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Book Review: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

★★★★★/★★★★★
Title: The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish #1)
Author: Jessica Khoury
PubDate: February 23, 2016
Page count: 352

He is the sun, and I am the moon. We must stay apart or the world will be thrown out of balance.

Okay. Let me start by saying that this book was amazing. A story about friendship, life, sacrifices and forbidden love that will surely capture your heart. I know I’ve told this a million times that I love fairy tales and before reading this book I was not quite a big fan of Aladdin but now, well, Zahra and Aladdin already hold a special place in my heart. And that cover, who wouldn’t fall for a book cover like that?

What I loved most about this book was the romance (yes, I love book romance!) and the adventures and the girl power. Basically it’s about Aladdin and the jinni in the lamp and the three wishes but this time the jinni falls for her master. And yes, her meaning the jinni is a girl.

Zahra, the great jinni of the lamp, was trapped in the dessert for 500 hundred years, alone and haunted by the memories of her previous master, but now a boy named Aladdin found her. And as a jinni, of course she has to grant him three wishes. You can say that Zahra and Aladdin have started on the wrong foot but as they begin their journey back to Aladdin’s land, Parthenia, they realize that they have to trust each other eventually.

I liked Zahra because she’s powerful and smart and a badass. She always knew what she’s doing and she never acts recklessly. She makes sure everything she does is reasonable and right. Aladdin, on the other hand, is reckless and he seeks revenge for his parents but deep inside he’s a good person. And of course he’s witty and a charmer.

“I’ve been chased, shot, cut, beaten, and dragged a hundred leagues in the blink of an eye.” He shrugs and offers me a hand. “I need a drink.”

As Zahra and Aladdin develop a master-jinni relationship, Zahra also starts feeling something else. A familiar feeling that once led to the destruction of one of the great cities on their land. The feeling that killed her Habiba, Queen Roshana the last queen of Neruby. This feeling scared Zahra but she tries her best to stop it because she knew what the cost will be if she lets it continue. 

I stare at him a moment, conflicted. He carried me. He took an arrow for me. I’ve had few kind masters in my long, strange life. Cruelty, I understand. But kindness frightens me, for my defenses are weak against it.” 

And, and, and! I loved how most of the characters were females! Aside from Zahra, we have Princess Caspida, descendant of Queen Roshana, and then there are the Watchmaidens, female warriors who swore to protect the queen/future queen of their land. Princess Caspida is the next queen and she only wants what’s best for her people. At night, she secretly becomes the Phoenix who protects and watches over the people of Parthenia. She cares for her people and she’ll do anything to protect them especially from Prince Darian, her betrothed, and Darian’s greedy father, Sulifer who wants to own the kingdom. Aside from the internal threats to the kingdom, Caspida is also battling with the jinns and the great Shaitan Nardukha. Everyone hates the jinns because they are vicious and untrustworthy. 

“Damn you, and damn all your kind. I am Queen Caspida of the Amulens, and I do not fear you. Bring your worst, because I will be waiting.”

Like their princess, the watchmaidens composed of Ensi, Khavar, Neesa and Raz are tough and clever. Their loyalty is with Caspida and they’re willing to do everything to protect her. They somehow grow fond of Aladdin and Zahra though their first meeting wasn’t exactly friendly at all.

Now, now, let’s get to the romance. Well, there’s no love triangle on this one, you guys! I don’t hate love triangles but it’s just refreshing to read a book without any love triangle or something. But Zahra’s struggles and hesitations are what hinder her relationship with Aladdin. Zahra doesn’t want to make the same mistake twice so she hesitates a lot of times with her feelings towards Aladdin. She knows it’s wrong, she knows it’s forbidden and she knows its cost. But Aladdin, on the other hand, is honest with his feelings and though Zahra keeps on pushing him away, he keeps on coming back. Because that’s what you do when you love someone.

“You loved before, and she was taken from you. Ever since, you’ve been afraid to love again. You insist you’re a monster because you’re afraid of being human.”

Zahra has been bound to her lamp for thousands of years but she had a life before that. She was once a great Queen and she had a kingdom. But she doesn’t tell anything to Aladdin even though he asks her about it. Aladdin also struggles with his feelings and is torn between getting his revenge and loving Zahra. He knew the moment he wished to become a Prince, he needs to marry Princess Caspida to get his revenge but as days pass by, he grows to love Zahra more and more which he knew will compromise his plan. But what can he do when his heart chooses Zahra?

“It’s wrong and stupid and wonderful, Zahra. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but here I am. I love you.”

Zahra weighs all her options and jinns be damned but her feelings for Aladdin are as great as great can be. She knows it will be bad and it’s the Forbidden Wish but she’s ready to face the wrath of Nardukha. She knew her love for Aladdin could result to the same fate as what happened to Roshana but now she’s willing to fight Nardukha. If she wasn’t able to save her beloved friend, sister, Roshana before, now she will try everything to save Aladdin.

I don’t know the exact moment I fell in love with Aladdin, but I know I am still falling. And I never want to stop.

Together, Aladdin and Zahra face the great Shaitan Nardukha. They know it wouldn’t be easy but at least they fight for their love. At least they are together.

“Have faith, Smoky,” he says softly, cupping my face in his palm, “This isn’t over yet. Whatever happens, we’ll be together.”

I really loved this book and honestly, I haven’t moved on from it yet. I’ve re-read some of my favorite parts and I think I’m far from being over with this book. It’s just so amazing and the characters are all endearing and the world-building is engrossing and Zahra is lovely and Aladdin is, well, Aladdin. Everything in this book is captivating and I loved it! In short, read it!

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