Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Becoming Jinn Series, Book 1
Expected publication date:  April 21, 2015

Description (taken from Lori Goldstein's website):
Azra Nadira’s Jinn ancestry means magic has always been inside her. But the rules don’t allow her to begin drawing upon it until the day she turns sixteen. The day she receives the silver bangle that releases her powers and transforms her into a genie.

It doesn’t have to be tight like a handcuff to achieve the same effect.

Her destiny is now controlled by the powerful Afrit who rule over the Jinn world, and she must keep her true identity a secret from all but the fellow Jinn who make up her Zar sisterhood.

Though she grew up with these five Jinn “sisters,” they’ve always wanted the one thing Azra never has: to become a Jinn. This fact separates Azra from them now more than ever. When she reconnects with Henry, the human boy across the street she used to play with as a child, she finds in him the best friend her Zar sisters are supposed to be.

The more she uses her powers, the less she feels like a Jinn. Maybe that’s because her focus begins to shift to Nate, the lifeguard with the underwear model exterior and sweet, shy interior.

Her attachments to Henry and Nate and the human world begin to further strain her ties to her Zar and the Jinn. With her attention divided, she skirts the rules, and her genie mistakes begin to mount, along with the consequences.

As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

Azra wakes up on her sixteenth birthday as a new person.  Over night, she has transformed into a genie which basically means nice hair and a nice body in addition to the magic.  But she's also given a silver bangle that serves as a reminder that she works for the Afrit and will live according to their whims.  As the day goes forward, all of her Zar sisters, her fellow teenage Jinn that she grew up with, come to celebrate her day.  And all Azra can think about is escaping her fate and being normal.

When Henry notices Azra on her birthday, he gives her a key to his backyard in case she ever needs a safe place to hide from her life.  As Azra grows into this new life of magic and wishes, she relies on Henry to keep her sane and human.  But as love interest Nate comes along, everything just gets more complicated.  Especially when Azra gets her first official assignment.  Sometimes, there isn't a way to separate the Jinn life from the human life.

This was a really good beginning to a series.  The story sets up well, and you get a feel for all of the characters.  However, I felt like it dragged through the beginning.  And when things finally get revealed, like the life of a Jinn, it felt rushed.  And when personal issues happen between characters, not all of them got resolved at the end of the book.  I kind of felt like I didn't get the full story.  And I wanted more once I was into it.

For those looking for a good story involving a genie, you might find this one appealing.  It's definitely got the paranormal factor added into a contemporary world.

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

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