Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

Published by Scholastic Australia in 2019

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Amazon AU:

Angus & Robertson:

Australian RRP: $16.99

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fairytale Reimagining.

Page Count: 376

My Rating:

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

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.

My Review:

I received a copy of A Whole New World from Scholastic Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

I absolutely loved this Twisted Tale, which turns the story of Aladdin that we all know and love, completely on its head and gives the completely menacing and horrible Jafar the power of the magical lamp, making the self proclaimed Sultan even more formidable with the Genie having to grant those crucial three wishes! I really enjoyed the refreshing (albeit definitely darker but yet sympathetic) portrayal of the Genie, it was really interesting reading about him being bound to Jafar, though I loved the scenes where he got to confide in Jasmine about his life pre-lamp and how he completely supported her and Aladdin’s protesting against evil Jafar, but as he was tethered to Jafar, he couldn’t explicitly do anything to go against his malicious ways!

A Whole New World honestly felt so Disney-esque to me! It’s funny, I was picturing half the animated version (because Robin Williams’ Genie will always be the one that comes to mind, but I also found myself picturing the live action movie too), honestly it just read like an Aladdin movie adaption, it was just such a vivid and fast paced read and rung so true to the Disney canon, but of course it spun its own twists, of course!

All throughout A Whole New World, I found myself cheering for Jasmine, Aladdin and the other Street Rats, as they schemed in secret to plot how they could overthrow the malicious Jafar, who was using magic unfairly and horribly to his advantage, weilding an army of undead to be his slaves, it was all quite unnerving! Liz Braswell definitely made her Jafar to be completely twisted, making him a whole more brand of evil and cruel than we knew him to be – or at least, taking the evil aspects of the Jafar we know and heightening his darkness to that more malicious scale!

I absolutely loved how true to the Disney canon the portrayals of Jasmine and Aladdin felt, although of course in A Whole New World, Aladdin didn’t have the help of the Genie to help win over Princess Jasmine, but honestly to me they just felt so much like the original characters that we know and love, it was just fantastic! Jasmine especially, reading about her struggles after the death of her beloved Father and the fact that she was never really able to move freely about as Princess, but then seeing her lead the opposition against Jafar’s evil reign and her sheer love for her people, for the city of Agrabah, I just couldn’t help but feel even more excited for her and the Street Rats (and Aladdin!) succeed! I especially loved reading about Jasmine joining forces with The Street Rats and the unexpected but completely fun friendship that bloomed between royalty and urchins!

I completely recommend this book to everyone, whether you’re a fan of anything and everything Disney or if you’re just looking for a fun reimagining, it’s just such a great read!

Happy Reading,


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