Hey everyone! Today, I’m really excited to share with you an excerpt from Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein! I LOVED this book – you can check out my review here! – and I’m pumped to share this excerpt with you! First, here’s more about the book:
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.
“This well-written title . . . will not stay on the shelf.”
— VOYA Starred Review
“The only thing it left me wishing for was the sequel!”
— New York Times best-selling author Anna Banks
“A fresh, gently subversive tale with a new strain of paranormal problems at its core.”
— B&N Teen Blog
“[Azra’s] struggles with family and impending adulthood ring true and will likely cultivate a loyal, sequel-hungry audience.” ―Booklist
And now, the excerpt! Enjoy!
A Note from Lori: This excerpt from Becoming Jinn occurs about a third of the way into the book when Azra arrives early for her summer job at the local beach. New to her magical powers, she’s still working out how to keep them hidden from the humans she lives and works among.
A damp, gray mist clung to the shoreline for my entire first week behind the snack bar. Yesterday’s flip of the calendar ushered in July and, with it, the sun. Just in time. As my white shorts make painfully clear, my legs need a tan.
I leave myself ample time to bike to the beach and arrive early. The weathered wood shack that serves as the concession stand creaks as I prop my new bicycle against it. The overly complicated twenty-four-speed contraption is a birthday present from my mother’s Zar sisters. The irony of giving me an external method of transport now that I have my own internal one isn’t lost on me.
With time before my shift begins, I follow the arched wooden path over the dunes. I sweep my fingertips along the tall grass that rustles on either side, feeling the air crisp with each step. When I arrive at the last plank, I kick off my sneakers. It’s low tide. The beach spreads out before me, empty, quiet, calm. This is my favorite time of day in my favorite place.
If it were up to me, we’d open our front door to this. But the location of our home, like so much else, is not up to me. My mother says a flashy house at the beach would raise more questions than it’s worth. Draw too much attention—the worst thing for a Jinn. Funny, I gather the attention my mother garners by being drop-dead gorgeous has yet to cause a problem.
I walk the wide expanse of open beach down to the water. The frigid Massachusetts waves reach for my toes.
I can’t resist. I inch forward and let the icy ripples surround my feet.
Standing at the edge of the ocean, everything seems possible. The endlessness of the sea makes me believe in beginnings.
Mere seconds pass before I cry out, unable to withstand the torture any longer. My toes sting as I race toward a patch of sun and bury my feet. The cool sand lurking underneath does little to alleviate my chill, but still . . . it was worth it.
Returning down the same wooden path, I run into the clique of beautiful bods—the lifeguards. A morning beach run is a requirement of their job. Of the three female lifeguards, only Chelsea does the run in a two-piece bathing suit. Emblazoned with “guard” across the chest in capital letters, the red, sporty bikini is even more intimidating than her orange-and-black cheerleading uniform. And that has a tiger paw plastered across the front.
A couple of the guys nod slightly as they pass me. Though we all recognize one another, the rules in play in the halls of the high school extend to the dunes of the beach. If you wave to me during homeroom, you wave to me here. If you nod to me during the change of classes, you nod to me here. If you ignore me during gym, like Chelsea does, you ignore me here.
If you make me unable to speak in the cafeteria, you make me unable to speak here. Like Nate. Nathan Reese, the cute lifeguard, star lacrosse player, soon-to-be senior. He’s heading straight for the path I’m hurrying down. I reach the end and duck through the side door of the concession shack.
I shouldn’t really worry about running into him and being rendered mute. So far, “hi,” “here you go,” and “thanks” form the core of our conversations. Nate does his part to save the world by bringing his own reusable water bottle to work, and I’ve spent the past week being his water girl, refilling the stainless steel bottle from the sink in my little shack two, sometimes three, times a day. Yesterday, when he tilted the bottle toward me and winked before returning to his perch on the lifeguard stand, I was especially grateful the transactions don’t require much verbalization.
In case you missed it, the Becoming Jinn eBook is on sale through April 4, 2016 for $2.99 across all e-retailers!
The sequel, CIRCLE OF JINN, releases May 17, 2016 and is available for preorder now!
PLUS, there’s a free E-Short Story, a prequel to Becoming Jinn, available across all e-retailers, starting March 15, 2016!
About Genius of Jinn, a prequel to Becoming Jinn:
In this prequel to BECOMING JINN and the upcoming sequel CIRCLE OF JINN, thirteen-year-old Azra and her nemesis Yasmin are whisked away to a mysterious land with a special language, awe-inspiring architecture, and quirky toilets: France. As the enchanting French Jinn Tayma guides them through the streets of Paris, they discover not only a book of spells, but a truth neither of them is prepared for: that in their inevitable transition to becoming Jinn, their shared genie ancestry may just make them stronger together than they are apart.
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About the author:
Lori Goldstein was born into an Italian-Irish family and raised in a small town on the New Jersey shore. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and worked as a writer, editor, and graphic designer before becoming a full-time author. She currently lives and writes outside of Boston. Lori is the author of the young adult contemporary fantasy series Becoming Jinn (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, April 21, 2015, sequel, Circle of Jinn, May 17, 2016). You can check out her editorial services here and visit her online at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com.
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