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review 2015-07-13 21:42
a little let down
Becoming Jinn - Lori Goldstein

I picked up this to read after it was selected by my bookshop's Teen Advisory Board, and they usually make phenomenal picks.  The premise seemed cool too.  I think my reading of this book was hurt by going in with high expectations.  I also think that the book reads younger than expected - with the main character turning 16, I'd say this book is written more for readers younger than Azra.


What I found was a book with all this build up towards resistance/revolution/uprising against the draconian laws governing jinn lives... and nothing really coming of it.  And I learned that Jinn, too, can be special snowflakes.


There's kind of a love triangle, which is a little forced.  One is the brother of her dead best friend, who she has rather sibling like feelings towards (for the most part), and has pretty good reason to be unhappy with his choice in women.  The other guy is one she's been drooling over for ages.


I'm not sure I really buy the whole "you're so pretty no one in the entire school will talk to you" - especially in regards to pre-transformation looks.  And while social awkardness can be taken for aloofness, there is generally a difference between how the two play out (and body language is often a good part of it).  Azra talks about herself as someone who's learned to disappear into the shadows/be socially invisible.  Maybe she has really poor self awareness, but that description doesn't really match up with the girl otherwise described.


And the girls she's supposed to be "sisters" with.  It's really Mean Girls-ish, with the relationships forced (even when they're supposed to be forced its a bit much).

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review 2015-04-26 03:54
Worst Book Genie Ever!
Becoming Jinn - Lori Goldstein

Dear Book Genie:


Your Book Genie service sucks.  You told me you’d give me any sort of book I wanted.  I said I wanted a jinn book full of culture,diversity, matriarchy, and you gave me…

Well, shit.


Becoming Jinn was such a devastating experience.  It was like on the shallow surface it had everything I desired, but then when I actually read it.


My head exploded and not in a good way.


I get that you should be careful about what you wish for, but come on Book Genie did you really have to  butcher it up so much.  Let’s look at the following things I wished for and what you freaking gave me:


1) A strong female heroine who fights against her faith.


Azra seems strong from the blurb-right.


Whiney is actually a better word to describe her Book Genie.  An annoying and whiney brat.


She doesn’t do anything to fight her faith other than whine.  Even after her mom commits a big no no of ignoring her wishes of inviting people she specifically asked to NOT be invited to her birthday party, she just shrugs it off with little to no action.


Seriously?  Book Genie.


I had hopes at the beginning when she was trying to use power tools to get off that bangle that was pretty cool.  I was like, maybe I could like this character.


But as the book progressed she did nothing to change her faith.  Other than being sort of silent and bitchy towards her Zar sisters she did nothing.


Oh, but moan about her dead bestie and moon over a boy whose personality was like sandpaper and get courted by another sandpaper-ish boy.


But apparently she’s really talented with magic and that’s suppose to make the book.

It doesn’t.


2) A unique mythology not exploited to death in YA.


Jinns haven’t been totally exploited in YA.  Actually, compared to most paranormal/mythological creatures they’ve hardly been explored at all.  And for the most part, I have really enjoyed the jinn books that I’ve read.  Save for Fire Wishbut this book made Fire Wish look like a freaking masterpiece.


I couldn’t even stomach it enough to finish this thing because nothing of interest was happening.  The set up seemed interesting enough and if it would’ve gone through the ideas that it pitched it would’ve been interesting.  But as it was it was a lot of nothing with an over the top ridiculous magical makeover consisting of a new hot bod and butt length hair.


Why did you make me lose my dinner, Book Genie?


You suck so much.


3) A matriarchal based society.


This is probably what attracted me to this book more than anything else.   I like books that focus on storng female friendships and relationships, I was hoping to see a bit of this with the Zar sisterhood.  But instead, most of the Zar sisters are just annoying with pretty much blah personalities.  Save for the obligatory nice one and the bitchy one that’s just jealous of Azra’s awesomeness-rolls eyes.


This is not what a matriarchal society/sisterhood is, Book Genie.  You took the most cliche elements of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Wonder Woman and tried to put them together. It didnt’ work.  If there were bonds between these girls, I didn’t see them.  Instead, the only thing they have in common is that on their sixteenth birthday they become Xena Warrior Princess look alikes without the bad ass-ness.




4) Interesting Plotting:


Where was my plot, Book Genie?  Nothing was happening and I got through a good hundred and thirty and some odd pages of the book.


Surely, something had to happen than not so supple nods that Azra is a super special powerful genie.


Oh, and becoming hot.


Instead of making me want to read this book, it made me want to quit this book.


5) An intriguing love interest:


Ha!  Ha!  Ha!


Book Genie, you gave me the epitome of boring.  And a love triangle that was even more pointless than the one in Twilight.  I really could care less.  I am Team Neither of these boys because they were just equally boring and bland (again, like sandpaper).


I couldn’t honestly tell you what the difference between the two of them was other than one was a neighbor and one was a lifeguard-who is automatically suppose to be hot because he’s a lifeguard.





So thank you, Book Genie.  NOT.  I hope you are happy. You didn’t fulfill my wish the way you wanted.  Some lousy genie you are.  I guess I should’ve just used mesh up of various media like most blurbs do  when I asked for my request.  Because you failed-big time. And just for the record the perfect jinn book for me would consist of a Buffy-ish main character with Harry Potter action and Ken Burns accuracy to detail.





Disgruntled Book Blogger


Overall Rating: DNF

Source: howdyyal.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/worst-book-genie-ever-becoming-jinn-by-lori-goldstein
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review 2015-03-12 09:38
Becoming Jinn - Lori Goldstein
Becoming Jinn by its cover doesn’t scream much attention, although the simplicity of the design tells a lot with just that one silver bracelet. The summary on the other hand, gives off a very interesting story to look forward to. The book itself? A very long introduction.

Becoming Jinn tells the story of Azra, a genie-in-training who wishes nothing more than to be a normal person, and by person I mean human. But no one can escape the life of a Jinn.

Azra is a very likable character. Her compassion for the people she loves is commendable. But her impulsiveness makes her all the more relatable.

While I love a good introductory narrative, I find this a little too uneventful and way too much explanatory. It was informative at its best since it gives answers to the most drilling questions about its lore you could think of, but it would have been nice to be balanced with a more definite dilemma at hand, and a more heart stopping situation for our heroine, since most of it was just wrapped up in the mystery of the Jinn world.

I can’t say that nothing really happened either, although it wasn’t as thrilling as I expected, the story did move forward and it progressed to events leading to deeper questioning of Azra’s Jinn ancestry.

The ending was quite a bummer though. I was left thinking, “Wait? That was it?”

With my experience, Becoming Jinn feels like a series that will be providing its readers with an invigorating storyline. The background story alone is already gripping and worth knowing. In spite of it being on the slow side, I am still looking forward to reading more of this Jinn world, and see its potential to grow.

*Thank you, Macmillan, Feiwel and Friends, and NetGalley for granting my request to view Becoming Jinn.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com
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