I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Becoming Jinn #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on April 21, 2015
Source: the 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.
I loved Becoming Jinn! I finished it in TWO days because I couldn’t put it down! I’m so sorry I didn’t read it sooner! The world of the Jinn, the magic and the rules – the way there are serious consequences to wish granting – are all intriguing. The characters are awesome and the life lessons are relatable. Lori Goldstein is a great writer and she really sucked me into her story. I had some minor issues with it, but overall, it was a wonderful read!
Azra is a bit tough to like in the beginning. Though I loved having an MC who refusec to sit back and accept their “destiny” (Because, really, not EVERYONE wants to be a vampire slayer, a chosen one, or the only one who can save the world); however, at times her attitude was awful and she could be really mean and dismissive to those who were close to her (her mom, her Zar “aunts” and her Zar “sisters”). I was really torn between feeling bad for her, for this destiny that was forced on her, this destiny that she doesn’t want and really just hating her attitude. I definitely think she grows a LOT by the end of the book. I was incredibly intrigued by the revelations about her and her family and I can’t wait to see what it means for her in the sequel.
I really couldn’t stand Yasmin for the majority of the book. She was so terrible to Azra – but then again, Azra wasn’t exactly nice to her or the other Zar sisters, either. But the more I read, the more I felt for Yasmin and her situation, especially by the very end. I understood where she was coming from and why she did the things she did. I really liked Laila, though, from beginning to end. She was one of my favorite characters! I felt very bad for her at one point and I hope she and Azra can reconcile!
As for the other three Zar sisters, – Hana, Mina and Farrah – well, they kind of faded into the background. I couldn’t really tell them apart from each other and I don’t really have much to say about them. The same can be said for the mothers: While I have many thoughts on Kalyssa, Samara and Raina (the mothers of Azra, Laila and Yasmin, in that order), I don’t really have much to say about the other three. They sort of faded into the background and weren’t as integral to the story. As for Kalyssa, Samara and Raina, they were so frustrating! I hated how cryptic and secretive they were. If they’d just TOLD their daughters the truth, maybe things would have turned out differently.
I really liked both Henry and Nate. Henry definitely had some odd moments, though, where he seemed a bit immature. I definitely felt for him and his family situation though. I definitely got the friend vibe from him and I hope he and Azra remain friends because I really enjoyed their friendship (And YA could use more female/male friendships). I liked Nate and Azra together, though, and I really hope things can work out for them! Poor Nate dealt with a LOT in this book and I’m (morbidly) curious to see what happens next for him.
Also, I really can’t stand the Afrit. Like, not at all! And we haven’t even officially met them. but they make me REALLY angry!!!! :(
Something really interesting about this book: Though it was about Jinn, it had a major contemporary feel to it. I really, really liked that because it made it more relatable. It’s not a book about a Jinn who also happens to be a teenage girl – it’s about a teenage girl who also happens to be a Jinn. It’s Azra trying to live her normal life while dealing with this huge family obligation – something many teens can relate to.
The ending was really crazy, with a ton of revelations and intriguing things. It was also sad and heartbreaking. But it sets things up nicely for the next book – which I just read the synopsis for and it’s also the conclusion!!! For some reason, I thought this was a trilogy and it’s actually a duology and that makes me sad panda :( But that also means the next book will be epic and intense and I can’t wait!!!
Overall, this book was really an amazing read. Though I had some minor issues with certain characters, as well as some pacing issues near the end, I really enjoyed the majority of it. I’m really happy with the character development and growth and, as I mentioned, the world and the Jinn magic and rules were really epic! If you love stories about Jinn, Genies and magic, I definitely recommend this one! And if you aren’t a huge fan of Jinn/Genie stories (which I wasn’t, really), then I also definitely recommend this book because, as I said, it really has a contemporary feel to it and the lessons learned are really relatable! Lori Goldstein is a great writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next!