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.

 

Book: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

18460392All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Publisher: Knopf/Random House
Publish Date: January 6, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0385755887
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis: Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.  Continue reading

Book: Of Poseidon

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: May 22, 2012
Series: Of Poseidon #1
ISBN-13: 99781250003324
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Synopsis: Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen’s not fully convinced that Emma’s the one he’s been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help—no matter what the risk.  Continue reading

Book: Cross My Heart

Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould

Publisher: Delacorte BFYR
Publish Date: March 13, 2012
ISBN-13: 9780385741507
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Historical, Mystery
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Synopsis: High society, murder, romance, and intrigue fill this seductive Venetian tale. In a city of secrets, what’s yours worth?

Venice, 1585.

When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura’s father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice’s fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura’s prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister’s death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.

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Exiled by JR Wagner

Exiled by J.R. Wagner

Publisher: Live Oak Press
Publish Date: May 05, 2012
Series: The Never Chronicles #1
ISBN-13: 9781936909407
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: STRIPPED OF HIS POWERS AND BANISHED TO THE NEVER, JAMES MUST SAVE HIMSELF BEFORE HE CAN SAVE HIS FELLOW SORCERERS FROM IMMINENT DEMISE.

Prophesied by the greatest of all seers to be the sorcerer who would bring an end to the Epoch Terminus—the destruction of his kind—James grew up developing his powers under the watchful eye of his mentor, Akil Karanis.

James’s insular world is shattered when he is found guilty of murdering Akil and exiled to The Never, a mysterious and dangerous place reserved for the worst of the worst, a land from which no one returns.

Powerless and alone, James quickly learns that the land itself poses a greater threat than its inhabitants. If he is to have any chance of returning to his family, any chance of proving his innocence, any chance of saving his kind, he must survive the dangers and temptations meant to ensnare both body and mind in order to discover what no one else has been able to discover—a way home. Continue reading

Book: Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publish Date: April 3, 2012
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
ISBN-13: 9780547628349
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Synopsis: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


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Book: Sisters of Glass

Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf BFYR
Publish Date: March 27, 2012
ISBN: 0375861092
ISBN-13: 9780375861093
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Poetry
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

Synopsis: A lush, romantic tale from a Printz Honor-winning author.

Maria is the younger daughter of an esteemed family on the island of Murano, the traditional home for Venetian glass makers. Though she longs to be a glassblower herself, glass blowing is not for daughters—that is her brother’s work. Maria has only one duty to perform for her family: before her father died, he insisted that she be married into the nobility, even though her older sister, Giovanna, should rightfully have that role. Not only is Giovanna older, she’s prettier, more graceful, and everyone loves her.

Maria would like nothing more than to allow her beautiful sister, who is far more able and willing to attract a noble husband, to take over this role for her. But they cannot circumvent their father’s wishes. And when a new young glassblower arrives to help the family business and Maria finds herself drawn to him, the web of conflicting emotions grows even more tangled.

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