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September 30, 2015

Shelley Liked It: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Series: Becoming Jinn 1
Format: Paperback | 384 pages
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
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.



BECOMING JINN is apparently part one of a two part duology by author Lori Goldstein. Goldstein's story is a contemporary take on what it is like to be a Jinn in the modern world. In Azra Nadira's world, she is responsible for granting wishes just like her mother, her grandmother, and great-grandmother before her. Azra has been hoping to put off her ascension into the ranks of Jinn for awhile longer, perhaps forever. But, when her Sixteenth birthday comes around and wakes up to find that she's wearing a silver bracelet that releases her magic, and has been transformed overnight into the adult version of her self, life as she knows it is about to become very different.

This means her hair has grown long, her nails are painted and sharp, and she's grown a few inches as well. To say that she's not at all happy, would be putting it mildly. In fact, it is rather humorous at the number of ways that Azra tries to get out of being a Jinn and remain a human all which fail. She's aware that she is now at the mercy of a powerful council of ruling Jinn called the Afrit. She will be tied to them until she uses up all her magic, or until they say otherwise. They will be the ones to tell her who to grant wishes for. They will be the one's watching over her 24/7 to make sure she follows through with their rules. One slip up, can send Azra or her mother away forever.

Azra's world now includes five other "sister" Jinn's that will make up her circle of Zar sisterhood. The others include Laila, Yasmin, Hana, Mina, and Farrah. But, my two favorite characters were Samara, and her own mother Kalyssa, especially Samara who probably should have been Azra's mother they are so alike in what they want to do about the Afrit. Zar's are a circle of sisters who are bonded together for life. They are supposed to help each other through hard choices. They are supposed to help each other understand their magics. While her "sisters" use humans for their own entertainment purposes, Azra has no problem sharing her problems and troubles with her next door neighbor Henry, and falling for the sexy lifeguard Nate who also plays lacrosse and is a genuinely nice guy.

Let me be clear on something. Azra's isn't the easiest character to like. She hates that she's forced to deal with her "sister" jinn's. She hates that she can't just give away her powers to someone who wants them. She comes across as aloof at times which gives her a reputation as being untouchable or a bitch at school. But, her determination, spunk, sarcasm, and dislike of the Jinn caste isn't misplaced. Misguided at times, yes. But, there's good reasons to be wary about the Afrit. I didn't much like the fact that she put distance between herself and her friend/fellow Jinn sister Laila who has always been there for her.

I didn't like that Azra allowed herself to be caught by Henry, or the fact that he is around at the most inopportune time. I hated that she rushed to grant wishes, instead of making sure everything was on the up and up. A positive for me was that Azra doesn't fall in love with two boys. She really likes Nate, and that is the end of any Azra/Henry/Nate triangle. Of course, she isn't happy with who Henry falls for but that is neither here nor there. Henry may like/love Azra, but her feelings are definitely for Nate. Let's hope it remains that way.

As Azra uncovers the darker world of BECOMING JINN, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick. She discovers some secrets that could change everything in regards to her legacy, and her own abilities. I would offer that most of Azra's mistakes could have been avoided had she listened to her mother and read the collection of information that was put together by past Jinn's. I would offer that I truly hope that she grows a bit more as a character in the next installment and doesn't whine as much. I would also love to see a resolution to the whole male Jinn's being sent off planet thing so that families can be reunited. 





Chapter 1
A chisel, a hammer, a wrench. A sander, a drill, a power saw. A laser, a heat gun, a flaming torch. Nothing cuts through the bangle. Nothing I conjure even makes a scratch.
I had to try, just to be sure. But the silver bangle encircling my wrist can’t be removed. It was smart of my mother to secure it in the middle of the night while I was asleep, unable to protest.
Though my Jinn ancestry means magic has always been inside me, the rules don’t allow me to begin drawing upon it until the day I turn sixteen. The day I receive my silver bangle. The day I officially become a genie.
Today.
I slam my newly acquired accessory against my bedroom closet, leaving a rounded indent on the wood door. The pristine, gleaming metal mocks me. For the rest of my life, I’ll go where I’m told, perform on command, and do it all without question.
Screw that.
Barefooted, I can’t kick the pile of tools without impaling myself. I settle for shoving the saw, but in the blade, a flash of gold reflects back at me. I’ve ignored the unusual sensation of hairs tickling my bare shoulders all morning . . . the new tap, tap, tap of my nails against the conjured metal . . . the hem of my pajama pants now flirting with my calf. Ignored just in case. Just in case this bangle wasn’t here to stay. But even my talent for denial is no match for my curiosity when it’s been piqued.
Standing at the bathroom mirror, my breath catches in my throat.
The deepening of my olive skin, the angling of my cheekbones, the lengthening of my torso. I’ve seen them all before. On my mother, who wears them like she owns them. Unlike me, who wears them like a rented Halloween costume.


