Imagine you drop something on the floor and a genie comes out of it! Just like that, you have a chance to get your three wishes fulfilled. But it all gets complicated when you act weird and actually end up falling in love with the genie. And it gets weirder and tougher after that. That’s the story of Once Upon A Genie by Durriya Kapasi.
It’s about this girl named Daisy who finds a sexy genie and ends up falling for him. She gets three wishes but never asks the third one so that she could keep the genie. But the best friend is about to die and Daisy gets to decide whether she chooses her love or her best friend.
Well, first of all, that’s too much information that’s given on the back cover. The story becomes predictable right over there. But remember that predictable stories can also be magical if executed well.
In this spoiler-free review of Once Upon A Genie, I am going to share what I felt about this book after finishing reading it.
Plot of Once Upon A Genie
As pointed out earlier, and as you will notice instantly, there’s no element of mystery in the book. But then should it have any, considering it’s a romance novel? It is debatable for I thought there was no element to look forward to after a point in the book.
I got very excited to see what her first wish would be. It was delivered pretty well. But after that, the plot goes downhill. Things become predictable and cliche. Every single element in the book becomes like that which pulls the joy away from your reading experience.
I also couldn’t help but cringe because of the abruptness in the plot. You meet a genie and find him sexy. You make out with him and he seduces you because of his magical skills. But where does love seeps in? I don’t see anybody falling in love but just read that they’re in love. If I can’t feel the love, I cannot believe it is really ‘love’ with these characters. So for me, it wasn’t.
Considering how suddenly everything happens at the end, it just makes me feel that all the loose ends were tied up in haste.
Talking about all of a sudden things, there are more such instances. Darren’s (the best friend) behavior towards Jessica (a mean girl), Daisy’s sudden change in the way how she feels around Darren at times, and even the timelines are not easy to take in.
Obviously, there are three main characters – the girl, the genie and the best friend. The other characters were fine except for Jessica who plays the role of a mean girl but doesn’t manage to impress me at all. I liked the mothers, the father and the step-father and the mysterious behavior of the kid, which is another loose end that will bother me for long.
But what troubled me even more was sudden changes in the behavior of the girl, Daisy. The moment she finds the genie, after first few scenes, she feels disgusted to have the genie. Then all the making out happens and suddenly, she is in love. She doesn’t feel anything in that way for the best friend but at times, she feels sad to be away from his warmth. But then again, she affirms the fact that she can never think about him like she thinks of the genie who she loves.
The sudden way the character takes decisions and the attempt to make them seem alright and great just doesn’t convince me. If I had to call her an indecisive spineless character, I will; for I have no other theory for all such acts that don’t go the way she poses to be.
The genie has no other role than being noticed for his hotness and his tricks. That’s his entire character. Darren is a character you somewhat like but then you don’t really get to know whether he’s hurt, jealous, thoughtful or anything. You just read what he does. In fact, you just read what’s happening. You never get to meet the characters in true sense.
The writing style is fairly simple. It was an easy read that started with a bang. However, due to the plot and shallowness of the characters, you are forced to stop appreciating the light flowy read Once Upon A Genie is.
You could say that the smoothness that had to be blended with the whole layout of the book was missing. For example, the girl and the best friend go to a store to buy dancing costumes. The girl finds a $600 skirt very expensive. Okay! I buy that. But on the other hand, the guy, who wears an approx. $7500 watch, also finds the store too expensive and yells at the staff – that is pretty hard to digest.
Special Note: Although years back I resolved with myself to never mention editing issues, but two of them really hindered with my reading experience. There was an issue with the margins of the copy that really made it a pain to read the last few lines on the page. Every time I had to struggle through these lines even when I was enjoying the book otherwise.
The typos and grammatical mistakes in this book may not be as many as some of my previous reads have had but a couple of them truly made me get confused. I seriously thought there must be some special Tango trainers who were called as “couches” for the word was used to refer to them multiple times. Thank God the final reference had the word “coach” else I would have spent an hour reading about Tango (I am not a great fan of researching about dance forms). Calling the hospital floor as “flour”? I knew it was troubling me when I could find one critical error per page but when I found two in same paragraph, I had to mention. Although after my enquiry with the author, I found out it has been fixed but I haven’t confirmed that myself.
Overall Review of Once Upon A Genie
I would say it’s a nice enjoyable read that does have some issues. If you’re a very light reader who pretty much ignores such stuff, you will enjoy the book.