Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Genre: Historical Retelling, Romance, Fantasy

Source: Library

Rating: 4/5 Stars

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

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.



The Wrath and the Dawn was slightly underwhelming. I’ve been to panels and heard sooo many fantastic things about this book and then I read it and I was left wondering what all the hype was about. Yes, the Shazi was powerful and sassy. Yes, Khalid was mysterious and enigmatic. Yes, its part of the beginning of a bubbling of diverse books. Yet, the magical element was off-putting and the plot dragged. 

The characters are what made this novel stand out. Shazi is a firecracker. Her wit and her secret skills are so fascinating to discover and each time she revealed that she was awesome at yet another thing, I giggled. She’s similar to many other YA characters, but yet different. The voice behind the character seems genuine and life-like. It was refreshing in a YA world overrun by sassy, strong female leads. Khalid was another strong point. His past defines his present and his future, and at first he lets that happen. Then, he lets someone in finally and things actually happen (I’m tryin’ to keep this spoiler-free people). It sounds a little cliche, and maybe it is, but in this book, it felt right. The handmaiden was kickass and veritable in her own way. She was similar to Shazi with her quickfire comebacks and loud opinions,  but Ahdieh managed to make them different. Their inner voices are different. And its amazing.


“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

~ Renee Ahdieh

The romance was the typical YA romance. Boy meets Girl. Girl irrevocably changes Boy. Boy becomes a better person. And I’m usually not bothered by this or even annoyed by its prevalence. Remaining true in The Wrath and the Dawn, this trope didn’t necessarily annoy me, but it slightly ruffled my feathers. But, it fit the characters so stinkin’ well that it complemented the book quite nicely.

However, I was not a fan of the magic. I know, I know. This is a retelling. But the magical element just didn’t sit well with me. I did not like the way it was introduced into the story. I understand that it was a mystery and Khalid’s deepest secret, but the delivery was lacking. It wasn’t the magic itself; the magic was fine and dandy. My main problem with the magic was its existence in this story, as the introduction did not allow it to fit.

Also, the plot could get a little draggy at points. This is understandable as we have to experience what Shazi does everyday to continue to win her spot in the palace. Yet, I found this to be boring at times and wished it would’ve been spiced up a little.

The Wrath and the Dawn was a character-based novel that was pleasantly enjoyable, with a few dings along the way.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dirt Daughter by Michele Shaw

Dirt Daughter by Michele Shaw

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Source: NetGalley

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Dirt Daughter

Synopsis: “In Dirt Daughter, seventeen-year-old Elena Black has concealed the secret to her childhood friend’s murder for eight years. With the possibility of a college scholarship looming, she plans to keep that secret and flee her dysfunctional home; one with a drug-addicted mother, a stepsister she just met, and a bitter, abusive uncle. But, when a detective reopens the cold case and a friend sets her up on a date with the new boy at school, the past and present collide, threatening Elena’s future plans…and her life.”

Review: I haven’t read a true mystery novel for a while. I don’t know if this is because I’m not into the genre anymore or they don’t appeal to me as much as I always seem to think that they will. I’m not sure. However, Dirt Daughter was a pleasant surprise and a sort of gentle re-entering into the mystery genre.

Shaw’s writing style was a tad too straight-forward and at points felt like she used words that the main character wouldn’t. Yet, it was overall good for the suspense and confusion of the main character.

One of the defining characteristics of this book was the extreme unreliability of the main character. I love this aspect. Shaw pulls it off marvelously. Elena herself is keeping everything confusing and secretive for the reader and its one of my favorite parts of this book. It creates so much more suspense. I think that this book would be a completely different, flat book if Elena wasn’t written the way she was.

From the beginning, I was very intrigued about what happened. The mystery part was meh. I was ticked that the secret was revealed before the end. It made the part that was supposed to be wow omg can’t believe it was that person! moment not as big as I would’ve liked. Basically, the mystery itself was interesting, but the actual reality wasn’t as exciting.

The relationships in Dirt Daughter were also a good point. I enjoyed the continual effort on Chayton’s part. It didn’t feel like he made her better; it felt like his presence was encouraging her to be better. That’s definitely more picturesque than it is in reality, but that’s the goal for real life relationships (in my opinion anyways).

Dirt Daughter was a suspenseful and satisfying book, but it wasn’t a Wow! caliber book. The plot, characters, and relationships were enjoyable aspects of the book, while the style and the reveal itself were lacking.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Top Tuesday (4) : Books I’d Love to See as Movies

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where you share your top ten books on a certain topic.

