Saturday, December 12, 2009
Genies is a book written for tweens that strongly resembles the Harry Potter series. In this book, Orchid Bloom is a young girl who, after being orphaned, is sent to live with her Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom. Naturally, they absolutely despise her and can't wait to send her away.
One day when out shopping, Orchid comes across a beautiful bottle that she thinks will perfectly match her aunt's collection. She purchases it for her, hoping that it will win her residency for a longer term at their house. Instead, she discovers that when she opens it, Stardust comes out of it, causing her to sneeze. And with the Stardust is a Genie.
The Genie is named Willow. Willow informs Orchid that she, too, is a genie, and helps her get all of the belongings that she requires for that first day of school on.....September 1st.....to which she arrives via.....train.
Of course, Orchid meets her new best friends on the train, as well as running into her arch-nemesis, a blond-haired genie named Storm.
The tweens have to take several magical classes at school as well as preparing for a magical sport, called Yowstick. Orchid is, of course, a natural.
While balancing all of this, Orchid and her friends also find out about a diabolical plan by the evil Jinn to steal a magical stone that will allow him to wish for anything in the world forever.
Despite the glaring similarities to the Harry Potter franchise, the book is an easy read and should delight tween readers, particularly girls. I did find it somewhat enjoyable and read it quite quickly. At that age I would have been grateful to have something else in the genre to read, especially now that Harry Potter is over.
Also fun in this book are numerous puns and plays on words. For example, upon arriving at the school, Orchid is informed that she is going to be read the "Riot Act," which is a list of school rules. Anything that the genie girls say, actually happens. When they say that they have seen things that would make your hair curl, their hair curls, then straightens again. The puns are great for a grin interspersed throughout the text. They could also be used in an English class.
The copy that I received from the author unfortunately has some typos and formatting errors that were very noticeable to my eye. I am hoping that the copies available for purchase have been corrected!
Stay tuned for an interview with Olivia C. Grosser.