Friday, September 11, 2015

A Whole New World of Gifs (Book by Liz Braswell)

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own (do not own any of these gifs either)

Official Summary: What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney's Aladdin.

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: When I first heard about this book, I was really excited. I'm a big fan of Disney films, but more than that, I really love the movie of Aladdin. However, as time went on, I kept coming across negative thoughts and reviews of the book. It made me a bit worried to start A Whole New World, but as I had been sent a copy to review through Netgalley, I knew I had to at least give it a shot...and I'm I did.

No, I would not call this my new favorite book. At the same time, I don't think it was a horrible novel that nobody would enjoy. I think a darker look at this world would have been welcome for someone like me, but then, the movie is more lighthearted in a lot of ways so I can see people disliking the dark elements. You can't please everyone with a book like this. For me, if you take out some of the few dark moments in A Whole New World, then you are kind of left with a middle grade book. Not to put down MG books or discredit some of the great MG novels, but this book felt like it was written for a younger audience throughout most of it.

Oh bread...nobody should go hungry!!
I like how Jasmine was portrayed in the novel. She's a fierce character whose encounter with Aladdin opens her eyes to the poverty that many people live in. She was never aware of this before, and instead of ignoring it, she makes it her mission to overthrow Jafar so she can reclaim the throne and make sure that Agrabah does not have to live in fear of going hungry or being arrested for trying to steal food because they have no other way of eating (like Aladdin and other Street Rats).

Jafar as Sultan mega sucks!
As for Aladdin, this book focuses a lot on him and it does give more information on his background which was interesting. I liked the Street Rats, especially two of Aladdin's old friends, who come together to use their unique skills in helping Jasmine. It's an intricate network of men and women, young and old, who take what they know to make sure that Jafar is defeated in the end.

A Whole New World was an overall enjoyable read for me. I did feel like it moved quite slow for the most part, which caused me to want to put it down and read something else. I pushed through though and I'm glad I had the chance to read this new version of Aladdin and Jasmine. I am curious to see what Twisted Tale might come next.

Overall, this wasn't a winner for me, but it was far from being a total loser.


Melliane said...

Always a bit difficult when we have slow parts in a book. But that's a good idea for the book there, I haven't read an Aladin story and like you I'm curious now. And I'm also intrigued by the darker world. great review!

Sharons Book Nook! said...

I'm sorry this wasn't a favourite but glad it wasn't a waste of good reading time. :-)

Kindlemom said...

I saw another review for this that was very similar to your's and I admit, I was a little sad because this sound so good and I love the cover so I really wanted to try it. Now I'm not so sure that it will be for me but, at least it was a good read even if it won't be a favorite for you. ;)

The Bibliophile Babe said...

The idea has such potential! Great review. :)

kimbacaffeinate said...

THe cover is gorgeous and the premise had me giddy, but after reading yuor review I think ultimately I would be disappointed.

Shane Morgan said...

Don't shoot me, but I've never seen Aladdin. Although, I am familiar with the story. I liked the concept of this book and am curious about how the author reworked it. Thanks for your honest review.

Cleo Bannister said...

I do like Aladdin so it's good to hear about a new take on the story - thanks for sharing.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I have a copy of this and I think I am going to pass on it, So far the reviews have been rather lackluster and I hear it isn't that much different from the movie. Plus, you are telling me it is more geared toward middle grade, so I think it won't work for me. However, I will still hang on to it for my daughter.

Erika Sorocco said...

The slow parts you mentioned kind of deter me from wanting to check this one out; but, being a huge Aladdin fan, it still intrigues me!


Grace @ RebelMommyBookBlog said...

Love all teh retellings that are out there now! Sorry this one wasn't better but glad you enjoyed it!!

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Hmmm, sounds like some pacing issues right there, and I'm not sure how I'd feel about the MG feel, I guess my main issue would be the pacing though, if I didn't like the characters or can't connect to them, I need the interesting things and a faster pace plot. Glad you enjoyed it though! :)

Candace said...

I have this and was hoping to read it one day soon. I love the cover of it and that it's an Aladdin retelling (though I'm not sure 'retelling' is the right word). I guess we'll see if I can fit it in and I'll at least give it a try.