Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Aladdin is a Street Rat.
With no one to call friend but his pet monkey, Abu, he’s just trying his best to survive another day in the dangerous slums of Agrabah. By chance, Aladdin saves a beautiful girl from getting her hand cut off in the market. He doesn’t expect her to be the Royal Princess.
Royal Princess Jasmine has run away from home.
She refuses to be complicit in selling herself to a husband. Outside, Aladdin saves her. Then, Aladdin gets imprisoned. Jasmine rushes home to save him, only to be told she’s too late. Things only get worse from there.
Jafar has finally gotten everything he ever wanted. Almost.
The power of the lamp has allowed Jafar to take over Agrabah. However, apparently, forcing Jasmine to fall in love with him is against the laws of magic. Of course that just means he’ll have to break them. But breaking the laws of magic is easier said than done.
Agrabah must decide its fate.
Agrabah has never been an easy place to live, but at least it used to be easy to know what to expect. With coup d’etats, gold raining from the sky, rampaging magical guards, and a rebel army, Agrabah is pulled into a vortex of chaos. Soon enough, the citizens will have to pick a side to fight for the fate of Agrabah.
In a city filled with magic, misery, and mystery, can truth, happiness, and justice prevail?
In A Whole New World, I really noticed Braswell’s use of descriptive language. She made the city of Agrabah come alive with descriptions of the sights, sounds, scents, and citizens. She also uses diction to sharpen the juxtaposition between the wealthy and the poor residents of Agrabah. Additionally, her words create such vivid imagery that the foreshadowing is all the more subtle.
Another aspect of the book I really appreciate is that it capitalizes on Aladdin seeing Jasmine as a person, instead of just a princess. Yes, originally he’s captivated by her beauty, then his protective instincts prod him into making sure she doesn’t get hurt. Quickly after that though, Aladdin is fascinated with the way her mind works, her bravery, her sense of humor, her frank honesty, and her willingness to accept him at face value.
Aladdin is very good at acknowledging Jasmine’s strengths. There’s no sign of jealousy that she can keep up with him. He doesn’t get insecure or angry about the fact that she doesn’t need him to rescue her. Aladdin doesn’t only admire and respect Jasmine, he finds comfort in her. He doesn’t interfere in her decisions unless he’s truly worried about negative consequences.
A Whole New World is definitely a 5/5 stars for me! I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the right way to take over a throne.
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