbidden Wish has a setup and characters that are sure to please many Fantasy/Romance readers.

AshleyF2008 Jul 31, 2017

(In short) Characters were fantastic. Story was okay. Setting/history was colorful. Romance was...I would have been happier without it.

I felt our main character Zahra was strong and interesting and believable. I wish the story had focused on the friendships in the story rather than the romance with Aladdin. The "love conquers all" mantra is a bit flat for a book that seems rich in every other area. No instalove and no real love triangle, though, which is great. But that romance really was disappointing for me and the flatness of it could have been easily fixed (which is the worst part).

Truly, the characters carried this story. Everyone was vibrant and I felt like that all had a stake in what was happening. That goes the same for the history of the world that Zahra gives us.

ArapahoeStaff1 Nov 21, 2016

This retelling of Aladdin, with a female genie gives the history and backstory of this incredible Middle Eastern tale. Love triangle, magic, and desperation abound as three teens try to understand their place in their world.

Sep 04, 2016

A love story of Aladdin and his 'jinni'. Strong female leads to retake city from corrupted uncle. The ending is most powerful when the truth of what the forbidden wish is.

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Nov 04, 2020

1234ravenmore thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 12, 2017

selenium_dove_3 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 04, 2017

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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