*I read this in June 2017 and reviewed it then. I’ve had this as an arc since 2015 or so. So I read this as an arc. As always, this is my honest review.
I’ve been avoiding this one for a while. It’s one of those books that I said I wouldn’t read because I probably wouldn’t like it. But boy was I wrong and plesantly surprised.
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.
To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.
Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
This book starts off very Mean Girls, over the top, and kind of ridiculous. I originally described it as Bratz Genies (you remember THOSE dolls?) because everyone was petty to everyone. Azra and her Zar sisters were kind of annoying, but interesting enough that I kept reading. The turn this book took at the end actually managed to surprise me.
I think what makes this book charming (*bad joke drums*) is the fact that it doesn’t take itself so seriously. I don’t know if it was intended to be over the top and just general fun to read, but it was.
Originally, I thought I was going to give this 3 stars because it was interesting enough to keep me going, but not enough that I was actively invested in it. But…I finished it so quickly because I couldn’t put it down.
Azra’s growth and character arc is noticable. She changes so much through this book, and that’s not something that most MCs go through anymore. I mean she’s genuinely a terrible person at the start and is less so by the end. She’s not perfect and I think that’s what makes this book good. She makes a whole bunch of dumb mistakes, things that make you want to slap the stupid out of her, but her actions make sense with who she is. They’re stupid, but her reasoning makes sense.
Overall, this is a quick read that surprised me in a good way. It was ridiculous and over the top, but it was fun and I enjoyed it for the most part. I’ll make my way to book 2 eventually.