The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

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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 NightsThe Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW

If this were high school, The Wrath & The Dawn would be the popular girl who wore all the right clothes and never got an answer wrong in class, that everybody liked except me, but deep down I suspected that maybe she wasn’t all that bad.  Even after 100 pages, I was left wondering why everyone was crazy about this book.  Shahrzad wasn’t a bad character, per se, but she didn’t seem all that, either.  Combined with the execution of the plot and the writing style, The Wrath & The Dawn did not live up to its hype for me. Continue reading

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart …

THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW

Why is this familiar?  Haven’t it seen this somewhere before?  Oh, yeah!  Everywhere.  Here is another book that did not live up to the hype at all.  I didn’t see anything particularly special about it, the thing that has apparently captured so many people’s intrigue and respect.  I thought it was just another paper cutout of a story, a story that deviated little from others of its ilk.  I wasn’t emotionally attached to the main character (or any of the characters), the writing did nothing for me, and the world didn’t pique my interest at all. Continue reading