Sunday, August 16, 2015

August Must-Reads: Fanfiction and Retellings

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renee Ahdieh 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12th 2015 



My love affair with YA has been going on for over two years. But it was starting to lose its appeal.
Thankfully, Renee Ahdieh's The Wrath and The Dawn came along and revived my love for YA literature.

How does one even begin to articulate the kind of feeling a book like this evokes? But I'll try.

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, Ahdieh's novel is a sucker punch to the heart, mind and soul. A beautifully angsty romance with a touch of fantasy, this novel is undoubtedly one of my favorite reads of 2015. The story follows Khalid Ibn al-Rashid, Caliph of Khorasan takes a new bride every day only to rob her of her life at sunrise. Shahrzad is a young woman hell bent on avenging her best friend who died at the hands of the Caliph. This story follows her quest for vengeance as she volunteers to be wed the Khalid while fighting to stay alive. Like the famed Scheherezade, she captivates the monstrous Caliph with her stories.

Ahdieh skillfully captures the inner struggles of both Khalid and Shahrzad as they become reluctant confidantes and then lovers. Her writing is eloquent yet simple and evokes a multitude of emotions within the reader making this novel a riveting journey in itself. The dialogue and prose felt completely natural and I couldn't help but fall head over heels in love with the story. Ahdieh has brilliantly crafted a multi faceted hero and heroine - Witty, passionate and sharp-tongued Shahrzad and ruthless, cold yet vulnerable Khalid make a highly flawed and unlikely duo. From Jalal, Despina and Yasmine to Tariq, Rahim and Jahander - the secondary characters were well developed and added merit to the plot.

The Wrath and the Dawn succeeds on all accounts as an epic saga of love, vengeance, action and politics. While I'm unequivocal in my recommendation of this all consuming novel, I cannot be held accountable for the inevitable heartache it causes and the agonizing wait for the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger.



“My soul sees its equal in you.” 

Title: Fangirl
AuthorsRainbow Rowell
PublisherSt. Martin's Press 
Release Date: September 10th 2013



Although I have never written fan fiction (and have read very little of it), Fangirl resonated deeply with me. Fangirl is the kind of book that puts a smile on your face, the kind that takes over your entire face and you end up giggling out loud.

Fangirl follows the coming of age story of Cath, a twin who is starting college but isn't quite ready to leave behind her life as a fan fiction writer. Wren, her twin on the other hand is ready to shed her pre-college life and start on 'the college experience'. Cath is extremely uncomfortable in social settings and copes by escaping into fictional worlds. Rowell is simple yet powerful in capturing Cath's struggle with her mother's abandonment, her dad's mental health issues and her own challenge in finding out who she is without Wren. Cath's relationship with her dad, Reagan and Levi were well thought out and every interaction was made memorable. 

Speaking of Levi.....the romance in Fangirl was paced just right and Levi's character is one I couldn't help but adore. I loved the fact that Levi was genuinely interested in Cath's hobby, it made their relationship very refreshing. Like her protagonist, Rowell is the wizard of dialogue. However, there was a distinct lack of plot in the novel which I did not mind too much because I enjoy a well written character-driven novel. 

Rowell weaves in excerpts of the Cath's fanfiction into the novel making Fangirl a highly entertaining read. 



“She heard the very beginning of a smile in his voice--a fetal smile--and it very nearly killed her.” 

Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn or Fangirl? What did you think of the novels? Are you a fan of retellings? And what are your thoughts on character-driven novels?
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  1. Fangirl has been on my TBR list for quite some time. Will definitely being moving up the list now. :)

  2. I've read both of them, and they are SOOOO GOOD. Like, if I reviewed books using star ratings, both of these would be 5*-ers, but for different reasons. Fangirl is the most adorable, uplifting, relateable novel I've ever read, and I genuinely think it should be compulsory reading for all teenagers. The Wrath and the Dawn is BEAUTIFULLY told, and it's diverse and wonderful and I LOVED it. So yeah. I completely agree that these are must reads!
    Beth x

    1. You are so right, Beth - Fangirl is a must read for every young adult because it perfectly captures those first few college years better than any of the New Adult books out there. As for The Wrath and the Dawn - It was pure perfection, wasn't it? ;)

  3. You just made me 10000x more excited to read The Wrath & The Dawn. I've been wanting to read it for AGES and I finally have it so I'm starting this week! A little nervous because of all the hype - I don't want to be let down - but I'm also so excited. It just sounds SO GOOD.

    1. This is one book that is worth the hype, Annie! You must let me know when you read it so that we can gush over it on Twitter. XD

  4. OH EM GEEE. THOSE BOOKS SOUND SO AWESOME!!! GAAAH. I never knew that The Wrath and the Dawn was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights! I love that story so so much! <3 I think I'll add this to my "NEED TO BUY SOON BECAUSE I MIGHT DIE IF I DON'T GET IT" list haha.

    1. When Mishma gave me this book, I was basically like ASDFGHJKLLL!! It is sooooo flipping good, Jules. READ ITTTT. XD

  5. Fangirl is probably one of my favorites, just because I can 100% relate to Cath and her experiences upon starting college. It's always a bit emotional for me to read. BUT THE WRATH AND THE DAWN THOUGH. Definitely one of the best from 2015 for me as well. Such a beautiful and heart wrenching story to read. I'm not looking forward to the wait for The Rose and The Dagger!!

    1. Fangirl was overall a cheerful novel but like you said there were a couple of times when the book completely caught me off guard. Same here, Alysia I do not think I can wait one whole year to get the sequel! :'(

  6. I was a bit mediocre when it comes to Fangirl but I can definitely see why so many people liked it so much. And The Wrath and the Dawn was just absolutely incredible, wasn't it? Thanks for sharing these recs and, as always, fabulous post! ♥

    1. Awww. Have you read any of Rowell's other work? Thanks for stopping by, Zoe! :)

  7. Gosh girl, I have to agree with you when you say YA can start to get a little boring sometimes. (And I've never read Fangirl even though the entire booking world is talking about it.) *sighs*

  8. FANGIRL!!!! <3 <3 had to fangirl about fangirl, haha =)

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