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The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 12th May 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

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?
 

I can’t remember the last time I was this disappointed in a book. I had been looking forward to reading The Wrath and the Dawn before it was even released, and I spent a lot of money on a pretty hardback copy when I was in the US. I was so excited to finally pick it up because I’d heard that it was outstanding, but it was actually pretty shit. I’m so sad.

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Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

Ivory and Bone by Julie EshbaughIvory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 7th June 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
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Rating: one-star

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.

Thoughts before reading this book: Prehistoric world? Fantasy? Sign me up!

Thoughts after reading this book: Oh. Well. That was disappointing.

Is just one book that ticks all of my prehistoric/dinosaur nerd boxes too much to ask for? Apparently so. I was so, so excited about Ivory and Bone before I read it because I’m all for prehistoric settings. Unfortunately I didn’t connect with the way the book is written, and I didn’t care for any of the characters. Bit of a downer.

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Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah JayneTruly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 2nd July 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Bought
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Rating: one-star

Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:

You’re welcome.

Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer’s every move…

Continuing on with my Crap Book Friday trend (I should probably think up some sort of witty name for this but effort), today I’m reviewing Truly, Madly, Deadly, which turned out to be a truly crappy thriller. There are various reasons for this, but I’m going to keep it brief because I do not have the energy to go into a full blown rant, especially as I don’t think this book deserves that much attention.

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The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Genre: Dystopia
Release Date: 23rd April 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?

America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

A short list of things that happen in this book:

1. America reads diaries.

2. Maxon dates other women but still macks on America. She, having never listened to Destiny’s Child in her life, still somehow thinks this is okay behaviour.

3. Aspen…is a character, I guess.

4. Literally nothing else of note.

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Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillanSword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
Series: Sword and Verse #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 19th January 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees.

I’m not entirely sure what the plot of Sword and Verse was meant to be. It had such promise. Promise of a revolution, of a slave fighting back for her people. Typically those are the stories that pull me in and make me fall head over heels, but in this case it fell flat. It just wasn’t executed in a way that was enjoyable for me.

The biggest problem with this book is that the main focus is the instalove and romance between Raisa and Prince Mati. Obviously, this is forbidden, since Raisa is a slave, but there was no tension and no chemistry between them at all. They fall in love right away, and I was expecting Mati to be an “innocent first love” type thing, but that didn’t turn out to be the case at all.

I also had issues with the timeline of the story and the pace at which it progressed. The book skips forward a year after the first chapter, which would normally be okay, but we missed a lot of build up between Raisa and Mati, which would have been essential for a book with this amount of romance. Then we continue to skip forward months into the future, and again, I feel like we missed a lot of character growth because of this.

I started skimming after a while because the entire first quarter – or first half, really – was just about Mati and Raisa’s “love” and also about Raisa learning to read and write. There were too many descriptions of these writing lessons. I don’t care if a letter has a curve that goes left or right, I just want something to happen!

I’m incredibly disappointed by this book, and I’m hesitant to call it a fantasy novel. It’s definitely more of a romance.