Monday, April 6, 2015

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1) by Lori Goldstein

Becoming Jinn (Becoming Jinn #1)
by Lori Goldstein
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Mythology
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Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!

Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit. 

To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny. 

Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.

This is the hardest question ever. Nothing opened the world of YA writing to me more than the Harry Potter series, and nothing entranced me as much as those books when I first read them and every time I re-read them. 

The Vampire Diaries

Fight Club

Currently, the entire 1989 Taylor Swift album, but of those, I’m into “This Love” right now.

Ice cream, or is that a category?

Hogwarts, Westeros, but only Highgarden, I think, the museum in The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Levi from Fangirl

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.” Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

See the above answers to number 7 and 8 and you’ll know: Rainbow Rowell. Her writing and humor are such an inspiration to me.

The queen of it all: J.K. Rowling.

I was an obsessive reader before I was an obsessive author. Reading books, finding new authors, and talking about all of it with others who love books as much as I do is what makes me happy. Readers are my people. Hugs to you all!

Hello Lori! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

I’m thrilled to be here. You and all of your bloggers are amazing and have been asking the best questions during this tour!

Becoming Jinn is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. So there are no lamps or bottles, no flying carpets, and no three wishes. The genies in my book are Jinn, which are spirit beings prominent in North African and Middle Eastern cultures. Becoming Jinn mixes the lore of the genies we know with that of the Jinn and is set in our contemporary world, in my home state of Massachusetts. The story follows my main character, Azra, from the day she wakes up on her sixteenth birthday and receives the magical silver bangle that forces her to start granting wishes. And I say force because the tradeoff of being able to use magic is that she’s now also tied to the Afrit, the dictatorship-like council that rules over the Jinn world. There are five other Jinn girls who Azra’s grown up with who feature strongly in the novel. There’s also Henry, a human and Azra’s next-door neighbor; the two share a past and rekindle their friendship at the start of the novel. And there’s a love interest, Nate, who, despite his underwear model exterior, is as unsure of himself and struggling to find his way as everyone else is.

At her age, I’d have acted pretty much the same. I was a bratty teenager. (Mom, please stop nodding your head.) I disliked things just to dislike them. (Mom, I said stop it.) As an adult, with perspective, I’d be less defiant about it and more apt to try to find ways to outsmart the Afrit and to use my powers to do what I wanted and to help my friends, which, actually, is something Azra comes to as well.

Becoming Jinn was inspired by a name I heard on the news. A few years ago, there was a devastating earthquake in Turkey. A mother and her infant daughter were pulled from the rubble and both miraculously survived. That baby’s name was Azra, which is my protagonist in Becoming Jinn.

YA paranormal and supernatural has always been a genre I loved, and in hearing this name and thinking of what would be a cool story for this girl, somehow it all sparked the idea of writing a book featuring Jinn, which for some reason I knew was the term for spirits derived from North African and Middle Eastern lore. 

In terms of inspiration, it’s hard to have a book with magic in it without acknowledging the master that is J.K. Rowling, but I knew I also loved contemporary books like those from Rainbow Rowell. And I love The Vampire Diaries, which is paranormal in a contemporary setting with a lot of sarcastic humor. All of that, subconciously at least, influenced the direction I took with Becoming Jinn.

Well, no pressure there…so much of what I’d choose is spoiler-y, so I’m going to go with a pretty heartbraking one that comes early on in the book:

“I close my eyes and see Jenny’s fingers wrapped around the metal chain next to me. Higher and higher, we rode the swings on the set in my backyard, me promising her that just a little more and we’d be able to touch the tulip-shaped cloud in the sky.

“I’m flying, Azra!”

She was. She did. And then all that was next to me was the metal chain. The day she died was the day I realized magic couldn’t fix everything.”

Yes! It comes toward the middle of the book and involves Azra and her coworker, Zoe, at the snack bar at the beach. I can’t say more, but it’s a pivotal point in Azra’s journey to becoming Jinn and it was a blast to write.

I love Azra’s refusal to take things at face value and her need for reasons and answers. It comes from a place of wanting things to be different and better. Once you understand why something is the way it is, that’s when you have the ability to change it.

Right now, another me! Things are hectic before a book’s release, everyone!

But seriously, I’d be pretty standard here with wishing for good health for me and my loved ones, the ability to keep living my dream by writing books, and, well, why not: a house on the beach.

Funny, in my playlist for this tour, there is one song that leaped out as encompassing the full story. I’ll snag that here as a little preview of the playlist that will be coming.

Ho Hey by The Lumineers – I love this song to death. For Jinn, it has a great meaning for Azra, staring with the lines of “I’ve been living a lonely life,” up through the pull Azra starts to feel between the people in her life. In particular, the lines, “So show me family . . . I don’t know where I belong,” and concluding with the realization that “I belong with you, you belong with me.” In fact, this makes it a song that from start to finish encapsulates Jinn.

The perfect way to read Becoming Jinn would be on a beach, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing and snacking on something of the chocolate nature. At least for me—that’s the way I like to read everything!

I have a very busy spring full of exciting events, festivals, and bookstore visits to support the launch of Becoming Jinn. I’m looking forward to all of it! A full list of my events can be found on my Web site ( In terms of writing, Becoming Jinn has a sequel, tentatively titled Circle of Jinn, and I’ve just put the finishing touches on it. I’m sad to leave Azra and this Jinn world, but I also have many other stories and characters running around in my head, and once the release of Jinn is a bit behind me, I can finally start paying attention to them and get one of them on the page. I have a favorite now and I’m in thinking mode about it, which is a very fun place to be because anything’s possible.

Thank you so much for everything, Lori!

Thank you for having me. You have been so kind to have me and I appreciate more than I can say. Thank you!

Click here for more information about the Pre-order giveaway hosted by Lori Goldstein.

Follow the Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

My debut novel, the Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy Becoming Jinn, is a modern spin on the traditional tale of wish-granting genies. It will be released on April 21, 2015, by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s. The sequel will follow in Spring 2016. I am represented by Lucy Carson of The Friedrich Agency.

Too much of my day involves chatting books, obsessing over The Vampire Diaries, and perfecting the art of efficient writing through Twitter. Find me at @loriagoldstein and follow my blog at or my Tumblr at Like my author page on Facebook for fun book-related photos, tidbits, and happenings as well as news on Becoming Jinn.

US Only & International | Must be 13 or older to enter


  1. I love all the jinni books that have been coming out recently! Such an awesome subject! I can't wait for this book!

  2. Thank you for hosting this! :)

  3. Love, Lucy doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but I loved the interview with the author! I totally agree with her when she says that "books are the closest thing we have to magic."