Mundie Moms

Monday, February 22, 2016

THE FORBIDDEN WISH by Jessica Khoury / Blog Tour: Author Interview

Hello and welcome to today's stop for THE FORBIDDEN WISH blog tour hosted by Penguin Teen! I am so thrilled to have author Jessica Khoury on the blog today to talk about her newest book, which will be out TOMORROW!


By: Jessica Khoury
Published by: Penguin
Released on: February 23rd, 2016
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to: Goodreads

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 Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.


Congratulations on The Forbidden Wish! I love that this is a retelling of Aladdin, but with a fabulous twist. Do you find that it's easier or more challenging writing retellings? 
I found it harder in some ways! The challenge of writing a retelling is making it your own story, while  leaving echoes of the original. It’s a tricky balance to strike.  I had a list at one point on my wall of “Original Story Elements” and “New Story Elements,” to keep track!

What is one thing you admire in Zahra? 

Even after thousands of years in her lamp, enslaved to a long succession of cruel, selfish masters, Zahra retains her ability to empathize with and care about humans. Not all humans, but some! ;) She hides this softness in her heart so deeply that even she doesn’t realize it’s there. It’s this compassion that has the power to either save or destroy her.

Who was more of a challenging character to write, Zahra or Aladdin?

Aladdin! Zahra came to me at once. The strength of her voice was the thing that kept drawing me back to this story even while I was working on other books. It took me a few drafts to pin down Aladdin, though, probably because I was trying to find that balance I mentioned earlier, between the original and the new. But when I finally found his primary motive (avenging his parents) all the rest fell into place.

What element did you enjoy writing the most, the romance, the world or the characters?

I really loved getting to write Zahra’s backstory and incorporating her past tragedies into her current narrative. The book is written as if she is telling her story to her long-dead mistress, Queen Roshana, whom she addresses as “Habiba” (meaning beloved friend in Arabic) . This was one of my favorite parts of the book, and while most of the story changed from initial concept to final product, this element remained constant.

Which character did you enjoy getting to know?

 I have to say Zahra.  Her voice seized me from the very beginning, and there were times as I was writing when I felt like she was telling me the story and I was simply transcribing it. I used to think that kind of thing was silly and didn’t actually  happen, until I met Zahra. She felt so real to me, and her history so complex and deep, that I have to agree with Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic when she says that story ideas don't originate with us—they find us and choose us to tell their stories. That’s what it was like with Zahra.

What's one of your favorite lines from the book?

Even a thief may have honor, and even a jinni may have a heart.” I feel this sums up the entire story.

If you were granted 3 wishes, what 3 things would you wish for?
1) A magic pen (or laptop, I suppose; this is 2016 after all) that writes out the entire final draft of a story as soon as I get the idea for it. All glory, no work!
2) The ability to teleport myself, any persons I want, and my luggage to any location on the planet. Insta-vacation!
3)  (A serious one now) Peace in Syria.

If you could write one of your favorite fictional stories into The Forbidden Wish, who would it be and why?

Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. Reason being: they are just SO. FREAKING. COOL. I want them everywhere. In every story. In the real world. On the Iron Throne. #TeamDany  

What are you working on next?
A few new ideas, all fantasy! Still in the very early stages, but hopefully I can share more soon!

Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she's dreamed of being an author.

When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration. 

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, Kalahari, and The Forbidden Wish.

Shadowhunters TV: Episode 6: "Of Men and Angels" / Review #Shadowhunters

Happy Mundane Monday Shadowhunter fans! Once again I am late on sharing our thoughts from last week's Shadowhunters episode. It was another crazy week, but better late than never. I may have rewatched this last week's episode in between writing my review. You can read our previous reviews here. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week's episode below in our comments. 

Katie's Thoughts

This week we got to see a Lightwood family reunion, flashbacks of Luke, Jocelyn and Valentine, Simon fighting his inner vampire, Malec, we got a glimpse of Clace, and did I mention Max! 

*see more Lightwood family photos here*

I really enjoyed the Lightwood family reunion, and having Max apart of the show. Just like in the books, I love the Izzy and Alec are with him. It's so cute. I wasn't a huge fan of Robert and Maryse in the books, however I don't like that Maryse is such a witch in this show. In the books Robert is the one who's not likable at all, and yet Mayrse is the one who's like that, and Robert is more of the nice one. Forcing Alec to marry infuriates me. Izzy's scenes with her mom broke my heart. Izzy is such a strong, beautiful character and this week we got to see that heartbreak and insecurity she keeps carefully guarded when it comes to mother, and their broken relationship. 

