Monday, July 25, 2016

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn   
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn  #1 
Author: Renee Ahdieh 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 12, 2015 
Format: Hardback 

Page Count: 388


One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end. (taken from

The Wrath and the Dawn truly takes readers on a cultural journey. From descriptions of various Arabic traditions to authentic use of Sharazad's language, the tale encompasses a world of a beautiful and intriguing culture. Throw in a dash of forbidden romance and viola! You've got yourself a novel worth devouring. 

As the synopsis states, Ahdieh's story was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. Magic definitely plays a roll in the story, but not an enormous one. Most of the novel centers around relationships: relationships between Shahrzad and her admirers, political alliances, friendships, etc. In the beginning, I rolled my eyes and worried that this was going to be one of those love at first sight deals. I mean, the king murdered her best friend. It was going to take some serious character and plot development to get me to go along with any kind of romantic relationship between Shahrzad and Khalid. 

Surprisingly, (and trust me, I'm trying not to spoil too much), the romance truly blossoms. I found myself rooting for a couple I initially hated. Much of my love comes from Shahrzad's character. She's incredibly fierce and headstrong, and I loved reading her snarky comebacks and witty remarks. Ahdieh did a fantastic job with Shahrzad, and as a result, the story never dulled. 

The plot definitely didn't go down the path I expected. I found myself wondering where Ahdieh was steering the story, and towards the end of the novel, I began to realize that much of the action was probably going to take place in the second book. The Wrath and the Dawn seemed to set up many of the relationships and politics, and I expect The Rose and the Dagger to really stir things up (especially after seeing the cliffhanger in the first book). 

So, overall, did I freak out about this one like so many other reviewers? Maybe not, but The Wrath and the Dawn truly is a gem of a novel. It's beautifully worded and chalk-full of entertaining characters. The sensory descriptions alone are enough to make someone fall in love with Shahrzad's world, from mouth-watering meals to the scent of jasmine in the air. If you haven't already checked this one out, I highly recommend that you do. 

(I had to use an Aladdin gif, right?) 
What started as a skepticism towards the romance in the novel quickly transformed into fascination. I cannot wait to see where Ahdieh takes the second novel! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: It's All Fun and Games

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: It's All Fun and Games 

Author: Dave Barrett 
Release Date: August 2, 2016

When Allison s best friend, TJ, convinces her to come along for an epic game of LARP (live-action roleplaying), she reluctantly agrees despite her reservations about the geeky pastime. TJ s weekends are filled with powerful wizardry, mystical creatures, and intense battles with his LARP group. Each adventure is full of surprises, but the goal is always the same to defeat the monsters and find the treasure.

Not long after their quest begins, the friends discover that something has gone wrong. The fantasy world they ve built has transformed, and the battle they re in the midst of is no longer make-believe.

Now they must fight for survival against brigands, kobolds, and other deadly mythical creatures that come to life. Fortunately, the group s once-fictional magical powers have also become real including Allison s newly acquired gifts as a healer. They ll need everything in their arsenal if they hope to make it home alive. (taken from

Why I Need It: 

I'm a little iffy about the premise on this one, seeing as I'm not really much for role-playing games or anything. However, it sounds new, and I'm always looking to get my hands on something new. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: This Adventure Ends

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: This Adventure Ends 

Author: Emma Mills 
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed. (taken from

Why I Need It: 

The synopsis doesn't exactly give us a lot of details regarding the plot, but I'm hopeful. I love the swirly painted cover, and the title hints at an interesting (if potentially heart-breaking) story. What say you? 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Sometimes We Tell the Truth

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

Title: Sometimes We Tell the Truth 

Author: Kim Zarins 
Release Date: September 6, 2016

In this contemporary retelling of The Canterbury Tales, a group of teens on a bus ride to Washington, DC, each tell a story—some fantastical, some realistic, some downright scandalous—in pursuit of the ultimate prize: a perfect score.

Jeff boards the bus for the Civics class trip to Washington, DC, with a few things on his mind:
-Six hours trapped with his classmates sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
-He somehow ended up sitting next to his ex-best friend, who he hasn’t spoken to in years.
-He still feels guilty for the major part he played in pranking his teacher, and the trip’s chaperone, Mr. Bailey.
-And his best friend Cannon, never one to be trusted and banned from the trip, has something “big” planned for DC.

But Mr. Bailey has an idea to keep everyone in line: each person on the bus is going to have the chance to tell a story. It can be fact or fiction, realistic or fantastical, dark or funny or sad. It doesn’t matter. Each person gets a story, and whoever tells the best one will get an automatic A in the class.

But in the middle of all the storytelling, with secrets and confessions coming out, Jeff only has one thing on his mind—can he live up to the super successful story published in the school newspaper weeks ago that convinced everyone that he was someone smart, someone special, and someone with something to say.

In her debut novel, Kim Zarins breathes new life into Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in a fresh and contemporary retelling that explores the dark realities of high school, and the subtle moments that bring us all together. (taken from

Why I Need It: 

I spent my most recent semester of college studying abroad in England, and while there, I took an intense course on Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales. Guys... I have a confession. I hated it. I despised every minute I spent deciphering his tales and analyzing his characters.

I guess part of me really hopes that this retelling will help me grow to love Chaucer a little more. I've never seen a young adult retelling of his tales, and I'm really interested to see how this will go.