Title – A Whole New World
Author – Liz Braswell
Publication Date – September 1, 2015
Series – A Twisted Tale, #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.
I am a huge Disney fanatic so when I stumbled across the synopsis and mock up cover for A Whole New World by Liz Braswell, I did a bit of a happy dance around the house! With Aladdin being one of my top favorite Disney movies, I had really high expectations and hopes for the execution of the novel. After completing it, I wouldn’t say that A Whole New World was a bad book, it just wasn’t what I thought it would be either.
“She was the royal princess. She had to start acting like one.”
The shining star of the novel for me was Princess Jasmine. I loved that she wasn’t a helpless princess, even though the author very easily could have written her that way. She fought hard for her people and chose to believe in herself, to know that she could make a difference for the people of Agrabah. Aladdin was a great side character, but in no way did I feel like he was the center of the show. I just didn’t feel the same emotion and drive that I did with some of the other characters. Even the genie felt more human than Aladdin at times. I wanted so much out of these childhood favorites, but in the end I couldn’t feel their passion and intensity, which left me feeling incredibly bereft.
“She had to stop talking about being trapped, about being handed over from one man to another.”
The first quarter of A Whole New World is literally the movie, with the same dialogue and actions. Because of that, I think readers fall into that overall Disney tone, expecting the novel to align more with the romanticized version of events. From the synopsis, I knew that it would be a little bit more sinister, especially given the personality of Jafar, but I didn’t think that it would be as dark as it turned out to be.
“She had to start acting. She had to start being a hero.”
When diving into any book that has been a movie, it’s hard not to compare the two. However, this problem is multiplied exponentially when the beginning so closely mirrors the events of a beloved classic. I could literally hear the characters’ voices in my head with the dialogue in the novel. This effect really heightens people’s connections to A Whole New World. That being said, when Jafar got the lamp, the storyline and tone changed so drastically, it kind of left me confused. I really had incredibly high hopes for A Whole New World. While it had moments of incredible action and tastes of the world I loved, overall it fell flat for me as a reader.
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series!
Once Upon a Dream (Twisted Tales, #2) – Releasing April 5, 2016!
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