Author: Lori Goldstein
Series: Becoming Jinn #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 2 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I love Jinn. There’s something so exotic and intriguing about these creatures. Maybe it’s because Aladdin has always been my favorite Disney movie. So of course, when I read the synopsis for this book I jumped at the chance to read it. And I wanted to like it so badly, but I just didn’t.
My biggest issue with this book was Azra’s voice. She sounded so young to me, much younger than her supposed 16 years. She never seemed genuine to me either. Every lesson she learned along the way felt contrived or forced. She was wishy-washy and just kind of annoyed me throughout the whole book. Especially with the whole love triangle-not a triangle thing.
Speaking of… what the heck. So Azra has this friend Henry. Multiple times throughout the book Azra says he is just a platonic friend. But there’s totally a love triangle going on. She gets jealous when he starts dating another girl. He gets jealous when she starts dating another guy. But yet, she continues to deny that they are anything but platonic friends. It was like the author really wanted to break the whole notion that boys and girls can’t just be friends, but then couldn’t help slipping in those stereotypical tropes that seem to show up in YA. Ugh.
I didn’t like any of the supporting characters. Henry was sort of interesting at first, but then quickly became flat and lifeless to me. Nate, the other romantic interest was so boring and I felt like their relationship just kind of came out of left field. The same goes for Henry and his other romantic interest. None of these relationships seemed to make sense with the exception of the friendship between Azra and Henry. A relationship that, once again, should have just remained a platonic friendship as the book was preaching.
And then the plot line was boring. Honestly, not much happens. It’s just Azra freaking out about becoming a Jinn, screwing up when she’s granting wishes, trying to figure out what her mother is hiding, pushing away her Jinn sisters, trying to be in a relationship with Nate and continuing to deny the fact that her and Henry have a crush on each other.
The world-building was…there. I think that we had a good grasp on the world and the way it worked, but the presentation was not good. We find out scraps of information through journal entries which just seem cliché and too easy. I like my world-building to be seamlessly integrated into the story and this was not.
And finally the ending was super dramatic and over the top. Azra immediately jumps to a conclusion about a certain thing and I can’t help but think that there has to be other options, but once again, she isn’t thinking. So no, I will not be continuing with this series. I’m pretty bummed over how this one turned out. But if you know any other really good Jinn books please feel free to share them with me!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Oh and because I can’t help myself, that cover is terrible isn’t it?