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Jul 14

YA Reads: Jinn

Posted on July 14, 2017 at 10:08 AM by Elizabeth Land

Staff Note: Young Adult Reads is a series of posts reviewing items that are geared toward teens, but are of interest to all York County Public Library readers.

If you’re a Disney fan, chances are good that you’re familiar with the movie Aladdin and the comic performance of Robin William’s Genie. While we may have met Genie and laughed at his antics, we never really got to know his backstory. Read on to learn a bit more about genies, and check out how some YA authors have interpreted and recrafted that mythos into tales of love, woe, and everything in between.

Background: A jinn, or genie, is a supernatural spirit from Arabian and Islamic mythology; it is a being of fire or air that can assume corporeal form, often as humans. Unless controlled, jinn possess free- will and can act on good or evil intentions. Often in popular culture, jinn are depicted as granting three wishes. For more insight, check out this Britannica article on jinni.

  • The Forbidden WishThe Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury — Forced to hide her true identity, Zahra, a teenage genie, finds her change for freedom challenge by her love for her master.
  • The Fire Wish by Amber Lough — When a princess captures a jinn and makes a wish, she is transported to the fiery world of the jinn, while the jinn must take her place in the royal court of Baghdad.
  • Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein — Transformed into a Jinn at the age of sixteen and doomed to a life of servitude, Azra lives as a hardworking teen while secretly learning how to harness her unusual powers. She soon discovers are unique and may put her family in danger.
  • Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios — Nalia, a fierce eighteen-year –old jinni, is pitted against two magnetic adversaries, both of whom want her—and need her—to make their wishes come true.
  • Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham — Scarlett, a sixteen-year-old private detective in the fictional city of Las Almas, finds herself at the center of a mysterious case—involving ancient curses, priceless artifacts, and jinn—as she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks.
Bonus Recommendations—Reimaginings of "A Thousand and One Nights"
  • A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston — Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, so when she is taken to the king’s dangerous court, she believes death will soon follow. Night after night, though, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, leading her to unlocking years of fear that have tormented and silenced the kingdom. Soon she is dreaming of bigger, more terrible magic, power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh — In this reimagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad plans to avenge the death of her dearest friend by volunteering to marry the murderous boy-king of Khorasan but discovers not all is as it seems within the palace.

To request any of these titles for your next read, log on to our online catalog. If you are looking for more book recommendations, try out our Looking for a Great Read service! Just fill out a survey and you will get a personalized list of book recommendations within a week.