Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blog Tour: Review and Official Playlist - Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein (and 2 Giveaways!)

I have to say thanks to Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me to take part in this tour. And also thanks to the author and publisher who ended up sending out physical ARCs instead of just e-galleys.  It's such a pretty book I'm glad to have a physical copy of it to keep.  I'm going to share my review first, then I'll share the Official Playlist from the author. After that will be all the information you need to enter the giveaway, as well as how to get to the rest of the stops on the tour.

Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1)
by: Lori Goldstein
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Mythology
My rating:  4 stars

Becoming Jinn is a very unique story about Jinn, or what we think of as genies.  At least I felt it was unique as I hadn't read anything like it before.  The main character is Azra, and it is her 16th birthday.  The day that all female Jinn finally get their powers and are able to grant wishes.  Only Azra isn't very excited about it.  In fact she's tried to find a way out of having to do this her whole life.  Ever since her best friend Jenny, just a normal human girl, but one that shared her same birthday, died while they were playing, and her mother who was a Jinn was unable to save her, she's not wanted anything to do with it.  She has always thought it made no sense that the Afrit, the leaders of the Jinn, are the only ones who get to choose who will get wishes granted.  And her mother has always been able to heal her little injuries, so it doesn't seem fair that she couldn't save her friend.  On her 16th birthday Azra gets a silver bangle bracelet that gives her the power to use her magic.  She also becomes a part of a Zar, a group of five other girls around her age that will be like her sisters, and that they will all work together to help each other with each wish assignment as needed.  And she's grown up with the girls, Yasmin - kind of her archenemy, Hana, Mina, Farrah, and Laila - the youngest and really the one she's always been closest to.  They've been like cousins, with their mothers who are part of their own Zar as her aunts.  But none of them, other than Laila, showed her any sympathy when Jenny died.  In fact they acted as if it shouldn't matter, that only they should matter.  But now Azra will have to become closer to her Zar sisters as she can't tell anyone who is not Jinn about it.  That is until the neighbor boy, Jenny's older brother Henry, sees things happen.  Items in the house floating from one place to another, people just appearing out of nowhere (apporting).  Henry becomes a good friend knowing all about the magic.  He is someone she can talk to when she doesn't feel like talking to her Zar because they're not really that close.  It's good to have someone to talk to because of messing up her first few times, and what that could do to her. The punishment that she could get for messing up.  But Henry is just a friend, her love interest is Nate, who works as a lifeguard down at the beach where Azra will have her first summer job.  As her first assignments begin showing up, it seems like the Afrit are trying to make her life miserable, by making the assignments as hard as possible, with as little time as possible. And when her first big mistake catches their attention way quicker than she would have thought possible, Azra will have to work her way back into the silver bangle bracelet and prove she can be a model Jinn like her mother.

I really enjoyed this story, the characters were all really good.  At first I didn't completely agree with Azra's dislike of being a Jinn. But as the story went on and more was revealed about all the rules and other background stories having to do with her father and other people in her world, I was more on her side with that.  And it will have a sequel, so I am eager to see how she handles the wish that she was left trying to figure out how to grant at the end of this book.    Oh yeah, and my favorite quote:  "aluminum-flavored skunk urine" or as you might know it as, a can of beer.  I am not a fan of beer, so this is an almost perfect description for what I kind of think it tastes like. 

Okay, enough from me, how about a playlist from the author herself?  Here you go, enjoy!


Music plays very distinct roles for authors. Some listen to music all the time while writing, some need absolute silence or the din of a coffee shop. Some listen to certain songs to get into a particular character’s head or to write a love scene or a fight scene (probably not the same song, but you never know…).



As for me, my best writing comes when I have background music playing, which means instrumental music. I discovered the Downton Abbey soundtracks while writing Becoming Jinn and they’ve become the soundtrack to my writing life (minus the few songs with vocals!). The two together last for almost two hours, and when the first few notes sound, I’m instantly in writing mode. The familiarity and repetition allow me to push out all other distractions and focus solely on the words.



That’s a long way of saying that I don’t have a playlist that I’ve listened to while writing or revising Becoming Jinn. What I do have are songs I listen to while thinking about writing or revising Jinn! When I’m stuck, I go for walks to clear my head so that my imagination can wander and, hopefully, find a solution to my character or plot problem. Certain songs help me feel a character or the tone of the particular part of the book I’m working on.



So here’s my list of songs that have meaning in Becoming Jinn, arranged in chronological order to match the events in the story. (here’s a link to the list on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/user/lorigoldsteinbooks/playlist/3LMVQLhNj1M0sf8lRDZQ3a)





1. I Dream of Jeannie – Okay, so I can’t have a playlist for a genie book that doesn’t include this theme song. While all the genie tropes in Jinn are turned on their head, this is still the song I think of when someone says “genie!”



2. Hello by Martin Solveig –The back and forth Azra has with learning to use her magic, which she could take or leave, is embodied by the attitude in this song, especially in its lyrics, for example: “I could stick around and get along with you; Hello; It doesn't really mean that I'm into you.”



3. Anna Sun by Walk the Moon – Azra’s struggles at the beginning of the novel and the defiance she exhibits are represented for me in the fast beat and lyrics of this one.



4. Ho Hey by The Lumineers – I love this song to death. For Jinn, it has a great meaning for Azra, staring with the lines of “I’ve been living a lonely life,” up through the pull Azra starts to feel between the people in her life. In particular, the lines, “So show me family . . . I don’t know where I belong,” and concluding with the realization that “I belong with you, you belong with me.” In fact, this makes it a song that from start to finish encapsulates Jinn.



5. Demons by Imagine Dragons – In the middle of the book, Azra is faced with the consequences of her actions, so this song and “the mess you’ve made” line fit perfectly.



6. Echo by Jason Walker – To be completely honest, this song played during a particularly emotional scene between Damon and Elena on my fav show, The Vampire Diaries. It’s haunting sadness is the perfect embodiment of a scene that comes late in the book during which Azra alienates those who mean the most to her and she feels utterly alone. 



7. Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift – Yeah, well, things change from the start to finish of books, right? True for Azra as well!


8. Begin Again by Taylor Swift -- Okay, so I might have a TS obsession to match my TVD one. But the hope in this song—overcoming sadness and coming out the other side—is exactly the way I feel about how Becoming Jinn ends leading into the sequel.

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My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.

Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at www.lorigoldsteinbooks.com or my Tumblr at http://lorigoldsteinbooks.tumblr.com. Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.


And now for what I'm sure everyone is really excited for, the giveaways!

 





US Only and International | Must be 13 or older to enter
Details: 3 Prizes
Grand Prize: 1 winner will win a finished signed book, signed bookmarks, and an infinity necklace like the girls in Becoming Jinn (US Only)
First Prize: 2 winners will win a full Jinn swag pack of bookmarks, magnets, plastic bracelets, temporary tattoos and a genie charm (INT)
Second Prize: 2 winners will win bookmarks, magnets, and wristbands (INT)

Giveaway Starts: April 6th, 2015
Giveaway Ends: April 15th, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  
Follow the Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

2 comments:

  1. Becoming Jinn does seems unique and interesting! Love the cover. I'll add it to my reading list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you get it soon, it is a good one!

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