Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Today I'm thrilled to be part of the Simon & Schuster Canada blog tour for Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius. Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour!

Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius
Series: Standalone
Published: September 1st, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
289 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult/Retelling
Acquired this book: From Simon & Schuster Canada as part of the blog tour
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon CAN || Amazon US || Chapters/Indigo}
Visit the Anne and Henry book page on Simon & Schuster Canada

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 was intrigued the minute I heard about Anne & Henry and learned it was a retelling of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. As a history nerd who’s fascinated with the Tudors (even more so after visiting the Tower of London and Windsor Castle this past summer), I couldn’t wait to see how Dawn Ius would handle a modern-day retelling of this infamous historical couple. I think it’s important when going into this book to remember it’s a retelling and that the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn is not a fairytale, it’s not an epic romance, it’s not an example of a healthy relationship, or one with a happy ending. The royal court would have been full of duplicitous people, scandal, and intrigue, and I think Ius did an absolutely brilliant job of translating that to a modern day story featuring teenagers.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this book. I couldn’t imagine Henry and Anne’s story being told in modern times, especially in a high school setting. Within a few pages, I was completely hooked. Anne and Henry both fascinated me - they were far from perfect, but that was one of the things I liked most about them. I was sympathetic toward them almost immediately. Henry had big shoes to fill, and Anne had a colourful past she couldn’t seem to distance herself from, despite moving to a new place and not knowing anyone. 

When Anne and Henry met, they knew they shouldn’t be together for various reasons. When they actually were together, they knew things would be difficult, but they couldn’t stay away from each other. They were drawn to each other and although they tried to fight the outside forces trying to keep them apart, they were doomed from the start. The volatility of their relationship and the catty behaviour of the people around them worked really well in a high school setting. Between raging hormones, rumours, and misconstrued situations, there was plenty of realistic high school drama.

Anne & Henry completely sucked me in from beginning to end. I was impressed not only with Ius’s beautiful writing, but with her ability (not to mention the guts!) to tackle a story that’s completely unconventional in YA. There were so many great little details that made my inner history nerd squeal in delight. The ending in particular had me actually hooting with pleased laughter. I thoroughly enjoyed Anne & Henry, and hope many readers will give it a chance and enjoy it as much as I did.

The entire jacket (including the flaps), plus the spine of of Anne & Henry are gorgeous. I'm so glad I have a hardcover of this book (thank you Simon & Schuster Canada!) to proudly display on my shelves.

Since Anne & Henry is a modern-day retelling of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, the clever people at Simon & Schuster Canada created these text convos (using actual conversations form the book) between the characters. What's more modern than text messages, right? Enjoy!


Have you read Anne & Henry? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Are you a history nerd like me? What's your favourite retelling, modern-day or otherwise? Let's talk here or on Twitter!


  1. I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on this one. I'm so curious how the author translates their story to modern day. Obviously he can't have her beheaded.

    1. It's SO good, Jenny. One of my first thoughts when I read the premise was 'But Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn beheaded, so...'. The ending was PERFECT, though. Very fitting. ;-)


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