Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.
Release Date: July 2014
Age Group: YA
Reviewed by: Madi B
This book had a lot of potential. I can count on one hand the amount of YA fantasies set in the Middle East I’ve read. And the summary? Like, doesn’t that sound amazing? Jinni vs human plus some Freaky Friday action??? Awwwwww yeah count me in! Sadly The Fire Wish did not meet my expectations. The setting was gorgeously described by the author. It was really like being transported. The premise? Amazing. But the characters and the plot are what made it a letdown for me.
The book switches between Zayele’s and Najwa’s perspectives. They have distinctly different personalities but when they talk (or think) it sounds the exact same. And they look the exact same too. So it is SO DIFFICULT to tell the difference between the two. Throw in a couple more foreign names like Najwa and you’re gonna be backtracking a lot. It’s really hard to develop a bond or whatever with them because you get so confused. Then they switch places and it all goes downhill.
The mystical war plot line is put on the back burner for the romances. Now this sort of thing doesn’t usually bother me (Romance instead of war?!?!? Sign me up!!) unless the romances are crappy. Alas, the romances are crappy. One was a case of insta-love (Not slightly endearing insta-love. Eyeroll insta-love.), and the other was a tad better but still fell in the insta-love category for me. *sigh* I felt like there was some untapped potential at this part in the plot line. Like there is a Jinni spy trained in the highest honor in the castle where no Jinni has been before and all she does is go the library and stalk the prince. Is that all you've got? And then the annoying human is in the Jinni drooling over some guy instead of trying to get the heck out of the Jinni HQ. Like I feel that's a no-brainer…mystical beings you’ve been taught to hate outnumbering you thousands to one? And you just wanna chill?? Not a lot of sense there.
There is conflict at the end but it was confusing. Overall I feel like this could've been great but the characters were bland and the pace was slow. Every plot twist I had already figured out or guessed at. It really is a good book if you're just looking for a simple read with some genies and kissing but don’t look for any more or you may be disappointed.