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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Drea's Review: A Whole New World

 
Title: A Whole New World
Author: Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales, #1
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Length: Novel (384 pages)
Genre: YA
Source: Purchased
Buy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Rating: 3-stars

Drea's Review:

When I saw the blurb for A Whole New World, I thought, wow, that’s an interesting idea. About a quarter of the way through the book I realized this was basically officially sanctioned Aladdin Fan Fiction. Yeah, I’m not too swift. I should have figured that out from the blurb.

In any case, A Whole New World answers the question of what would have happened if Jafar had stolen the Genie’s lamp from the Cave of Wonders as soon as Aladdin had snatched it.

This story begins when Aladdin is little and gives us a glimpse of his childhood conditions, his mother, what shaped his character later in life. From there we launch into essentially a book version of the movie right up until the Cave of Wonders. After that point the story is completely different. There are nods to the movie mostly in the genie’s character, but he’s not the wisecracking guy. In this he’s basically all mope and no dope.

Aladdin is a fully realized character complete with backstory and friends we don’t meet in the movie. Jasmine hasn’t changed much from the Disney iteration but in the trials this story introduces, the author takes her to the next empowered female level. She’s no shrinking violet and could arguably have handled the whole plot all by herself. Even Raja plays a role. All of it is believable (except maybe the tiger being basically another person).

The book is targeted to a YA audience, but I felt like it read more like a middle grade book than YA…at least in word choice and character interaction. Though there are plenty of dark moments complete with zombies and a civil war/battle against the palace that make some of the subject matter lean toward YA.

Though I didn’t dislike the book, I can’t rave about it. What I like about Disney movies are the happily ever after love stories. While this has that, the characters have to go through far more tribulations than your run of the mill Disney princess experiences. This book is more about Aladdin and Jasmine maturing and growing as people and fighting for their city than it is about falling in love. And since they had me in the Disney mindset, I found myself disappointed.

Challenge updates:  

I've never read this author before, so this counts toward the New to You! challenge.

Here are the counts:
New To Me - 12

New to You Reading Challenge  


9 comments:

  1. Nice review! I've read two other reviews that basically say this is a poor read. I was once sooo unbelievably excited for this one and now, I feel defeated! It's sad.

    Though I have read this author before and loved her first fairy tale retelling, I found through these reviews, her writing style has changed. And not for the better apparently. If you want to read a really great (in my opinion) retelling of Snow White by this author, I recommend Snow by Tracy Lynn--it took a bit of digging through Goodreads for me to learn that these two are one in the same!

    Very nice review!

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    1. Ooh I'll have to check into that. Thanks!

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  2. I had such high hopes for this one. I'll have to try out the book recommended above instead.

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    1. There's not much that can live up to Disney hype

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  3. A dazzling place I never knew...

    I can't do MG anymore except if it's written by Riordan, Michael Scott and Rowling.

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    1. I guess I should look into those. I haven't actually read any of them

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  4. Great review! I just can't read MG anymore. That cover is pretty, though!

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    1. It does establish that this is no cartoon story...

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  5. One of those mah books. Take it or leave it. That's okay. :) Thank you!

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