Top Ten Books I’d Love to See as Movies/ TV Shows:

FangirlClockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)


1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: This would totally be a fantastic movie! I can just imagine the cuteness, fluffiness, and awesomeness that would ensue if this book was made into a movie!

2. The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare: This fantastic series should be made into a TV show. I adore the characters, story, and ships. Honestly, I would love but also be very nervous if this was made into a show because they haven’t had a good track record with The Moral Instruments Series (hopefully the show will be better!), but I would probably still be excited!

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: I would be happy if any of Stephanie Perkins’s books were turned into movies, but since this one is my favorite of the three, I would most love it if it was adapted into a movie. I mean, the cast would have to be absolute perfection (as with all the others), but I think I would suffer from cuteness overload if Isla was made into a movie.

Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1)Looking for Alaska

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

4. Tiger’s Curse Series by Colleen Houck: I really like where the series is heading and I feel like the plot is stimulating enough to be a show. Each book can be a season and everything would be grand!

5. Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson: These books are a part of my childhood and seeing them being made into either a movie or a TV show would probably bring me great joy! As far as I know, there isn’t a TV show about a semi- d0ystopian world with mutant teens who can fly, so that alone would be highly fascinating!

6. Looking For Alaska by John Green: Okay, sorry to be cliche, but this is my favorite John Green novel. I was very moved by the end and I seriously believe it would make a perfect movie.

7. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass: This series would make the PERFECT TV show! Seriously. Think about it. There’s plenty of intrigue and mystery and suspense. The characters are good enough. It would be reminiscent of the Bachelorette and Bachelor, but would have its own quirks and nuances that would make it completely original and gorgeous.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)The Kite RunnerThe Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

8. Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas: OKAY SORRY I LOVE THIS SERIES IT HAD TO BE INCLUDED. Obviously, I would have to cast the movies, but ya know it would be perfect. Perfect.

9. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: This novel would make a beautiful movie. In a perfect world, where book adaptation movies are absolutely perfect, a movie version of this book would be poignant and moving. I would love it.

10. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson: This book has great characters, is imbibed with history and yet is original, and has a intense plot. Fantastic movie right there.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black 

Genre: Dystopian Fantasy

Source: Library

Rating: 4/ 5 Stars

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Synopsis: “Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.
One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.”

Review: So I read this book for Battle of the Books since I’m on my school’s team. I previously had wanted to read it, but it wasn’t at the top of my TBR list (honestly, I have no order to it really). Also, I went into this book thinking that it had zombies in it, which I’m not really into. Obviously, I discovered that there wasn’t zombies, but there was vampires.

I have a love-hate relationship with vampires. On one hand, I love fantasy and those sorts of creatures. On the other hand, the whole vampire thing has been so overdone that I kind of don’t want to read anymore of it at this point. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was similar to other vampire reads, but also very refreshing.

“We all wind up drawn to what we're afraid of, drawn to try to find a way to make ourselves safe from a thing by crawling inside of it, by loving it, by becoming it.”

I really enjoyed the characters. I think Tana is extremely life-like. She has conflicting emotions and makes a lot of dumb mistakes (but not too many that I want to slap her) that makes me feel like Tana reflects a real person. That’s an incredible feat. I know a lot of people dislike Tana because she makes mistakes and is stupid, but I think that her emotions and conflicts were life-like.

Dudes, don’t get me started on Gavriel. Yeah I know, he’s the typical YA love interest. But I can’t resist. I really can’t. Also, its made perfectly clear that he has bad intentions and isn’t a good guy. Obviously, I can’t stay away. Their romance is not a focal point in the book and only exists occasionally, but the slow-burning tension. I felt it building throughout the book.

The relationships were great. The love and dedication within Tana and her sister’s relationship was so sweet and so awesome. Also, I loved Tana and her ex-boyfriend’s interactions.

Plot-wise, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was good. Plot twists happened, but I felt little to no suspense. Action happened. Some dull parts happened. Overall, plot was average.

The world building was incredible. It was well-crafted and went hand-in-hand with Black’s marvelous descriptive style. I would say that I would want to live in that world, but that would be really frightening. The concept, although not new, is revamped (<- pun intended) to have a fantasy element.

Overall, I enjoyed The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. The characters really made the book for me and I liked the dark and gritty undertones. I’m extremely sad and disappointed that this is a stand alone. I thought the ending perfectly set up the book for a sequel or even a full-fledged series, but ITS NOT. :(