Friday, August 28

Liz Braswell - A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1)

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 ofAladdin 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.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.

Aladdin has always been one of my favorite Disney tales. I watched the movie countless times and had wanted to read a retelling of it for ages. When I read the summary of A Whole New World I thought I finally found what I was looking for: a unique take on a well-known and loved tale. Boy, was I wrong! 

My biggest problem with the novel was the unoriginality. The first 25% was completely pointless to read for someone who is familiar with the original story because it was the exact same thing, only not on screen but paper. After this, believe me, it was hard to appreciate anything that happened later on. Not that many things did. The book went from being a carbon copy of Aladdin, to being the typical YA Fantasy in which the hero and/or heroine are doing their absolute best to defeat the underdeveloped villain.

The author didn't take enough time for characterization. I felt like the characters had no real depth and I'm pretty sure I'll forget all about them soon enough. Another thing is that I expect retelling characters to resemble to their original self, yet they should show some new things to the readers, especially if it is a movie's retellings because a book has a lot more space for characterization. Jafar was exactly like his movie self and despite what I'd thought prior to reading we didn't get a real chance to understand his motives and feelings. 

We all know that the romance is an insta-love in the movie but I had no idea the author will follow the same route in the book! Who would when there's so much space for them to fall for each other properly!? Aladdin looked at Jasmine and fell madly in love with her, or at least developed a crush on her that was not at all realistic. I usually don't mind instalove that much but I do need to see some kind of development between the characters. I never got the chance to understand what Aladdin and Jasmine like in each other so much.

Part of the reason why I couldn't get into the book was the writing. Many times it felt choppy and I didn't like the modern words the author used. Also, most of the time she told us how the characters felt rather than shown us - which is something that I find annoying in books. Thankfully because of the action-packed plot I was able to get invested in the story. However, I started to see faults in it which is never a good thing. The part where the Street Rats - basically a bunch of kids - defeated Jafar - the world's most powerful sorcerer - was a bit over the top.

In my opinion A Whole New World would have been a lot better if the author left us some time to breath between the action packed chapters, and perhaps she could have perfected the characters in these breaks. 

The story idea: 3/5
The realization of the story: 1/5
The characters: 1/5
The cover: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 1/5



  1. This was a really good review! I've just made a book-blog and I would love some tips for starting out? I only have a 'welcome' post that describes what I am, and I have not clue as to how blogger works. I hope you can help!

    1. Thanks, Amy. :) Of course I'll help with whatever you need. Just email me with your questions: (you can add me on Goodreads and Twitter too if you want to.)

  2. Bummer! I do love Aladdin (I'm a huge fan of the genie hehehe) and I was quite intrigued when I saw for the first time this new re-telling but I'll pass for sure. I'm starting to see the same pattern in YA re-telling as I saw in YA dystopia and I don't like it. Your review as on point as always, Veronika!

    1. The genie is the most awesome character, and while he wasn't as much in A Whole New World as in the movie, his scenes were still the best! Hopefully, the other retelling I'm planning on reading won't disappoint - I'd hate to fall so out of love of retellings like I did of dystopia. Thanks, Noelia!

  3. What a shame. So sorry to hear you didn't like this one, Veronika. I was really looking forward to it, but with all the bad reviews I've been seeing, I think I'll be giving it a pass.

    1. Sorry to have to disappoint you but it was really nothing special, even though from the blurb I expected it to be a super-unique story.


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