I've read all of Jessica Khoury's books, and enjoyed them, but this one is by far my favorite. Honestly, I loved this book! It's such a fantastic retelling and really, I loved everything about it! I'll try to write this review without flailing.
Zahra's been trapped in her lamp for hundreds of years, ever since she betrayed her best friend and an entire kingdom was lost because of it. Then she is awakened by Aladdin. She's awakened into a world where Jinni, like herself are considered monsters and she has to remain hidden. As she waits for Aladdin to make his wishes, she begins to fall for him, which becomes a problem. Not only because in order to be free, she has to betray him, but the last time she loved someone, an entire kingdom was destroyed.
This may be a retelling, but the story was still very imaginative. You can still see parts of the original tale, but Khoury really did build her own world and it was fantastic! I loved how the Jinn were represented and how there was a history included in the story. Honestly, I was so immersed in this story and this world that I couldn't put it down.
I loved Zahra and I loved her perspective. She interesting in general because she's a powerful Jinni that's hundreds of years old, but she's also tough and just downright amazing. She's also obviously troubled by her past and struggling with how much she wants to be freed, so she's not without her flaws, but she was still so strong and I felt like her character growth shone in this book.
I usually am annoyed with romances in most books. It's just so hard for me to actually like the romance in a book! But in this book, I loved it. I shipped it! There was no cheesiness, insta-love, and other common factors in YA. The romance was slow and felt real, as odd as that sounds for a fantasy book.
Overall, this was an amazing book! I thought it was an imaginative retelling and I absolutely couldn't put it down! I loved everything! The characters, the world, the writing, the romance, everything! I strongly recommend this book! And now I'm just going to cry a little because this book is a stand alone and, boy, do I want a sequel.