The Jace and Alec "dispute" was killing me. I felt bad that Alec was the one who's getting the brunt of the punishment for all that had being going down up to this point. I love that Jace and Alec made up. I love that Alec is sending up more for himself and instead of rushing back to the Institute at the end of this episode he stays to have another drink with Magnus, which shows his defiances.  Alec continues to impress me, and I love Matthew's portrayal of Alec. I feel like it's so spot on. Another spot portrayal is Magnus's! Magus is one of my favorite Shadowhunters series characters, and I totally fell in love with Magnus all over again in this episode. I love the way Harry has brought him to life here. 

I can also say the same with Alberto's portrayal of Simon! I love it. Speaking of Simon, oh my word, not only was Jace great being a you know what to him, but Simon was awesome when he stood up to Jace! I loved that he stood his ground with Jace. That was awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing his vampire transformation, and I'm glad Jace was the one that noticed Simon's changes, and looked for a bite mark on Simon.

I feel like we're starting to see Clary become the Clary I admired from the books. I loved that she's finally able to start piecing together part of her mother's past, and she's discovered more of her gift. I have always admired the relationship Luke had with Clary in the books. He was always the father she never really had. I loved seeing their moments together talking about the history of Jocelyn, Valentine and Luke. 

I liked the circle flashbacks to the extent that I liked getting more of the history of Valentine, Luke, and Jocelyn. Finally, for the first time we really see just how ruthless Valentine is, vs being told. I loved the interaction Luke and Jocelyn! I loved seeing them together, even if it was brief. I am really looking forward to more of them. I like that they kept the downfall of Valentine similar to the books/ I'm still waiting to see ruthless Valentine appear in the series. 

What didn't work: 
I've mentioned some inconstancies that have stood out to me with the show with some of my previous reviews, particularly with the writing of the mythology they've written for the show. This week there's something that stood out to me as an inconstancy. During last week's episode when Luke had to kill the alpha to become the new alpha, he was obviously was in wolf form, which meant the only way to kill the alpha was via biting him. This totally makes sense. However, what doesn't make sense is if the alpha bite is poisonous, how does the whole kill an alpha to become the new alpha work? Neither would make it, because both would be bitten. If you change the Shadowhunter mythology, you need to make sure there are no retroactions. Also not fitting was Magnus needing Alec's strength to save Luke. Being that he's the high warlock of New York, and one of the most powerful would mean he didn't Alec. However, if that a ploy for him to see Alec again, than that worked great.

Over all this week was better than I had excepted, and I'm looking forward to seeing what next week's brings. There's so much potential with Clace and Malec!

Sophie's Thoughts

Shadowhunters episode 6 is titled "Of Men and Angels". I think an alternate title should be (borrowing from the always amazing Taylor Swift) "The Story of Us Looks Like a Tragedy Now, Now, Now". Yes, I had to throw in the "now"s. Swifties do that, I think.

Okay, I quite liked this episode. We get the ancient history of Jocelyn and Valentine (and oh my, does he ever look charismatic in his thirst for power and purity). We get the fight scene between him and his parabtai, Luke as well as a kicka$$ fight scene between him and Jocelyn, which results in her taking the Mortal Cup. The show did something that the book couldn't, and that is it placed us there in the moment. If I ignored the bizarro Twi-vamp speed and slo-mo Shadowhunter effects, it was actually a good moment of storytelling.

We also meet Robert and Max in this epi. And their interaction with Izzy and Alec is adorable. Speaking of Alec, we get a nice bit of Malec while they are attempting to heal Luke from the alpha bite. The moment of awkwardness in that sweet smile of Alec's when Magnus almost puts his finger on Alec's lips??? Heart-melty Moment Alert!!!

Is the show improving? I would say based on epi 6, I am cautiously going to say "yes". 

Emm's Thoughts

I really enjoyed this episode. Finally I think we are getting some story development here, some character development and dare I say script!
I loved the insight into the Circle. The cast for the younger Valentine, Jocelyn and Luke is spot on. The story of how Valentine became who he is and why he wants the cup was well explained.

I wasn't crazy about the story of Luke battling the poison but I was happy with the story arc it presented connecting the other characters. We got to see some snarky banter between Jace and Simon. We got to see Clary discover more about her background. And of course we got to see some awesome Malec love! Who doesn't love Matthew and Harry in these roles! The chemistry between all the characters is spot on.

I was excited to finally meet Max and it was nice to see the caring side of Izzy again with her little brother. I am so glad all these characters from the book are being introduced. With more details about the Lightwood parents, we are starting to see more of the pressure Izzy & Alec are under. How will this effect Alec & Magnus? We will have to see where the tv show goes with this story. Keep up the good work guys and you'll keep us loyal book fans happy.