Book: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

TWTDThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Publisher: Putnam/Penguin
Publish Date: May 12, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0399171611
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

This book owns me. As well as Renée Ahdieh.

I have always been fascinated with stories set in West/South Asian cultures: Arabian Nights, Sinbad the Sailor, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp. To me, growing up, they offered a diversity from the norm. To me, it was like listening about stories of family. When Stacee and Christina told me that I had to drop everything to read Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn, I immediately did so.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a story about love, revenge, and the grey line that separates the two. It is a story about sacrifice and pleasures, but don’t they all correlate one way or another? The Wrath and the Dawn begins with a death. But while some death scenes can be written in black and white, Ahdieh wrote the scene in a way that had me question the harshness of it. And that’s when her words mesmerized me.

A young woman, Shahrzad, makes a sacrifice and volunteers to be the next calipha. She volunteers to marry the one that is said to be horrific and the monster of her nightmares, the Caliph, Khalid. As hatred fuels her, she waits to look in the eyes of not only her king, but also a murderer. But there is a catch. At dawn, her life will be forfeit. At dawn, she will no longer be anything. Shahrzad’s ill feelings toward Khalid give her courage to do what others have not been able to do: survive.

Shahrzad is a heroine that takes action. Given her circumstances, she isn’t just a damsel in distress. Instead, Shahrzad is the white knight in shining armor. She demands attention from death, and will gladly stare him in the eyes. I love her, for her hopes and dreams, her gusto and bravado. She is someone you want to look up to and become all in the same swoop.

Ahdieh adds memorable characters to the fiction world. Khalid, a horrific king with immeasurable power, whom has become my favorite. He is one of the most complicated characters I have met. To even try to figure out his enigmatic personality is a task in itself. Tariq, a heroic love who will stop at nothing to rescue his fair maiden. Where love can be measured as a strength could become his downfall. Jalal, the loyal guard and cousin, will do whatever he must to save his king. Even if he must befriend someone whom he should not.

The Wrath and the Dawn’s world is exquisitely filled with wonderful and complex characters. You cannot simply love them, nor can you hate them. Instead, you have to invest your time and emotions into them, and allow them to live with you forever. It’s complexity upon mystery upon mystique. Words haunt you and they make you fall in love. Characters make you cheer for the bad and jeer for the good. Everything is skillfully crafted, binding each detail to another, making one large cycle of intricacy and book awesomeness.

The Wrath and the Dawn is amazing, and I highly urge you to read it as soon as you can.


Sunny days.

In Southern California, we don’t have typical seasonal weather. Most of the time we only have two seasons: sunny and not sunny. I think I’ve only felt extremely cold or extremely hot about a week or two at a time. For the most part, its a steady temperature perfect for being laid back and “Californian.” It definitely doesn’t hurt that there are over 100 days of sun in San Diego. Talk about ideal!

For a second, I was starting to become a bear – angry and very irritable. Doesn’t help that I’m still in the newborn parenting stupor and am averaging about 4 hours of sleep a day/night (I don’t really know when I sleep). But standing in the sun? It’s magical. I feel warmth and it instantly brings me happiness.

Today happened to be sunny in San Diego, and it was the perfect weather for a new book.


Right now, I’m reading The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. It will be released in May 2015, published by Putnam/Penguin.

I haven’t read that much, but so far? It is AWESOME. Ahdieh writes this story with so much complexity, but with finesse and east. I ADORE the characters and the multi-faceted dimensions that they were built upon. I am enjoying it, them, everything.


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In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, started in 2008 by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. It gives bloggers a chance to showcase what books they received, bought, or borrowed from the library.

Happy Daylight Savings! I you were all able to change your clocks the night before and weren’t late to go anywhere today! If it wasn’t for social media, I think I would have forgotten all about changing the clock forward, this weekend. That would have been too bad, since I’m at the aquarium today! By the time you see this, I will be watching the biologists feeding the sharks. (I like sharks.)

This week, I received many books with gorgeous covers! I have MAJOR LOVE for Harlequin and HarlequinTeen this week. They have always been good to me, but especially so, this week. Okay, okay, enough about that. So let me stop rambling and let’s start talking books.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

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Book: Shattered Souls

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Publisher: Philomel
Publish Date: December 8, 2011
ISBN: 0399256229
ISBN-13: 9780399256226
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | eBay | IndieBound

Synopsis: A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

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Book: Sign Language

Sign LanguageSign Language by Amy Ackley

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publish Date: August 18, 2011
ISBN: 0670013188
ISBN-13: 9780670013180
Giveaway on Goodreads (Until November 30, 2011)

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Abby North’s first hint that something is really wrong with her dad is how long it’s taking him to recover from what she thought was routine surgery. Soon, the thing she calls “It” has a real name: cancer. Before, her biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence, the boy across the street. Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and nothing is normal anymore. Amy Ackley’s impressive debut is wrenching, heartbreaking, and utterly true.
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Book Releases: August

August, to me, is the calm before the storm. It always seemed like there were many things to prepare for, in the month of August. August is when you acclimate your life to normalcy, back from vacations or nerd conventions and routine sleeping patterns. August is the month that I chose to stay indoors, for fear of indian summer’s heat temperatures and humidity.

Soon, my routine will go back to normal. Classes will start and there will be tests to study for, papers to be written, and I will forever dread the first day of class. Yes, I am over thirty, but there is still something to be said about that day.

Nevertheless, even though August is the end of summer, there is still time for some awesome reads. Want to know what else is great about August? It is the month that transitions into the big fall publishing season!

Until then, here are some of the books that I will be looking forward to this month.  Continue reading

Book: On the Jellicoe Road

On the Jellicoe RoadOn the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Publisher: Penguin Australia
Publish Date: June 26, 2007
ISBN: 0670070297
ISBN-13: 9780670070299
Genre: Young Adult

Synopsis: My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die.

‘I counted.

‘It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said.

‘We heard her almost straight away. In the other car, wedged into ours so deep that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended. She told us her name was Tate and then she squeezed through the glass and the steel and climbed over her own dead – just to be with Webb and me; to give us her hand so we could clutch it with all our might. And then a kid called Fitz came riding by on a stolen bike and saved our lives.

‘Someone asked us later, “Didn’t you wonder why no one came across you sooner?”

‘Did I wonder?

‘When you see your parents zipped up in black body bags on the Jellicoe Road like they’re some kind of garbage, don’t you know?

‘Wonder dies.’
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