The Forbidden Wish | This Book > Disney’s Aladdin! {Review}

img_0940Title: The Forbidden Wish

Author: Jessica Khoury

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Arabian Nights Retelling, #diversebooks

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

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  • Aladdin has always been my thing. Everyone else was swooning over the Little Mermaid but not me no siree I HAD MY ALADDIN. So seeing my favorite child tale expanded and developed and reimagined from a delicious doodle into this beautiful masterpiece? HECKING YES!!


  • The star of this story is Zahra and she is THE COOLEST JINNI YOU EVER DID SEE. Because a) GUYS SHE IS A JINNI and b) A+ character development. She’s badass but not in a “strong female character” mold kinda way, in a “I am a stunningly strong and clever and kind and original character created with dimensions and care. I rock btw.”
  • As a jinni, Zahra can shape-shift. I’m not much of a superhero type, but if were I’d capture the power of shape-shifting because friends, it’s THE BOMB DOT COM. From tigers to sparrows, I got so giddy whenever Zahra did her thang.
  • While sparse as it’s featured only through flashbacks, a luxurious female friendship glides through this tale. The friendship is sweet and genuine, I only wish there could’ve been more of it.
  • The plot is a “holy crap” plot. The blessed balance of artful action and alluring political intrigue (MY FAVE) paces the pages.


  • Of course we’ve gotta talk bout the best part: DIVERSE BOOKS WAHOO!! As this book is inspired by an Arabian Nights tale and sets its story in the Middle East, YA CAN’T REALLY GET MORE DIVERSE THAN WITH THIS BEAUTY. The lovely author, Jessica Khoury, is even half-Syrian!!


  • The romance actually felt random, EEK. I believed it not too well-written; the feelings of love were a bit sudden and startling. Maybe I’m just a grump, but please?? Developed romances?? Is it too much to ask??



What are your favorite retellings? What emojis describe it? Do you know any Arabian Nights retellings? DO YOU LOVE ALADDIN OR? (If the answer is no—LEAVE. Kidding. But many minor therapy is for you?)

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36 thoughts on “The Forbidden Wish | This Book > Disney’s Aladdin! {Review}

  1. Oy! That’s no good! Though honestly I’d rather watch Inside Out or Zootopia. The Middle Eastern aspect is the real gem of Aladdin.
    Sweet! THE SHAPESHIFTING IS MY FAVORITE. Well a sloth is an intriguing choice. I wonder, if you shapeshifted into a sloth and then tried to shapeshift into another creature, would your shapeshifting be abnormally slow?? Sadly this was not explored in the book 😦

  2. Full transparency: I likely forgot the bulk of what happened in Aladdin because I watched it far too young to comprehend hah.

    Anyhow, The Forbidden Wish definitely tops many Diverse books list I’ve seen recently, and by extension of your lovely review, it sounds much deserved. You’ve piqued my interest with the shape-shifting because WHAT-IF-I-COULD-SHAPE-SHIFT-INTO-A-SLOTH? That would be rad as hell.

  3. Thanks for answering my questions about the book. I think her mom would be okay with a little kissing.

    I have trouble relating and getting interested in magic. I don’t know why, but it is the only genre I ever find myself picking up and putting down. And I LOVE to read. I can’t explain it, I guess it just boils down to preference. 🙂

  4. OH NO! That’s basically plagiarizing another retelling—is that even legal?? ugh originality is the most important part of every book!
    I think you’d love this one, though! It’s bursting with original aspects and new ideas ☺️
    Thank you, Summer! Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is successful and joyful for you ❤️

  5. The one Aladdin retelling that I did read was A Whole New World. And I rarely rant about books but that one made me have so much rage. It felt like straight up plagiarism-like there were exact quotes from the movie in that story. I was so bummed out by the lack of originality. Anyway, I am so glad that there’s finally a good retelling of Aladdin out there though. Thanks for sharing this review with us, Becca! And your use of emojies for your book reviews is adorable.

    And I hope you had a nice Christmas. Happy new year!

  6. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamiton has Arabian Nights vibes and it was one of my favorite releases this year, you should definitely check it out. Another popular one is the Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh and A thousand Nights by E.K Johnston.

  7. NO ALADDIN WON’T BE RUINED. TRUST ME!! i feel like we often worry about a retelling or movie adaption or something will ruin the original (or in this case, a Disney movie adaption), but does it ever really? Even if it sucks, does it really make the original seem less great? For me, it never does! I hope you read the Forbidden Wish!! The Jinni is FABULOUS !!

  8. HECKING YEAH! And then we can co-write a novel about our shapeshifting and NYT will declare it a bestseller. Wouldn’t that be grand.
    Yes! You must read! I especially want to hear your snark on the romance TEEHEE

  9. Not much on books that involve magic?? I’m curious—why is that?
    The forbidden aspect of the romance is D E L I G H T F U L !!! Forbidden romance is my favorite kind 😀
    It always depends on what kind of teen your niece is. I don’t know how mature she is. What I can say is that there’s nothing truly inappropriate here—some kisses maybe? That’s really it.

  10. I love your emoji overviews! hehe They’re so creative. 🙂
    I first learned about this book by reading CW’s review from Read Think Ponder and now I’m definitely convinced that I want to read this book. It sounds absolutely wonderful. Yess to Aladdin retellings!

  11. I’ve been debating about this one as I LOVE Aladdin, but was so worried it’d be ruined. >.< I'm really glad you enjoyed this one. The Jinni sounds FABULOUS ❤

  12. SHAPESHIFTING IS MY JAM. Let’s develop amazing shapeshifting powers and be shapeshifting buds together, it’ll be great.

    And oh my god I’m so excited to see that you enjoyed this book so much (even though ugggh the romance, why must it be bad). I can’t wait to get my hands on it so I can gush about it too. 😄

  13. I loved this! I read this one last month and I really enjoyed it as well 🙂 My only negative point was that I’m not a huge fan of romances in general, and I wish we got to see Zahra when she was the queen’s (I forgot her name omg sorry) jinni, and not Alladin’s. I’d have loved so see their friendship.

  14. I am not much on books that involve magic, but you make this sound like a fun read! Although you didn’t like the spontaneity of the romance, I am a sucker for a “will they, won’t they.” I will have to check this book out!

    Also, my niece loves books like this, but she is only 14. Is the content mild enough for a young teen?

  15. Aladdin is my favorite Disney Princess movie. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the book.

  16. Glad to see that you liked this one, Becca! This was on my TBR and I started it ages ago but dropped it in favour of other books, but now I’m reconsidering that choice. Zahra sounds amazing. 😉

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