My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Genies, Friendship
All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.
When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.
Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures–but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power–even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.
I had high hopes for this one. In fact, I was a hundred percent sure I would enjoy it immensely.
But I didn’t. I mean, it was alright, but definitely not memorable in any possible way.
I’ve read stories about genies before. One of my favourites is THE FORBIDDEN WISH, which is a retelling of Aladdin from the Genie’s point of view.
But this was really, really young. I adore middle grade books, I really do, but only if there’s dept to them. And I believe any story, whatever the audience it was written for, can have incredible dept.
It’s not that I think the idea of wanting to be free of granting wishes for close to a hundred years has no dept whatsoever, because it does.
It really does. After all, genies are slaves to the lamp and to the keeper of the lamp. But the way the author dealt with this theme made it seem kind of superficial.
Because it’s not true that Eden is THAT much of a slave or prisoner. You can look at it two ways: one, she’s a slave because she has no choice but to grant wishes when ‘‘summoned’’ or two, she only has to grant wishes every month or so, let’s say, and the rest of the time she has it good inside her lamp.
Granted, she’s young, so she has schooling to do, but if ‘‘lampschooling’’ wasn’t part of her daily life, she would have been free to do as she pleased inside her lamp, which is a lofty enough place.
Saying she is a ‘‘prisoner’’ is an insult to real life prisoners who live under atrocious conditions, whereas every time Eden grants a wish, there’s a deduction going on, so if she grants a specific number of wishes, she’s free to do as she pleases and leave the lamp. And she’s immortal, come on! And lives like a princess!
Therefore, I had trouble taking this very seriously. Especially since Eden wants badly to escape the lamp, and when she does, she ends up in school! What? That’s something she was complaining about. She wanted to travel. And did she? Meh.
I guess middle graders might enjoy this way more than I did. It’s not like they would be bothered by the same things I was. But who knows.
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