"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 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."
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
Liz Braswell's A Whole New World is a great take on the classic Disney story Aladdin we all know and love. While the story is very similar to the movie in the beginning, a plot twist involving Jafar obtaining the lamp quickly sets the book down a decidedly different path. Aladdin and Jasmine band together with a group of street thieves to revolt against Jafar's despotic reign, with their wits (and perhaps a touch of magic) their only weapons. Magic in the novel is explored more deeply, with the history of genies and the laws of magic both The Agrabah of the book is very similar to the city in the movie, but the reader is offered a (slight) bit more of a geographical context, and Braswell's lush descriptions seamlessly take the reader from desert caves to back-alley hideouts to the palace itself. But Braswell's greatest feat is taking the characters of Aladdin and injecting them with depth and a dynanism that truly takes the characters from 2D to real life (no animation pun intended). The novel is more real and even slightly darker than the movie (not every character we love will make it out in one piece, and apparently creating zombies is a skill encompassed under being the most powerful sorcerer in the world), but there also is a better sense of the gravity of the situation of Agrabah - the systemic poverty that existed under the Sultan is addressed, inflation is (briefly) touched upon, and the question of political development in the aftermath of Jafar's tyranny is at least discussed (though by no means fully confronted).
A Whole New World is a fantastic read, perfect for high-schoolers who grew up watching Disney classics in their childhood.
Carolyn is a teen blogger who shares her favorite YA reads and favorite book related finds with readers on Fridays.