The Forbidden Wish

352p. ebook available. Penguin/Razorbill. Feb. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781595147677.
Gr 7 Up—Lyrically written, this work is a twist on the familiar tale of Aladdin. Seventeen-year-old Aladdin finds the lamp in a cave, and the story is told from the point of view of the Jinni of Ambadya, a girl named Zahra. She must shift shape in order to remain discreet among the humans. Eventually she is given a deal: she is to free the jinn prince before the moon cycles. If she fails, the human race in the city will perish. If she succeeds, then she will return to Ambadya as a free jinni and no longer be a slave to the lamp. Aladdin and Zahra become allies. As she works to free herself, she falls in love with him only to find that if she is to claim her freedom, then she must betray him. Readers, knowing that she can't have it both ways, will want to know what she will do to solve her problem. Other characters involved in the story add to the drama, making it even harder for Aladdin and Zahra. Khoury's writing is evenly paced and well done, making this a good selection.
VERDICT A solid choice for anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings and light romance with magic and hope.

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