Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius
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.
This is a wonderful modern retelling of Anne & Henry. For anyone who enjoys retellings with a modern twist, and I am one of them, this will fulfill your guilty pleasure. Ius creates a world that is believable and does a really good job at portraying the pressure Henry lives under, I felt stressed for him. While Ius took some modern liberties, the story is still as delicious and scandalous as the original. There are a few times that I wanted Henry to be more like the King Henry he was based on and be more powerful, he did seem consistently the weakest character between the triangle of Catherine, Anne and Henry.
Catherine is such a nasty character that Ius’ ability to create such a villain is extremely impressive. I found myself rooting for Henry and Anne and got frustrated every time Catherine managed to thwart them. I thought the writing was very good, my only issue was there were some things the characters did that I felt didn’t reflect their age properly, but I’m also very biased in how I think high schoolers should act so that is just my opinion. It was a fun dramatic read that was a fun retelling of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. 3/5 stars
Published: 2015, 304 pages.