Sunday, 29 May 2016

The Wrath and The Dawn [Book Review]

Hi there! 


Title: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: Putnam’s Sons books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: 12th May 2015
Rating: 4 Stars


*Thank you Soudha @ Of Stacks and Cups for the giveaway win*


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Synopsis: In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?


Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

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Review: The Wrath and the Dawn hit me like a punch in the face I wasn’t expecting. And not the painful kind of punch… the good kind.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book. Hype always makes me excited, but it also has the doubling effect of making me wary. I won this book in a giveaway and it wasn’t until a while afterwards that I decided to start this book on a nice, sunny Sunday. I started it in the morning and did nothing else until the book was finished. Already, I’m craving the sequel. I want it. I need it.


Before I even begin to talk about this book, let’s just admire how beautiful it is? If you are going to buy this book, I would highly recommend you go ahead and get yourself the hardcover edition. The pages will be lovely and deckled, the cover is gorgeous and the spine *melts* As soon as you take the dustjacket off you’ll know what I’m talking about. Trust me on this one – I’m someone who doesn’t get hardcovers often – but this one is worth it.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. I was previously unaware that this story also covers Aladdin, and that those two fairytales are supposedly similar? Anyway, this one dips its fingers into both. However, it’s a retelling which means of course some things are going to be different and there is a lot more depth to this one. We get to meet Shahrzad who wants revenge for the death of her best friend who was like a sister to her. Khalid is killing off all the brides he has. Another death for every sunrise.


The reasoning behind why he was doing this was a surprise, so I won’t tell you. But in the end, as much as I disliked Khalid, I also liked him. I loved the internal conflict he faced of curiosity and having feelings for Shahrzad, but also being wary because of what it meant for him to not be killing his bride. On top of that, Shahrzard has a lot of internal conflict as well because she feels herself falling in love with her best friends murderer. That’s not an easy weight of guilt to carry.

There was a very undeveloped love triangle in this one. Before going to the castle, Shahrzad had apparently been with Tariq who was a love of hers from her childhood. In all honesty, I simply found his character annoying all through the novel. He wants to do something noble, which is saving Shahrzad. Sure, I approve of that. But he makes reckless decisions, is far too impulsive and doesn’t listen to any of the advice he receives. He seemed way too childish and was simply a source of aggravation for me.

There were plenty of other characters that made it up for me. I really loved Shahrzad – she was careful and clever. She knew what she wanted and how to deception and manipulation to receive it. She was quick witted and incredibly brave. I had to admire what a strong hearted and minded woman she was. I also liked her handmaid, Despina who seemed a bit more brash but had a good heart buried underneath it all.


The descriptions in this novel were just lovely. We got a good taste of the grounds and the castle, the setting of the story. Also, the foods they eat just sound so delicious and rich. The words dripped with imagery and I just wanted to drink them all up!

Everyone in the novel seems to have some degree of trust issues. When you’re running a country though, or sparking a rebellion in order to save your girlfriend, then I guess it does make a certain level of sense to have trust issues. But this was something I could relate to because it can be incredibly hard to trust people. I believe that’s what brought this novel down to a level that readers could relate to.

As for the plot of the novel… it was good, but a little messy. I Tariq and the plot itself were one of the reasons I couldn’t give this novel the full five stars that I wanted to. I really did like the main plotline, but Ahdieh did try to embed a second plot in there, to do with magic and powers. It was kind of all over the place and not developed well at all. I believe this was inserted in the story for the sake of book two and possibly the finale of the whole series as well… I just couldn’t appreciate it. It was sloppy and it interrupted my enjoyment of reading a bit. I simply wanted to skip over those sections and get on to the romance plotline that I was enjoying.


Many people complain that this novel is too heavily based on the romance. And it is. A Thousand and One nights is a fairytale based on romance, so at least you know what you’ll be getting before you start in on it. And the fact that the romance was a large part of it didn’t bother me – and I doubt it will bother many people as long as they are expecting it.

I did have a few issues with this book, but for the most part it captured my attention until the very end. I just wanted to keep on reading and I was hooked. If a book does that to me, I can already tell it is. The Rose and the Dagger sounds equally as wonderful so my fingers will be itching until I get it!

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 Gif Summary: 



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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia’s Question: What was one thing you did in life that was an act of bravery?

Olivia-Savannah x

Thursday, 26 May 2016

My Hoarding Catastrophe ~ Ban Strength, Request Weakness

Hi everyone, 

My Hoarding Catastrophe is my version of a book haul here on Olivia's Catastrophe. I've been a very bad blogger lately and not too present. Life's more than a little hectic but I'll save that for my wrap up post, shall I?


I'm still on my book buying ban. I haven't bought a single book for three whole months. That's really impressive for me. But even though I have been being strong and fighting the urge to buy a book... I have been requesting ebooks like crazy. It's as if I'm trying to fill the gap of where I have been buying books >.> But let's just agree that it's been a while since my last haul so don't judge me too much based on the amount of books featured here. 

Physical Books (and some library haul books as well!)

I went to the library. I haven't been in ages but the whole book buying ban thing was really getting to me at a certain point ;.; I also haven't had much time for reading lately so I thought, "Why not go get some graphic novels and mangas from the library?" So I did. And now I'm re-reading and re-experiencing all my favourite novels in pretty picture form and it's great. Also... LADY MIDNIGHT YOU GUYS.


Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare (Thank you SO much Lekeisha @ Lekeisha the Booknerd for this giveaway win!)
The Cleansweep Conspiracy - Chuck Waldron (For Review)
Noughts and Crosses: The Graphic Novel - Ian Edginton
Twilight Volumes I and II: The Graphic Novel - Young Kim 
Clockwork Angel: The Manga - Hyekyung Baek
The Berlin Package - Peter Riva (For Review)
Murder on Safari - Peter Riva (For Review) 
Smash and Grab - Amy Christine Parker (For Review)
Miscast Spells - Rose Corcoran (For Review)
The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey (Giveaway win @ agirlreads)
Heaven - Christoph Marzi (Giveaway win @ agirlreads)
The Little Prince: The Graphic Novel - Joann Sfar
Cookies & Cups Cookbook - Shelley Jaronsky (Giveaway Win @ Shelf Awareness)

Freebie: I'm better at resisting these than anything else at the moment. 


First Love, Second Choice - Lindzee Armstrong 

Review Copies: Somebody help me ;.; 42. And that's within two months. *Starts furiously reading*








 







I would usually list the titles and authors but it's too daunting a task... even for me D:

New Video! My late video haul for April :P



Olivia's Question: What books have you recently bought/acquired?

Olivia-Savannah x