Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Becoming Jinn

by Lori Goldstein
published: Feiwel and Friends, 2015
pages: 384

Azra's whole life is turned upside down on her 16th birthday.  She knew it was coming but she had hoped and fought it her entire life.  Now she that she has her powers, Azra is forced to grant the wishes of those around her.  The trick is she doesn't get to choose, the governing body of the Jinn choose for her.  All Azra wants is to be normal and to have normal friends, but she's starting to realize the people she has pushed away her entire life might just be the people who will help her get through becoming Jinn. (<-- Did you see what I did there?)

I really enjoyed reading this book.  I don't think there are many books focused on genies, so when I first heard about this I was all over it!  The plot is interesting.  I love the premise of this story, a hierarchy of genies that determine just who gets to have wishes granted and when they get them granted.  Genies are often depicted with very little character other than they grant wishes.  This book gives us fleshed out genies and their culture.  The characters have motivations and emotions that drive them, they aren't simply brainless wish granting machines.

I initially felt incredibly sad for Azra's predicament and the isolated lifestyle she has had to lead.  I know some of it, okay maybe a lot of it, is of her own making but it struck a chord with me.  I loved the fact that she is rebellious and headstrong, even against things that she can't change.  At the same time, she feels deeply and wants to protect her family and friends in any way possible.  She's definitely a character of flaws, but that's what makes her so relatable and enjoyable.

The other characters in this book are really cool as well.  There are so many characters that were introduced in this book, but they weren't given enough time for much development.  Azra's Jinn sisters are a good example of that.  There are six of them including Azra, but only two of them get much shine time.  I loved what we saw of each character; they each had distinct traits and interests that made them easy to remember and distinguish.  I just wish there was more of them in the book.  I am hopeful that we will see more of them as the series continues!

On that note, I didn't realize this was the beginning of a series so I was slightly confused when there were only about 50 pages left and questions weren't being answered.  On top of that, we were still learning new information.  I like when I get answers to all my questions and that certainly did not happen but I'm okay with it because now I know there is more to this story than just this book.  I am so happy that there is more coming.  I really enjoyed reading about the lives of these characters.

This story has so much potential to grow and I'm looking forward to following all the characters into the rest of this series! (P.S. the cover is way more purple than in this picture and I LOVE it!)

Stars: 3.5/5


"[Azra's] struggles with family and impending adulthood ring true and will likely cultivate a loyal, sequel-hungry audience."

"Through Azra's first-person, present-tense narration, the act of "becoming Jinn" provides a rich metaphor for the potency and frustration of adolescence."

"Becoming Jinn offers everything I adore in a book: a rebellious, snarky heroine, a fresh plot that had me devouring pages, and flourishes of dreamy romance."
     --Anna Banks, New York Times-bestselling author of the Syrena Legacy series

"Becoming Junn is a delightful portrait of what the life of a modern-day genie might be.  Vividly imagined and written with spirit and verve."
     --Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 series

A Full House Reading Challenge 2015 book.
An Alphabet Soup Challenge book. 

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