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Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein
About the book (description from Amazon)
Wishing doesn’t make it so, Azra does.
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.
I have just finished Becoming Jinn
by Lori Goldstein and I really enjoyed reading it, loving the world created by Lori Goldstein. In the book we find out that genies aren’t blue men who live in lamps or midriff bearing women who are found on beaches. Becoming Jinn shares a world of wish granters who work in groups of six. There are rules for magic and how to grant wishes.
Main character, Azra, is likable and is a real teen: unable to control a destiny she does not want she rebels by making some questionable decisions. While there were times when I got a little frustrated as she did some things that were just reckless, it is great to read a book without overly smart, all knowing, snarky teens.
Thankfully Lori does not make any one character more or less likable, even allowing main character Azra to have flaws. Each character feels like their own person and although there are plenty of side characters, they stand on their own without feeling like something I have read before.
I was disappointed to find out that this book is the first in a series (*shakes fist*). This is totally a Rachee thing; while I loved the world created by Lori, I cannot help but feel like the story doesn’t need to be extended, unless of course she shares a bit more about some of the other girls from the Zar and not just focus on Azra.
When I first started reading I was feeling a bit uncomfortable with what seemed like making the Jinn women so exotic. I don’t know much about Jinn or the Afrit culture referenced many times in the book and after a few chapters I got over the feeling. Part of me felt like the women were both empowered and fetishized with the descriptions of their beauty but I suppose it’s no different than the descriptions shared in other books.
Fun is a word I would use to describe my experience reading this book. There is a plot about the Afrit and some underlying danger but the book isn’t totally dark and full of conspiracies and featured a sweet romance and friendship.
I would give “Becoming Jinn” three and half out of five stars. It held my attention; I read this book in a few days, something I have not been able to complete as of late. It made me yell at the book a couple of times (I totally read like a mom of a teen at times especially with the amount of underage alcohol the characters in the book seem to indulge). I took half a star because this is a series. However, I recommend this book for a weekend read and, even with my earlier grumblings, look forward to what’s next from Lori Goldstein.
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