A Whole New World (Twisted Tales, 1)
by Liz Braswell
Disney Press, 2015. 376 pgs. YA Fantasy
What if Aladdin never got the lamp? Based on the 1992 Disney film Aladdin, this book explores what could have happened to Agrabah if Jafar had possession of the Genie instead of Aladdin. The story is told from the point of view of both Aladdin and Jasmine, and explores themes of friendship, growth, compassion, revenge, evil, and freedom as Jasmine rallies her people to overthrow Jafar.
I loved this retelling of a classic movie from my childhood. Although my opinion differs from many hardcore Disney fans, I found it refreshing, progressive, and modern. Jasmine is strong, independent, and smart in the ways that matter. She learns and grows throughout the book, preparing her for the throne. She is able to recognize the faults of her forefathers and develops compassion and understanding for her people and Aladdin. Both Aladdin and Jasmine were fleshed out characters with strengths and weaknesses, hopes and dreams, challenges and triumphs. I would suggest this for anyone who enjoys fractured fairy tales, princesses, and strong female characters.