Published by Macmillan on April 21, 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.
To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.
Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same name, about genies. I love the tagline for the book- “Forget everything you thought you knew about genies”. Because right away, this tells me that it is going to be a pretty cool re-imagining. And it was. It took awhile to gain momentum, but once it did, I thought Becoming Jinn was a magical tale. I thought the world of Jinn that Lori Goldstein created was very rich and multifaceted. I liked how creative and detailed she was, but at the same time I do feel like it slowed down the start of the story a lot. There was a lot of world building but not a lot else. But once you push past the beginning, you not only have a good idea of what it is like to be a Jinn but also the plot starts to move along at a more brisk pace. It was easy for me to fall into the story then.
Azra just turned 16 and for her birthday gift she is given a cuff bracelet and a lamp. The lamp is a joke between all the sisters and cousins of the family because Jinn don’t live in lamps, they live in houses. But still the youngest Jinn gets to be the keeper of the lamp. I thought that was cute. Much less cute was the bracelet that was the symbol of being enslaved as a Jinn to the ruling class of the Afrit. And Azra was less than excited to come into her Jinn powers, because it meant losing control. I liked Azra. I can see how she would be a love her or hate type character, but I choose to love her. I thought she was spunky. She was a little whiny, but I think it is important to note that she is 16. What 16 year old is not ever whiny. And I think she had just about as good of a reason as any to be a little bitter and whiny- she was becoming a genie- and is now at the total whim of other people. That would grind my gears a bit too.
I’m not going to say much about the romance. It was good. There is a love triangle, and love triangles are the hardest part of reviews for me to write about without giving anything away, so I will leave you with the two dudes names, and nothing more. Henry- Azra’s long time friend, and Nate. More to come on this sub-plot after I read the second book.
Becoming Jinn is a really cool story. I have never read a young adult, or other, so this was a new experience for me. I don’t have a lot to compare it to except Aladdin, and this is nothing like Aladdin. If you don’t mind love triangles and you can push past the bit of info dump, for background purposes at the start, Becoming Jinn is a really great story. I think a ton of YA readers will love this one, and I am more than interested enough to continue the series. Lori Goldstein did a great job with her imaginative Debut Novel, Becoming Jinn.
Have you entered these awesome Giveaways?
Click the banner to enter