Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1) by Liz Braswell ARC Review


2/5 Stars
Details of the Book
Paperback ARC, 332 pages
Published by Disney Press,
an imprint of Disney Book group
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015

Synopsis: Welcome to a new YA series that re-imagines 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.

A Whole New World is a re-telling of the classic Disney movie Aladdin, but with a twist. This book explores what would have happened if Jafar was the first to get his hands on the magic lamp. The people of Agrabah must band together to overthrow their new, cruel sultan. Readers follow the Street Rats on their adventure as they fight in a dangerous battle and venture into parts of Agrabah they never knew existed.

Starting off with high expectations, I found myself sorely disappointed. The first fourth was an exact replica of the movie, and although it was a re-telling, I wish there was at least slight deviation from the original plot. While the writing was decent, the characters and relationships were missing. Unlike a movie, a book has a lot more space for development and expansion, neither of which were included. It adds an element of darkness, but I felt like it was unnecessary and added nothing to the plot. Overall, this story had a lot of potential, and I feel like it was wasted.

Strengths/Likes:

1) Liz Braswell has a smooth writing style, and I would read other books written by her (other than retellings).


2) I still enjoyed re-visiting the world of Agrabah and some of my favorite moments from the movie.

Weaknesses/Dislikes:

1) The first fourth of this book is an exact replica of the movie, down to copying dialogue like, “All this for a loaf of bread?” Despite it being a retelling, there is no point to reading something that is a line-by-line copy of something you can easily watch.

2) The characters were very underdeveloped. None of them have much of a personality, and I feel as though they were hollow without any motivation or individuality. Although I often prefer books which are fast-paced, with a re-telling I wanted more of a chance to get into the character’s heads and understand them better.


3) I feel as though this book was poorly executed and a wasted opportunity, despite it having a lot of potential.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

1) “She thinks the monkey is the Sultan,” Aladdin whispered loudly into the merchant’s ear. Loudly enough for the crowd—and the girl—to hear.

“Uh, oh, wise, great Sultan,” the girl began uncertainly, taking his cue.

2) Aladdin blinked at her.

“Just possessing it lets you kill with your mind and raise armies of the undead,” Jasmine re-explained, rolling her eyes.

“Ahhh. I get it now. Bad stuff.”


6 comments:

  1. This is one of many reviews that I've seen where people didn't really like this book! I was so excited for this one, and it's kind of disappointing to have one of your favorite stories re-done and in a poor way. I don't really like the fact that it follows the original to the point where some dialogue is the same! Create the story and make it your own authors!

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    1. I completely agree! The concept is actually really interesting, but there needs to be originality, even to retellings.

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  2. I'm iffy about retellings because for me, they're often too cliché, too corny, or follow the original storyline too closely. Judging by the quotes and what you've told me, this book copied too much from the movie, down to the dialogue... What a shame.

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    1. I think so too. While the premise of this book was very interesting, I wish it had been better executed. I would definitely have enjoyed it more if the author varied more from the original story, especially in the beginning.

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  3. This book has such a good story line but no one likes it. Maybe it would have been better if the first 25% wasn't a copy of the movie?
    I wish it was done better... *sigh*

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    1. I do too, seeing as I'm a fan of Aladdin and would love for it to be turned into an enjoyable book

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