The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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Book Summary and Info:

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.

Pages: 388

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 12, 2015

My Thoughts:

I rarely do a star rating on books. I tried before and either I felt too forgiving or too harsh. However, if I were to do stars then I’d easily give this one a 5 out of 5 without even a second thought.

I’m a huge fan of retelling stories. My obsession with the Lunar Chronicles and Alex Flynn books? That’s why I love those. That said, that is also why I loved The Wrath and the Dawn. I initially received an ARC of the book DAYS before it was released and was beyond excited because of how much I’d heard about it. But then the end of the school year ate up my time and I didn’t get to read it. Fast forward a month and I got a finished copy and decided to go ahead and read it.

I first thought the obvious- WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS GIRL DOING? I understand trying to avenge her friend’s death, but volunteering to marry a murderous  king seems a bit crazy regardless. Then we slowly get to further into the characters and I actually felt bad for the king like she did.

The novel is long at 388 pages, but it is also fast paced because of the desire to learn more about the situations in the story. I’m ready to find out more about certain things that were introduced (I can’t delve into that without spoilers, but the fact that it’s based on A Thousand and One Nights might be a hint at some things.) and to see where the story goes with the ideas that were already set into place. I already want to see what Khalid will do next based on what happens in the end.

I would highly recommend Wrath and the Dawn to anyone who is into fantasy, but specifically people who may watch Game of Thrones. I don’t actually watch GoT, but it seems like it might  reach a similar fan base based on the set up of the setting, kingdom, and magic.

Look into this book ASAP because I’m already wishing for book 2 thanks to how it ended and due to the sneak peak into the next book. This was an amazing debut, so I can’t wait to see what Ahdieh does next!

-Melanie

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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Book Summary:

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Release Date: March 31, 2015

Bloomsbury

MY THOUGHTS:

I went into this book blind as it was the release for April’s Uppercase subscription box. That said, I’ve never been so pleasantly surprised with a book that I knew nothing about. The cover is gorgeous, but not nearly as much as the book. Paige is an interesting main character who has been through a lot prior to the start of the book. She has a trying year attempting to find herself, but ends up doing just that.

Going into a book with no expectations is rough. I normally read books that I’m already excited about or that I know something about. This book was an absolute treat! I’ve even already bought Emery’s first book, Open Road Summer, because of how much I loved Paige’s story here.

Also, Max Watson…gotta love a nerd boy!

HUGE suggestion!

Until a few months ago, I wasn’t a subscriber to any sort of subscription box.

These whatever-of-the-month boxes have been big lately, but that just wasn’t for me. Then I saw a post about Uppercase Box somewhere on the internet and realized: THAT is the subscription for me!

Do I already have more books than I know what to do with? You bet.

Do I love getting book mail? Check!

Book items/accessory? Hmmm could be neat.

I just received my third month with this and…y’all, if you love YA then GET UPPERCASE!

I loved the first book I received, The Start of Me and You. Absolutely LOVED it!

I haven’t had a chance to read last month’s yet, just because I’ve been swamped, but…this month’s box, y’all.

When I went to RT in May I was crazy excited to get an ARC of The Wrath and the Dawn even though it was about to come out right after that. Buuuutttt…I still haven’t had a chance to read it. Well…look what this month’s Uppercase pick is!

Hello, gorgeous signed copy and cool stuff! 11141225_10204633638862767_2117660445824965013_n

SO….book with signed book plate, a gorgeous scarf that matches the cover, a precious tote bag, and matching book emoji stickers.

So cute!

Highly suggest checking out Uppercase Box asap!

https://www.uppercasebox.com

Book Review: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

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Book Info:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Released: June 16, 2015

My Thoughts:

First of all, I’ve read TONS of things in the 6 months since my last update…TONS. But for some reason, I’ve been too side-tracked to remember to blog since I swapped to a different school in January and was also teaching two classes of junior English aside from just being the librarian. Life was nuts. Then, a few days ago, I was discussing books with a friend and said that I missed blogging about them…and I do! So I’m planning to back track a bit to be able to think about some of the books I read recently and then also HOPEFULLY continue back writing.

THAT SAID…I got an ARC  of this book a few months ago on Netgalley and instantly loved it. I enjoyed Tamara’s first two books (check the archives here for those reviews) and was looking forward to this one. Every Last Word finally released this week and I’ve loved seeing other people post about it.

In my time between reading and the release this week I thought I was going to explode with spoilers to a friend. Then…we went to RT back in May and she was able to get an ARC from Tamara at the Book Fair signing. She was SO excited because of how much I’d talked about ELW and because she’d also loved Time Between Us.

But still…I loved Every Last Word! I just thought it was going to be about a girl starting to write poetry. I had no idea that I was about to take my feelings through the ringer. I was surprised by parts of the book and had no idea how I missed certain things. What the heck happened to my emotions??
So good!

In all seriousness though, I highly suggest ELW to anyone who write poetry or who suffers with, or know someone who suffers with, OCD. This would be a great starting point for a conversation on the topic!

-M