Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein cover and review
I enjoyed Becoming Jinn very much, but at times the lore got to be a bit too much.

Azra has just had her 16th birthday, which means she is now a Jinn (Genie). Along with physical changes which enhance her beauty, she also must wear a silver cuff on her wrist which cannot be removed. And she will begin granting wishes as ordered by the Jinn governing council.

Azra is a typical teen, rebelling against her heritage. There are a group of six "new" Jinns that make up her Zar (sisters.) They will help and support each other as Jinns. They are not supposed to get close to humans, but being in the human world and being teens, you know that's not going to happen.

So along with practicing her magic and wish-granting, Azra is negotiating a relationship with her best friend and neighbor (who may be more than a friend?) And she's also getting closer to a hunky lifeguard who works with her at the beach.

She makes mistakes, and as her mother reveals to her some additional "rules" about being a Jinn, she realizes those mistakes may have consequences bigger than Azra ever imagined.

Becoming Jinn is a cute story. I thought the teens were realistic, given they were magical. I never was able to keep straight which Zar was which -- they had distinct characteristics, but just not enough face time to get it all straight. The story took a long time to get going. Once we figure out about the Jinn thing, it seems nothing really happens that is significant until over halfway through the book.

Sometimes in books the criticism is that there isn't enough world building, or I didn't understand the lore behind the magic. Becoming Jinn is pretty much the opposite of that. I got tired of the rules being shoved down my throat over and over. And the threats of going to Jinn hell. Azra and the others refer to this and other rules too much.

The revelations at the end of Becoming Jinn added to my interest in reading the next book. Genies are the "new" paranormal beings, and Becoming Jinn will appeal to teens looking for another type of paranormal romance.

Published by Feiwel & Friends, April 21, 2015
eARC obtained from NetGalley
384 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. I have teens clamoring for paranormal romance reads but they don't want the "same old same old", which makes it really hard to find books for them. I think this one would grab their interest. I'll add it to my order list for the moment and then decide later what to do with it. Thanks for the review!

  2. Oh, it does sound like it might be hard to keep the two separated but them feeling realistic with a magical twist does sound nice

  3. How interesting! This definitely sounds unique. I've never read a book about genies before. (: Awesome review, Annette!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

  4. I've been hearing mixed reviews about this novel so I'm not sure how to feel about it - although I do love the concept, genies are bascially unheard of in books - lovely review. Benish| Feminist Reflections

  5. I am currently readind this (a little over half way through) i am liking the story enough but i have many of the same issues you mentioned. Slow begining, confusing characters, too many rules... yes yes and yes. but all in all the story is cute and now it picked up a bit for me so I am sure i can finish quickly.


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