August 22, 2015

Review: Anne & Henry

Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius
Grade: D
Release date: September 1, 2015
An e-galley was provided by Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: In this wonderfully creative retelling of the infamous—and torrid—love affair between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, history collides with the present when a sizzling romance ignites in a modern-day high school.
Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student body president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of his brother, the pressure for Henry to be perfect has doubled. And now he’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who isn’t Tudor-approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Wild, brash, and outspoken, Anne is everything Henry isn’t allowed to be—or want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, but his desire for Anne consumes him.

Henry is willing to do anything to be with her, but once they’re together, will their romance destroy them both?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: So I have this thing for history. Books that retell or play with real events in history fascinate me. Anne & Henry caught my eye for this reason. As stated in the summary, it's a retelling of the story of Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn. I knew this could either be really good or a trainwreck. And unfortunately, it's kind of the latter. This is one of those car wrecks you just can't look away from. Anne and Henry fall passionately "in love" in only a few weeks' time. Henry is quickly already seeing her as a part of his future. But! Everyone in town is against the relationship from the start. Anne comes off as too fictional - her beauty is natural and unattainable (it's all Henry can talk about), plus she's sexy. She also has a motorcycle and her own mother doesn't seem to trust her. 

(except Anne was more a nightmare dressed like a nightmare)

Anne was fairly open about her past with Henry, which I enjoyed. Most YA protagonists hide their skeletons and they often show up when everything is about to hit the fan. But everyone seemed to believe the rumors about Anne, which was annoying and ridiculous. Was there no one in Medina who was willing to give a new girl the benefit of the doubt?

It was weird to have Catherine still around after the break-up. And of course she was automatically the jealous girlfriend.

And another character that felt a bit shoehorned in was Sam. I couldn't figure out what her part in the whole story was. She could've been really cool, but she didn't fit.
Then there's Henry. He was such a typical YA hero that didn't want what his family wanted for him, but he didn't really get any character development. It was mentioned, I believe, that he was interested in art and/or acting, but that was never really pursued. And of course, Anne starts to "corrupt" him. It was nice, for once, that the guy wasn't doing the corrupting but it was still annoying. At least it gives me an opportunity to use this gif.

(longer than a weekend, though)

The only thing I really liked? The ending. It was a great twist on reality and very fitting.
As for the ugly, there was a lot of lusting, some hot and heavy makeout sessions, and more uses of the f-word and s-word than I could keep track of.

The Verdict: Probably one you should pass on. But I couldn't pass up these gifs...

Will I be adding this book to my library?: No.

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