Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell - Paul's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Disney Book Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1)
Author: Liz Braswell
Recent Release Date: September 1, 2015

Synopsis: Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie? 

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again. 


Review: Aladdin was one of my favorite movies as a child. I had the toys and everything. I love when an Aladdin song comes on Pandora. This young adult novel reimagines the story of Disney's Aladdin. Jafar gets his hand on the lamp before Aladdin has a chance to make any wishes. Since the medium this story is being told within has an older audience, the subject matter is aged up as well. There are some pretty brutal things that go down. There is death. There is violence. There's also the concept of gray morality.

You can tell this book was published in 2015. And that is a wonderful thing. The 90's Disney films were magical, but they did have their problems. I liked how much Jasmine was featured. She truly takes a stand for herself. 

Every character has added depth, which is inherent when there's a whole book to explore a character instead of an hour and a half movie. I liked how Aladdin's morality was shown. I now see how he was deserving of entrance to the Cave of Wonders. More of his backstory is also revealed. 

The beginning of the book, until the twist in the story, is for the most part the same as the movie. There is added context but the dialogue is all there. This may push some people away, but you'll be rewarded for sticking to it. 

I overall enjoyed this book. It was a slow read for me, but there was enough interesting bits to keep me going. I really liked imagining the scenes either in the style of the animated film or done in live-action with the same aesthetic. The next book in this series of altered Disney classics is Once Upon A Dream, in which Aurora doesn't wake up and somehow has an adventure inside her own head. I am intrigued and confused.  

I give this book a 3.5/5. If you are a Disney fan or a 90's kid, you'll enjoy the nostalgic elements of this book. 


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