‘The Forbidden Wish’ by Jessica Khoury: YA story of Aladdin and the lamp


Rating: 4 stars

Jessica Khoury brings the story of Aladdin to life in “The Forbidden Wish.” Aladdin is still the handsome, impetuous thief who steals the lamp from an abandoned cave. But the genie is Zahra, a beautiful entity trapped for a thousand years in the lamp. She has been punished for an unknown crime.

The story is beautifully told as is the romance between the genie and Aladdin. The only genies left in the world are a few extremely evil genies, and the humans shun genies and magic. They have charmers who capture the magical creatures and shut them in bottles to remain there forever.

Aladdin’s parents were killed by the brother of the cruel ruler of the land, and he has long wanted revenge. He wants to marry the princess and avenge his parents’ deaths. But is that what will make him happy?

Khoury creates two very real characters in Aladdin and Zahra — two characters with deep passions and moral dilemmas. Does Zahra help her kind or does she follow her heart? And what, exactly, is “her kind”? Fairy tale lovers will really enjoy this fairy tale retelling. Perfect for readers from 11 years old and older.

Please note: this review is based on the advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher, Razorbill, for review purposes.