“It’s a special book,” says one of characters from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. Throughout reading this novel I realized that this was true about this book. This book did not only have an amazing plot, but also an important link to representation. I heard about this book first from a book club I’m in. Then, wanting to know more about it, I watched a lot of BookTube* videos about it. Not only did I find out that it had super high ratings, I also got to see how much people loved it.
The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of the classic A Thousand Nights. A young woman, Shahrzad, in order to seek revenge for the death of her friend, becomes the next wife for the murderous boy-king, Khalid. Each day he marries a new bride, and then executes her the following morning. In order for Shahrzad to avoid this fate, she tells Khalid a part of a story every night in order to make sure she survives to the next evening. Filled with heartache, romance, and adventure, this book is great for readers who love to be on the edge of their seats. There are also many other reasons why this book is so amazing.
Shahrzad is one of the most inspirational, kick-butt female main characters I have ever read. She is super smart, strong, and confident. She is someone who I can only dream of being. The book has huge underlying feminist messages, and one major one is her character. She does everything for herself and she does it unapologetically. You really fall in love with her character arc and dynamic. All of the characters in the book really develop.
Another thing that I really loved about this book is the fact that it is all cultural representation. Not only are all of the characters Middle Eastern/Asian, but their names are very cultural too. Also in the book there are multiple things that help represent the culture, including traditions and types of food! This is super important because someone who is this minority will be able to connect with the characters and story better than if the characters were white, etc. Having an array of books that are unique is great so that everyone can connect to a book and characters. This book does a splendid job of this. Also the author is not white, and she is also a woman! Authors that are minorities should be treasured, especially Renée Ahdieh.
If you are looking for a book that will make you excited and intrigued, this is the book for you. With it’s strong female characters, cultural representation, and amazing plot, this book is a gem.
Where to buy the book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/the-wrath-and-the-dawn-renee-ahdieh/
Watch my video book review and discussion: https://youtu.be/M7EoRiwH6ms
*BookTube is basically a group of YouTubers who make videos all about books. If you are a big reader I would recommend checking it out!
Zoe Levine is 17 years old from Erie, Pennsylvania. She is currently a student in 11th grade at McDowell High School. Her main passions are intersectional feminism, writing, music, watching TV and movies, reading, and journalism. She is president of her synagogue’s youth group and president of a local volunteer organization. She is involved with her school’s performing arts program, Speech & Debate, Mock Trial, Model UN, Exposure (tolerance activity), and Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Outside of school she has a job at a local farmer’s market and travels for Reform Jewish conferences. You can follow her multiple social media platforms including YouTube: sunflowerzoe15, Instagram: @xzoelevine, and Twitter: @xzoelevine