A Whole New World by Liz Braswell Book Review

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Aladdin and I go way back. One of my first words was Aladdin. My very first word was apparently ‘Toast’. That really says something about me that my first word is me shouting for food!

Aladdin is by far my favourite Disney film. I have watched it countless times and I know every word. I’ve watched it that much that I was listening to the score the other day and I could recite the dialogue along with it.

Even as I write this review now, I’m watching it. I swear I don’t have a problem.

So, when my sister happened across this on Amazon and bought it for me for Christmas, I was beyond excited.

It’s a set of YA novels by Liz Braswell, based on the Disney films with a twist. The other one I got was Once Upon a Dream which is about if Aurora had never woken up when Prince Phillip kisses her and he falls asleep as well.

A Whole New World is set in an alternative universe where Jafar manages to get the lamp first. The book follows the film loosely until Aladdin gives the lamp to Jafar and gets stuck in the Cave of Wonders.

Jafar wastes no time, so by the time Aladdin reaches Agrabah, Jafar has already used two wishes. Jasmine and Aladdin then rally the people of Agrabah in a revolution against Jafar to overthrow him and make Jasmine Sultana.

What stuck out most for me was Jasmine’s reaction to seeing the poor people of Agrabah. After nearly getting her hand cut off for taking that apple, it’s clear that she has little sense of money and having to pay things and the world beyond the palace. In the film she says she’s never been outside the palace walls and it really shows.

It’s pretty dark. I know they’re called Twisted Tales so I was expecting it to be different, but there’s bits that got really grim and not Disney at all. Disney could definitely not do this as a film.

I liked getting to know the characters and even Agrabah much more. There’s the series, which I’m steadily making my way through, and the two sequels, but I find I get to know things much more when you read them. Aladdin has been a huge part of my childhood and I loved getting a fresh look at it in my adult life.

Liz did a really good job at capturing the characters and put them in this new situation, it’s clear she knows them well. I really liked the ending, I’m not giving anything away but the ending was really interesting.

If you’re a Disnerd Bookworm like me, it’s a very interesting read and I’ll be looking out for her other ones. There’s one based on Beauty and the Beast coming out this year that I’ll definitely be getting, in time for the film as well!

 

Photo credit: JD Hancock via Visual Hunt / CC BY

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