SERIESous Spoilers: A feature where we discuss what happened in our favourite (or maybe not so favourite) books. Did you like the plot changes? The romance? What surprised you? What angered you? And what do you think will happen next?
This SERIESous Spoilers Pick:
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell | A Twisted Tale
Note: I read this as an audiobook so I say “listen” a lot.
–The first 25% is just the movie in book form–
It was a great play-by-play for the movie if you’ve never seen it–minus the amazing music of course. As a massive fan of the movie, I didn’t mind so much. However, it was a little boring to essentially listen to the movie without the actual movie flashing before me. I’ve probably watched Aladdin 100 times in my life so I’m pretty familiar with it all and I didn’t need the word for word recap.
If you ask me who my favourite Disney Princess is, I’d say it’s Jasmine (well my answer is more complicated than that but nonetheless, I am a huge Jasmine fan). In the movie I always respected Jasmine’s drive to live her own life. She’s intelligent and quick; I loved that she attempts to save herself by tricking Jafar. Plus, she has a tiger people!
After I read the synopsis and saw that Jasmine is touted as revolutionary, I was super happy. She’s a strong character in the original movie and the idea that I’d get to see that be elevated in this book? Awesome.
Only, it doesn’t happen that way. She’s a bit of a dud of a character honestly. I didn’t like her at all. I can forgive her ignorance about the outside world, that’s not the problem. It was just her attitude and comments about certain things that rubbed me the wrong way. I thought she had the best character development of anyone–but the character depth was lacking for everyone so that isn’t saying much.
–The Lacklustre Romance–
As I’m sure you can guess, Aladdin and Jasmine are one of my favourite Disney couples. Economic factors separate them socially but when they are together, the sparks just fly. They have this deeper connection and understanding that I really wanted to see emphasized in this novel.
Was I the only one who thought the romance between these two was forced? I felt like Aladdin would have taken up with any beautiful girl that crossed his path if she batted her eyes at him.
It’s an insta-love but one that lacks a visible spark. They don’t really have those memorable moments like they do in the film and so I never grew to enjoy the romance.
I don’t think I could do a post discussing this book without talking about the Genie! I actually didn’t mind this spin on the classic character. His somewhat cynical but accurate appraisal of the world was a highlight of the novel for me.
He was one of the only characters to get a decent backstory in this novel and I liked that. I wish he had a bigger role but in another way I’m glad because how do you top the original?
This is perhaps the biggest “twist” to the original tale but it really didn’t work for me. It just made everything seem silly and ridiculous.
Part of the charm of the original movie (at least for me) is that it could be real. Yes, it has magic and flying carpets but the core of the story (that a street rat could save a kingdom and the princess can save herself) is a moral and feel good story. Not saying that can’t happen with ghouls; I’m saying the ghouls just took this story to a different level and in a way that didn’t really benefit the story.
–All of this because of a Parrot?–
Ok, I love Iago don’t get me wrong. He’s one of the most memorable sidekicks in Disney for a lot of reasons. But the whole idea that Jafar wants to recapture the love of Iago? Really? That’s the best motive we could come up with?
Why not make Jafar completely in love with Jasmine? Or perhaps her mother? Or throw in some lost paternity and make him the Sultan’s long lost older brother who thinks he should be in charge. Or keep it simpler and make him power hungry when it comes to magic. There are about thirty other ways to do it I think.
What are your thoughts? Agree or disagree?
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