The Wrath and the Dawn is a wonderfully engaging young adult retelling of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.
Khalid is the eighteen year old boy-king or Caliph of Khorasan and, true to the original tale, he marries a new bride each night and then has her put to death each dawn. There is great mystery behind why he is doing this, and as the reader, I really needed to know why he kept having the girls executed. One of the executed brides was Shahrzad’s best friend. Shazi is determined to seek avenge her friend's death and decides to get close to the Caliph the only way she can; by volunteering to marry him with the intention of killing him. Shazi is just the kind of female character I love; strong physically, intelligent and resilient. She has no idea whether her plan is going to work or not. She believes that Khalid is a heartless monster but she soon finds out that all is not what it seems. She is very strong-willed and that is what almost gets her killed because Khalid is determined to keep his secrets and she is determined to find them out. I especially enjoyed that their relationship was a complex one that took a while to grow. It would have felt wrong if they just fell in love instantly one evening. This is best read by a decent reader, but I suspect it will become a favourite among young adult romance readers.
I'm telling you right now, this book is The One Thing you need to read this September.
The voice of the narrator, 17 year old Maggie Sanders is brutally honest, insightful and laugh out loud funny and blunt which explains why the publishers have suggested it for ages 14 - 18. For example, when Maggie's English teacher at Merchant's School for the Blind, Mr. Huff, asks her if she has something to say because she's sighing dramatically and rolling her eyes hoping he'd understand that she was sick of his stories about being a testicular cancer survivor and living with adversity and overcoming obstacles, she replies, "Actually, I can't seem to grasp the correlation between your nutsack and our eyesight."
This is one of those books that will NEVER spend any time sitting on the shelves. It will pass from reader to reader, and it will inspire students to desperate acts. Students who can't wait to return their overdues will be tempted to just walk out with it! This I already know! If you look up "sizzling hot popularity" in September you will see the cover of this book.
When 10 year old Ben Milton meets blind Maggie for the first time, he has just witnessed her wipe out and because she is behaving strangely, he thinks she's using drugs. He explains how good looking girls always have some tragic flaw.
"Well. The thing is? I used to be totally in love with Jessica Baylor. She sat next to me in math. She was hot. Like, she had shiny hair and shiny eyes and a shiny smile. But then? She told me she hates cake, and I'm fundamentally opposed to cake-haters. Then there was Hannah. From band? She had boobs. They were magnificent. Just thinking about them was enough to make a guy go bonkers.... He blinked once. Hard. Like he was using his eyelids to wipe the image off his brain. But the thing about Hannah was that I caught her throwing a rock at a squirrel. A squirrel, for Pete's sake. It just wasn't right. Then today when I saw you - hello - I thought you were perfect. That fall? Wow. Just... wow. But then I find out that you're a pothead. He huffed out another huge gust of air. It's tragic."
Ben is unquestionably my favourite character because he's so vibrant and loveable that I feel like I'm watching a movie instead of reading text. I should also reveal however, that I always thought it would be neat to have a baby brother. I would love to discuss the plot with you and gush over all my favourite scenes but I refuse to ruin the pleasure you'll have by reading them, unspoiled, for the first time, yourself. This book is being released September 8 2015, and I, for one, will be buying copies to have on my shelves. Although the content is definitely mature (there's a scene where Maggie goes to a club where she's underage, and then, unknowingly, gets drunk), if you have students who are reading the Fault in Our Stars, they can definitely handle the content in The One Thing. Thanks to Net Galley and Disney Hyperion for providing an electronic copy for advanced reading.
Middle School former Teacher Librarian - then MYP math and science. Update... VERY recently retired! Still adjusting that I'm not just on summer vacation!!!
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