I read this one after Aurora and Belle’s story even though it’s the first in the series. Not that it really matters since they’re all independent stories. I have to admit I read through a lot of the reviews on Goodreads before finishing this story because of its so-so rating. I was enjoying it and I wanted to see why others weren’t. I don’t know if the book has been updated since I bought it or not but I saw a lot of readers complaining about the lack of cultural research for the book and the over mentioning of baklava. I didn’t notice that at all. If anything they mentioned baguettes a lot.
Another common complaint was that the characters were surface or shallow. I can see why they would say this but let’s be real. You didn’t pick up a Disney teen novel for the depth of character. You picked it up because you already love the characters from the movies and you want to be entertained. There were a few characters added in that weren’t in the movie; the street rats and thieves. I liked this glimpse deeper into Aladdin’s world and upbringing. I think the author did a good job of showing us a new side of Aladdin, which in turn gave him some depth. But besides seeing his youth and world of Street Rats in a new light, Jasmine was really the focus of the story
In my opinion, this book was very entertaining. I liked the theme of an uprising and how Jasmine filled the role of strong female lead. I was glad this was also my first Fall time read because it turns out it has a creep factor to it as well that I’m a fan of; ZOMBIES! Maybe that’s why I liked the story so much. Of the three I’ve read, Belle’s story is still my favorite but this was better than Aurora’s story. A lot of people complained about how the first 25% of the book was basically a novelization of the original movie, but I kind of like that. It was nostalgic but also was more descriptive and in-depth than watching a movie.
If you like Disney and Aladdin and don’t have high expectations of having your life changed by this book but simply to be entertained then this is for you!