YA Review: BECOMING JINN by Lori Goldstein

I’ve been meaning to read BECOMING JINN for a while, particularly as I enjoy Lori Goldstein’s posts on YAtopia and I like to support authors who share their knowledge with those of us still in the trenches. I’m so glad I finally did! Let’s jump right into it.

Becoming Jinn by Lori GoldsteinAzra 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.

And here are the five things I loved most:

1. The premise – I’ve read about many paranormal characters, and yet somehow I’ve never read a story about a genie. I’m sure others exist, but this was the first to catch my attention. With my preconceptions being Aladdin, it could pretty much go wherever; I was just along for the ride!

2. The friendships – I loved the way this book looked at friendship from so many different angles. Azra had closed herself off after the loss of her best friend as a child, losing out on potential friendships from many different avenues. During the course of the story, she has to figure out what friendship means and how to be a friend.

3. The twists – Admittedly, I anticipated a couple of the twists, but Azra didn’t see them coming, so they worked. Sometimes those are the best kind. And they kept coming right up until the end, so I’m anxious to see what happens in the sequel.

4. The stakes – Just when Azra thinks she’s figured out what’s at stake if she doesn’t follow the rules, she discovers the consequences are even worse than she thought. The stakes keep ratcheting up throughout the novel, both physically and emotionally. Very well done!

5. The romance – I always love a good romance, and her crush in this book is so sweet. Then there’s her best friend, a boy who could possibly be more as well. I’ll be interested to see what happens next, as there were many complications for the romance at the end of the book.

Have you read BECOMING JINN? What did you think?

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