Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Posted 8 September, 2015 by Danny in Blog, Book Review, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 2 Comments

Anne & Henry by Dawn IusAnne & Henry by Dawn Ius
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2015-09-01
Genres: Dating & Sex, Family, General, Love & Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon
3 Stars

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?

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry beautifully reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.

I guess like many others, I have a huge fascination with the Tudors and I love their history and basically all the re-tellings, TV shows and historical novels. So, of course I was excited about this contemporary retelling of the famous Anne Boleyn and Henry Tudor!

Henry – not a royal prince but coming from a wealthy political family (just the same nowadays..)

I really liked Henry. Just like the “real” Tudor his family feels like royalty, with pre-approved girlfriends and a political career ahead. It’s the perfect contemporary setting for a “today” Henry Tudor, and I liked this boy who wanted to be a little free of his family and who wanted just a little bit of autonomy. Yet, just like the real Tudor he didn’t have this.. So when he meets Anne, who is so unlike all his friends and so unlike all these pretty perfect girls that are just about to catch a rich husband he falls head over heels for her openness and directness.

Anne Boleyn – the strong, bash outspoken girl who does not fit, but also does not seem to care..

Anne is a krass character, especially when entering the world of Henry. She doesn’t really fit with her directness and her strong, outspoken often blunt attitude. She just doesn’t fit, but then Henry falls for her and finally she finds herself in his inner circle of friends, who are just as fake as you’d think they are. But Anne also is a little naive, not really fitting in but believing these kids even though non of them are completely honest. Anne is a difficult character, of course her directness is to be admired, but one just feels like this is not going to end well..

A Romance… or rather an obsession?

Just like with the real Henry and Anne – their relationship is fast, weirdly intense and very fast does not feel like romance anymore but rather like an obsession on both ends. In the beginning I liked how their romance developed but pretty soon this turned and just didn’t feel right anymore. I also wasn’t sure if I liked them anymore. Don#t get me wrong – I did like Henry as a character and also Anne – I just didn’t like how they were together. It seemed like it all shifted into a very unhealthy relationship.

And of course, there the author deserves all he credits to develop it nearly exactly like history tells us the real Anne and Henry relationship became. That just doesn’t mean I need to like it. Plus, I was really hoping for a different ending, I was hoping these two would make it, different to their historical models … But that is just me hoping for a HEA that never happened and will never happen!

Bewitched Rating

Rating 3


Bottom Line

Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius clearly created a very accurate contemporary retelling of the famous and beloved couple Anne and Henry. It captures the romance that turns to obsession quite realistically. I just hoped that this ReTelling would go a different route, which of course is just a personal preference because I am always loving a HEA….




Do you also love the Tudors? Isn’t their story highly fascinating? Interested in a Contemporary YA retelling of their doomed love? Danny_Signature_muchloveI
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