Title & Series: BECOMING JINN (Becoming Jinn #1)
Author: Lori Goldstein
Release date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
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.
Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.
Lori Goldstein’s debut, BECOMING JINN, is a perfect mix of sweet, sad, funny, heartwarming, captivating and intriguing. It’s one of those stories that draws you in at the outset with an opening sentence that will pique your curiosity, and keeps you hooked with its entertaining characters, fascinating lore, engaging plot and great writing.
It introduces a main character who is likable, relatable, well-meaning, impulsive, stubborn, and at times selfish, but who is sure to make you laugh, roll your eyes, shake your head at some of the decisions she makes and situations she finds herself in, and sympathize with her for the lack of control she has over her own life.
Azra knew that the day she turned sixteen her entire life would change. Not that she had much freedom before, but now she’d be losing most of what little she did have. Try as she might, she could not alter the changes to her appearance that came with becoming jinn. She could not stop the bangle from being locked on her wrist that would allow her to use her powers to grant wishes. She could not refuse the assignments she was given without dire consequences.
But she would not hide herself away from the human world, having only her “sisters” as friends. She would not give up her friendship with Henry or forget about her crush on Nate or quit her job at the beach. She would not fall in line and become the model Jinn her mother was just because it was easier or safer or because her family wanted her to.
The Afrit may have the ability to take away everything from her, but if she could keep them from finding out who she was friends with, what she was doing, the rules she was breaking, the secrets she was keeping, maybe she wouldn’t have to completely lose herself. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she would not give up without trying to have it all. She just wished she knew what the consequences would be from the start.
Author Lori Goldstein has created an enchanting and incredibly addictive first book in her series that teases a world that is magical and dangerous and oppressive and beautiful. She introduces a people who have incredible gifts and can do amazing things but are kept on a short leash, are separated from their families, and are faced with terrible punishment if they step out of line. She gives readers a story that is exciting and humorous and heartbreaking and she presents it from the point of view of an endearing main character who is far from perfect but one worth rooting for.
BECOMING JINN is a positively delightful and spellbinding read that highlights the risks of having too much power, the danger of keeping secrets, and the importance of friends and family. It’s a story that will entertain from start to finish and one that will leave readers anxious for the sequel.