Love is a Revolution – Renee Watson
Love, dating, self-acceptance, social action, Jamacian Americans, Harlem, New York, Young Adult, POC representation, fiction.
Nala goes to an open mic night with her cousin for her birthday. When one of the poet activists, Tye, goes on stage her attention is drawn to him. She makes herself more relatable to him by omitting lies and she struggles to keep them straight as she is falling more and more for Tye. Her relationship with her cousin isn’t easy either and Nala learns to stop and reflect. She needs to love herself first and in turn love Tye.
My heart vibed with what the author wanted to express through this narrative. Love can really change and inspire a person to love themselves better. I loved the place and this felt so real that I was there. I was witnessing everything happening with Nala and her interactions. Everyone needs to go pick up this book and read this novel. I can’t express how much I love this book. I did borrow this from the library and I am definitely going to buy the book. Then most likely read it again because it was so good. I finished this book in one day and it’s that type of book that can be read in one sitting because the pacing is perfect. I do not see enough hype but this book deserves so much more hype.
The Wrath & The Dawn – Renee Adhieh
Fairy tales, reimagining, retelling, Arabian Nights, young adult, fiction.
Shahrzad volunteered to be Khalid’s bride. Everyone knows that each bride was dead by sunrise and she doesn’t care. She wants revenge for her best friend who was murdered by him. The first night she tells him a story but doesn’t finish telling the story. He demands her to finish but she wants to live another day. He let her live another day to finish the story. Second day goes by and he is enthralled by her storytelling. She intends to drag out these stories as long as she needs to create a plan to murder him. Along the way, she loses interest in murdering him and falls for the monster who isn’t really a monster. He is simply misunderstood.
I had read this novel before and wanted to reread it. Mainly because I remembered how good this novel was and how different it was. I love different retellings and I got tired of beauty and the beast retellings even as they all are great in their own ways but it gets repetitive. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and I loved it. She tells a story every night or so to stay alive and to prolong the possible execution as a form of revenge. She does learn about his history but honestly it should have ended differently. I’m fine with the ending. The author outdid herself in this novel with the characters and interactions. I recommend this if one loves Arabian Nights. Its a fun read and I would go on this journey of rereading it for sure.