{Review} A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

{Review} A Whole New World by Liz BraswellA Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Series: Twisted Tales #1
Published by Disney Press on September 1, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings
Pages: 384
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1.5 Stars

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.

We love retellings. We love imagining beloved characters in different settings and reading about how they react. If it’s a character or story that we really love, like Aladdin, then we’re all over it. And this story? *jumpyclaps* When Kassiah was a junior in high school, her prom theme was “A Whole New World.” She still sleeps with an Aladdin pillowcase on her pillow sometimes, even though her husband and kids make fun of her. To say we were excited about this book would be an understatement. So maybe that’s why it sort of kills us that this was so…not good.

The 411:

A Whole New World takes all of the canon elements from the Disney version of the story and adds one twist: what if Jafar got to Genie first? How would everything change? The beginning of this book is pretty much exactly like the movie, until Jafar gets the lamp instead of Aladdin.

So, what if you haven’t watched the Disney version of this movie? *gasp* Watch it right now. We’ll wait! Seriously.

Aladdin not worthless

Unfortunately, readers who aren’t familiar with the film will be disappointed and lost since this draws basically every reason we would have for caring from the movie. Readers who know and love the movie will also be disappointed, too. So, overall, this was a huge disappointment.

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What We Loved:

When we started writing this review, we struggled to find something we liked about this book. There’s a lot of action, and and the genie is awesome. It was fun to revisit some of our favorite characters. And there was slightly more kissing.

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Um...Not So Much:

There is no further characterization or anything added to the world. Since we love the original Disney version so much, we don’t really car about these “new” characters or the developments, of which there wasn’t much. Here’s the thing: the summary promised a Street Rat [becoming] a leader and a princess [becoming] a revolutionary. That may have happened, but we didn’t buy into with the way Braswell built (or didn’t build) the story. And these characters didn’t show any different traits than they did in the original. Wouldn’t at least Jasmine be basically a totally different person if she was ousted from the Palace rather than a sheltered princess? Really, we think Braswell should have told the story from Iago’s point of view.

There wasn’t enough romance and there was pretty much no swoon. Which, come on, Aladdin was swoony.

Aladdin falling

Well, he swooned. Anyway, this book was immature and just not thought out well. We’ve read wayyyy better fanfic for sure. We put this book down a thousand times and basically forced ourselves to finish reading it. Why didn’t we flounce? We don’t know, but we hope we save you some time and money. There’s really no reason to bother reading this, honestly. We’re not sure that we’ll bother with Braswell’s future books, either.


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Bottom Line:

Save yourself time, money, and frustration, and don’t bother reading this.

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Not for Swoony Boys Podcast

Rating Report
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Overall: 1.5


Featured on Swoony Boys Podcast

1.5 Stars


  1. When I first heard about A Whole New World I was super excited because Aladdin is awesome but after reading a couple of negative reviews I completely lost interest :/ It’s a shame this was such a bust. Thanks for the review 🙂

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf recently posted: Review: Angel Dares by Joss Stirling // love this series!

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