Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a Girl

Posted June 24, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments

mini reviewsMini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a GirlThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling
Published by Penguin on February 23rd 2016
Format: Hardcover (352 pages) • Source: Library
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She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

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 the Aladdin story from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

thoughts mini reviewAfter I saw the early reviews for this book, I bumped it up even higher on my TBR. I requested from the library and decided to read it as soon as possible, even with a million other more priority books waiting to be read. Unfortunately I kind of wish I didn’t bother reading it right away, because it didn’t grab me like I expected it to. The story was really great and the writing was lovely, but I was left slightly disappointed. It took me FOREVER to read this book. I never really wanted to pick it up and read it, and my attention would wander while I was reading.

Khara was a really interesting main character because of her strength, backstory, and magic. I just loved reading about her. Aladdin was also a fantastic love interest and I kind of loved him. I definitely shipped them. However, there just was a little spark missing. The other side characters (the princess and her watchmaidens) were amazing too!

The biggest issue, for me, is the general lack of plot. I could summarize the book in a few bullet points and call it a day. The ending had a lot more action, so that was a great change of pace. Overall, this book didn’t really meet my expectations, but I really did enjoy it. The gorgeous writing, lovable characters, and ending definitely sealed the deal for me.


I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a GirlJust a Girl by Ellie Cahill
Genres: New Adult
Published by Random House on June 21st 2016
Also by this author: When Joss Met Matt
Format: eARC (224 pages) • Source: Publisher
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Content warning: because of its genre and/or because it has older characters than you normally see on my blog, it may contain sex, drinking/drugs, and/or violence.

After getting kicked out of her own band—by her own boyfriend—Presley Mason finds herself back in Wisconsin, helping her parents run their renowned music store. Instead of belting out powerhouse vocals to sold-out crowds in L.A., she’s stocking shelves and inspecting rental violins. But the shop isn’t all bad: When she’s vacuuming up late one night, she bumps into the guitar teacher with the smoldering amber eyes and the killer tattoo. And that’s when things take an interesting turn.

Presley soon finds that Paul Kellerman is as good in bed as he is on guitar. So why isn’t he stoked to share his band, Jukebox Bleu, with her? Turns out Paul has crippling stage fright, which he’s been self-medicating without much success. But when Jukebox Bleu’s lead singer gets called for military service, the other members beg Presley to front them. Even though she swore never to mix men with music again, the temptation to perform is almost as intense as her chemistry with Paul. Now Presley must decide what’s more important: a second chance at love . . . or rock stardom.

thoughts mini reviewHere’s a nice age-level switch for you – a New Adult book I finished but have very little to say about. I’m sorry to have to say that because I had high hopes for this book. I really enjoyed When Joss Met Matt and really disliked Call Me Maybe. This obviously led to some mixed feelings on Ellie Cahill’s NA titles. I was hoping this one would be more like WJMM and less like CMM.

This book is about Presley, a great singer born into a family of musicians that owns a super cool music store. She quickly connects with one of the guitar teachers at the shop when she returns home after being kicked out of her band in LA. Their relationship was enjoyable to read and I definitely felt the chemistry. There was a whole plot line about Paul’s stage fright and how he coped. The way Presley handled everything pissed me off (much like CMM) but I shipped them and liked reading about them (much like WJMM).

The biggest issue was that I just wasn’t connected to this. I didn’t really care AT ALL what happened. I’m not sure why! I think Presley and her family were REALLY fun to read about. I loved the musical vibe the book had. There were text messages, tweets, and playlists mixed in throughout the book for some extra fun – totally loved those. Aside from that, I felt like she was a little too cliche and bland. It’s not that I disliked her though; I just didn’t connect with her in general.

In the spectrum of Cahill’s NA series, this one falls smack dab in the middle. Not a bad place to be! I’m still looking forward to her next books 🙂

6 responses to “Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a Girl

  1. I checked The Forbidden Wish out of the library when it came out but didn’t get around to reading it. I still want to because I’m desperate for a good Aladdin retelling! Too bad about the meandering/missing plot :/

  2. I’ve had The Forbidden Wish for a while, but haven’t had a chance to read it, but I’m excited though because I’ve heard good things. I love the sound of the MC and the romance sounds good too, even though it was missing a little spark for you. Too bad about the lack of real plot though.

    I’m not sure about Ellie Cahill’s new NA book. I liked the first, but the negative reviews for the second one really put me off and I haven’t been able to pick it up unfortunately. I can’t deal with stories when I can’t connect with them, so I think I’ll be better off not picking this one up either.

    • I hope you like it! It was really good overall 🙂

      Yeah it stinks because I like her in general – especially her YA books under the other name. I keep trying them and the past two have been meh/

  3. I felt the EXACT same way about Forbidden Wish! I loved the characters and the whole backstory and everything, but there was something missing for me too- I think you summed it up well that there really wasn’t a TON of story happening. You hit the nail on the head!

    As for Just a Girl… I do not think I would like this book. Music books and I generally don’t get along, and if you didn’t connect to it, I am basically sure I wouldn’t either. Great reviews!!

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