Next in Series!





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42 comments:

  1. The idea is intriguing but it sounds quite difficult to follow azra there so I don't know. At last it was a good one. thanks for the discovery!

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  2. You know, I don't think I've read a book about genies. At least not that I can recall. Maybe I should add that to my reading to-do list.

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    1. Sound good Christy! Lots of people have mentioned to me that they will wait for the second book and read them together.

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  3. Isn't that lucky he becomes prettier

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    1. You know, I'd like just one wish. One. To lose weight.

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  4. I have always liked stories about genies but I don't think I've ever read one told from this side of things, which I find really interesting.

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    1. Hi, Mary! Thanks for checking out my review!

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  5. This sounds a bit different for genies. I wonder why they send the males off world? And yeah for no love triangle!

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    1. The simple answer is power. Whoever holds it, can do whatever they want. Thanks Laura for checking out my review!

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  6. I've never read a book about genies. Well.... I did TRY to read the one by Heather Demetrios, but it just wasn't for me so I ended up putting it aside without finishing it. This one does sound pretty good. And I love the covers in this series. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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    1. I know the book you're referring to Lisa. I'd say there are definite differences.

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  7. I don't see a lot of books about genies and I do love to read about them. Glad you liked it.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  8. I haven't read anything about Jinn's yet. I might give this one a go since it's a duology.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Hi, Karen! Yeah, I definitely like duologies better than trilogies. Wraps things up a bit quicker.

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  9. I wanted to read this when it first came out, but I got put off by all the mixed reviews. Maybe I'll read it one day. Great review!

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  10. Huh, haven't read many novels with jinns but I don't think this one is for m. From the way you explain it, I don't think I would like Azra as a main character. :/

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    1. I guess one way to look at Azra is to put yourself into her shoes. Would you want to be stuck giving out wishes until THEY are done with you? Nope. Not me!

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  11. This sounds pretty interesting, Shelley. But I'd be with you in hoping that Azra does some growing in the next book. :)

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    1. Which is why duologies are much better than trilogies, at least for me.

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  12. This sounds so interesting! Glad you did like it and thanks for sharing the excerpt!

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  13. genies? Yes please, always enjoy a good spin on that.

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    1. I had to laugh when the author made a reference to I Dream of Jeannie. Talk about making me feel old!

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  14. This sounds pretty interesting. I remember seeing other reviews for it and the cover definitely caught my attention. I'm glad you enjoyed!

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  15. I need to read more jinn books, this one does sound interesting! You have my curious on how she tries to get out of being a jinn :)

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  16. Meh, I've just about had my fill of characters that don't make it easy to like or care about them lately... I'm *so* ready to fall deeply-crazy-madly in love with a fictional someone! Anyone...?

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  17. Ehh.... my list jinn book was a flop and I haven't been eager to grab another. I am glad I stayed away from this one. It sounds like it wouldn't quite work with me.

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  18. Hm... this sounds like a book that can lend itself to some good character growth throughout the series. Might have to read this one or wait until you review the next. :)

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    1. That would be awesome! Thank you Melissa!

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  19. It's interesting how she's going to turn her heroine's character around in book 2. Duologies are good, but I hope she pulls it off and wraps up the plot, character redemption included, in book 2 flawlessly

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  20. I'm curious about the jinn aspect, but I confess that the way the character seems to be would probably put me off. Thanks, Shelley!

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  21. I could definitely see how Azra could be hard to like at time, but I feel like I could give her some slack since she's basically being forced into servitude. I've only read one genie/jinn book so it's cool to see there are more out there.

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    1. I agree with the servitude part Adriana. I actually did allow for slack on that issue. Its her relationship with others that needs work.

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  22. I wondered about this book! Thanks for the review! Have a great weekend!

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  23. If I were Azra, I would be pissed at the world too. Waking up as an adult and being tied to people sucks ass! Not sure if I will read this one but I enjoyed your review.

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  24. Hmm. I'm curious. Sounds interesting and a hit or miss kind of read. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. I really like the premise of this book, it sounds interesting but I feel like I would just end up sighing at the main character and not enjoying it :')

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