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I Belong

Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Becoming JinnTitle: Becoming Jinn

Author: Lori Goldstein

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Becoming Jinn (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250055393 (MacTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-1250055392 (MacTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: I really wanted to like this book, but it ended up being a really boring read for me. I did eventually finish it, but it took way too long and I kept putting it down for other books that looked more intriguing.

Opening Sentence: A chisel, a hammer, a wrench.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

It is Azra’a sixteenth birthday and for most girls this is usually a wonderful day. But for Azra it means that her whole life is about to change and not for the better. You see Azra is a Jinn and when you turn sixteen you get a huge makeover, receive silver bands around your wrists and most importantly you get your powers. Most Jinn can’t wait to come of age, but Azra has never wanted to be a genie. Instead of being able to use her powers however she wants she has to use them to grant wishes to humans deemed worthy by the Afrit. The Afrit is a group that controls all the genies and their word is law. If you break their rules the consequences are dire, so Azra will basically become a slave to people she has never met.

Not only does Azra have to deal with becoming a fully fledged Jinn, she also has to figure out how to work her magic, which seems to be much stronger than normal. One very important rule of being a Jinn is to never reveal yourself to any humans. Yes, you grant wishes, but you are supposed to do it in a way that they don’t know what you are doing. It has been difficult for Azra to hide her strong powers and if she’s not careful she could get herself and those she cares about in a lot of trouble!

Azra is a strong, independent girl with a spunky personality. She was pretty easy to connect with and for the most part she was a great character. But there were a few things about her that really frustrated me. She had such a negative attitude about things at times that made her voice come across as really whinny. Another thing she did was it seemed liked she made way too many dumb mistakes that didn’t really go with how smart she is. I get that mistakes happen, but they seemed to be put in the story to cause drama and it didn’t really go with her character at times. Besides that, I actually really liked her and thought that she was a fun character.

Nate is a total hottie. He is the jock type with a charming personality that everyone likes. The thing I liked most about him was that he is so different from what you would expect. Instead of being a cocky jerk like most guys in his social circle are, he is actually a really nice guy. He cares about the environment and would do anything for his family. He treats Azra with a lot of respect and they have some really great chemistry between them. I thought that they were cute together, but I just felt like there was something missing. I think Nate is a great character, but I’m not sure he is a good match for Azra.

Henry was such a sweet guy. He is loyal to a fault and someone that you can always rely on. He is there when you need him most and he is such a great listener. At first I wouldn’t say I found him attractive, as I got to know him better the more I fell in love with him. He is kind of nerdy and awkward at times but that just added to his overall charm. He has a sad past, and honestly he has a slightly bleak future, but he doesn’t complain about it. He is always so positive which was a good counter to Azra’s slightly pessimistic personality. His relationship with Azra is really cute and while not a whole lot happened between them there is a lot of potential. If I had to choose to be on a team, I would pick team Henry.

Becoming Jinn had a lot of potential but it ultimately didn’t deliver. I was really looking forward to reading this book. I love the whole idea of genies in the modern world and the author is a total sweetheart, so it makes me really sad to say that this ended up being a really rough read for me. I can’t tell you how many times I picked this book up and read a few chapters then put it back down for something that looked more interesting. The only reason I kept picking it back up was because I thought that eventually it would get better and while it did finally pick up towards the end of the book, it just was too little too late. While the story in general was boring there were some things I liked about it. I thought the cast of characters were interesting and for the most part all of them were very likeable. The romance was cute, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the love triangle. Like I stated earlier, the ending of the book was actually really good and it left me intrigued enough that I might pick up the sequel. Obviously this was a pretty rough read for me, but if it sounds good to you give it a try. Hopefully you have better luck with it then I did.

Notable Scene:

It is happening. My first assignment arrives, sealed inside a gold envelope with my name embossed on it in an ornate script across the front.

Azra Nadira.

It doesn’t fall from the sky or anything, just from my mother’s hand.

My bowl of chocolaty cereal no longer holds my interest.  The soggy mess and I stare at each other for so long, my mother gets fed up.

“Oh, come on, Azra. Just open the damn thing.”

The lightness of the envelope belies what’s inside. I wedge my nail in the small gap at the corner. Sliding my finger across, I jerk my hand back. Paper Cut. Apropos. I stick my finger in my mouth, sucking the blood. Who cares what Henry thinks? Vampires would be cool supernatural being. Grass is always greener, right?

Becoming Jinn Series:

1. Becoming Jinn


FTC Advisory:  Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Becoming Jinn.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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One Response to “Review: Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

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