Genie in a Bottle (Whatever After #9) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 3 hours, 6 minutes
Read by Emily Eiden

In their first eight adventures, the kids in author Sarah Mlynowski’s Whatever After series have traveled into one classic fairy tale after another, meeting their favorite princes and princesses. But in the audio edition of the ninth installment, Genie in a Bottle, they end up venturing into a whole new world.

The story finds 10-year-old Abby and her little brother, Jonah, trying to find a way to free fairy Mary Rose from the curse that keeps her trapped in the magic mirror in their basement. But, once again, they end up traveling to fairy tale land instead. This time, they meet lovable village kid Aladdin, who’s destined to fall in love with the princess. But when Abby accidentally gives Aladdin a bloody nose during a game of dodge ball, it’s up to her and Jonah to find the magic lamp and fix Aladdin’s fairy tale. The only problem: Abby can’t seem to get anything right—and each attempt to help only makes things worse.

The ninth book in this lovable series of updated fairy tale adventures is perhaps the most magical yet. While other installments have featured fairies and mermaids and magic mirrors, there’s just something about the genies and magic rings and powerful lamps and flying carpets of Genie in a Bottle that seems all the more enchanting. And just as the setting and characters and tone of Disney’s Aladdin make it feel dramatically different from other Disney fairy tales, the same is true here. Abby and Jonah and their puppy, Prince, are the same. The set-up is basically the same, too. Yet the story still feels new and different.

This adventure is also filled with lovable characters—both new and old—from sweet, charming Aladdin and his kind and generous mother to the pink-haired young genie who’s still working on her magical abilities. Abby is at her best here, too. Though she sometimes comes off as bossy or jealous or stubborn in other books, this story finds her struggling to fight her way out of a low point—and humbled because of it. She has the best of intentions—whether she’s trying to free Mary Rose or help Aladdin—but she just can’t seem to get anything right. She’s sad and frustrated and disheartened. But, as is always the case with these charming fairy tales, there’s a lesson here to be learned. And, this time, Abby learns (along with the bumbling young genie) to keep trying—because even when things don’t go as expected, they might still work out in the end.

With each new adventure in the Whatever After series, the author seems to find new ways to keep things fresh and fun, offering new twists on beloved stories—with a good lesson in the end, too. If you and your little princess love fairy tales, don’t miss this series. Genie in a Bottle is sure to be one of your favorite installments.

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