Anne & Henry by Dawn IusAnne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Anne & Henry

byDawn Ius

Hardcover | September 1, 2015

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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.
Title:Anne & HenryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:September 1, 2015Publisher:Simon PulseLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1481439413

ISBN - 13:9781481439411

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Oversexed YA Lit The idea of a modern day reimagining of Henry and Anne’s story intrigued me. Then I became a bit skeptical after learning that it was set in an elite high school. So I went into this book with slightly lower expectations and a lot of curiosity as to how it would play out. I am familiar with the real story of Anne Boleyn and how she wooed the King away from his wife, but that was a different time. This fictional character felt so over sexualized that it didn’t feel believable. I felt that the 14 and up age recommendation was far too young for the content in this book. Despite my reservations I did continue on to complete it and there were parts that kept my attention.
Date published: 2015-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from O.M.F.G<3 I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Clever, fun retelling 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.
Date published: 2015-10-06

Read from the Book

Anne & Henry CHAPTER ONE Henry The Tudor ballroom glitters like we’re backstage at a Vegas burlesque. It’s too much—the crystal, the diamonds, the people—and there’s not nearly enough champagne. As the music switches to a waltz, I pull Catherine into the middle of the dance floor and begin leading her through the steps, through the crowd of masked faces. Even with years of dance training, it doesn’t matter. I always feel out of place at these damn parties. My girlfriend’s spine straightens, her body rigid as she scopes out the room, looking for Medina’s most important and influential. She spots our friends dancing toward us and offers a rare smile. “You look gorgeous, Cath,” Liz whispers when she and Wyatt are within earshot. And then to me, “A masquerade ball. Your mom’s brilliant, Henry. I feel like a princess.” My father would have hated this—the endless stream of feathers, gold leaf, and jewels. I hate it too, but my relentless lessons on etiquette rewind, play back at slow speed: “You certainly look like one,” I reply with a wink. “Not one of your better lines,” Catherine says under her breath as Liz dances away, giggling, and Wyatt shoots me a glare. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s upright—less than twenty minutes ago he and the rest of the guys were smoking up behind the pool house. I don’t blame them. If I thought I could get away with it . . . “Deadly bored, aren’t you?” Catherine says. The stem of her diamond-encrusted mask pokes into the side of my rib cage. “You should be proud, Henry. I don’t know how your mom did it, but the house looks—” Gaudy is the word I think she’s looking for: A red carpet flows down the middle of our central staircase like a river of blood, a shocking contrast to the usual white that frosts everything from the leather sofas to the marble pillars. “I’m not looking at the decor,” I say, and slide my hands down Catherine’s back until they’re resting on her ass. The purple gown hugs her hips and her blond hair spills down her shoulders in loose curls. She looks like a fucking queen. “Don’t be inappropriate,” she hisses. “I thought you wanted me to have a good time,” I say, and shift my gaze so she doesn’t see my grin. I catch a glimpse of some juniors circling the chocolate fountain below. One of them pretends to stick his dick in it and the others hoot. I cough out a laugh. “You would find that amusing,” Catherine says, her annoyance quickly growing. “How gross.” “Loosen up, Cath,” I say, threading my fingers through hers. Jesus, even her skin is cool. I let out a sigh. “Let’s go check in with my mother.” At the suggestion, Catherine brightens. “I’ll just freshen up first.” “Oh, come on. Why mess with perfection?” My eyebrows rise and fall—twice—and I badly botch a Sean Connery impression. “You’re ravishing, darling.” Her mouth forms a line and she tosses my hand aside. “That isn’t the slightest bit sexy.” Catherine. Smart and popular, and she gets me, or at least the “me” everyone thinks they know. Plus, she’s an Aragon, which isn’t quite the same as being a Tudor, but since Mom has put herself in charge of finding me an appropriate match in Medina, Catherine tops a very short list. She kisses my cheek, leaving me stranded in the middle of the dance floor. Another tune kicks in and I scan the crowd for a new partner. Maybe the senator’s wife or the assistant principal of Medina Academy, anyone who will take my mind off the mounting tension. I turn to— My heart catches in my throat. She is a raven among doves. Bloodred lipstick forms the shape of a heart, striking against her stark black hair and the simple disguise in her hand. Something stirs in my gut. The girl lowers her mask, and I inhale as though sucker punched. Those eyes . . . She blinks and the trance dissolves. I scrub my hands over my face to readjust my equilibrium and start making my way across the room, pushing through the crowd, trying to maintain eye contact. My face is flushed by the time I get to her, and I thrust my palm out with a jerk. “Henry,” I say. The heart on her lips shifts in an ever-so-slight smirk. I cough out a nervous laugh, and exhaling, add, “I live here.” Jesus Christ. I live here? I will the floor to open up and swallow me whole. Her stare betrays nothing. If only she would just giggle or shake her head, something, anything, to save me from further humiliation. But she remains emotionless, blank. Almost. She slides her top teeth over her lower lip, scraping off the bottom half of the heart. Sweat beads at the base of my neck. “Would you like to dance?” she says. There’s a certain amusement in her voice that puts me on alert. Her eyes crinkle at the edges and I’m sure she’s laughing at me. I should back off, but damn it if I don’t enjoy a challenge. I hold out my hand and pull her close. She presses the stem of her mask into my palm—our skin touches. And for one disconcerting moment I’ve forgotten the steps, lost the ability to dance at all. She reaches up and holds my shoulder as we move across the floor. My fingers itch to snake through the long tangles of her hair. I focus on the steps instead, the twirls and dips, working hard not to stumble. Son of a bitch. I’m all jacked up, my world spinning forward and back, suddenly off-kilter. I can’t take my eyes off her haunting face, but even without looking, I know everyone is watching us. She twirls just out of reach and I yank her back. Whispering in her ear, I say, “Who are you?” The music stops and a smattering of applause breaks the spell before she can answer. Next thing I know, she’s disappearing into the crowd without so much as a backward glance. I blow out a breath. Catherine’s fingers suddenly intertwine with mine. “And who was that?” The slight lift in her voice reveals her jealousy. I grit my teeth and swallow a knee-jerk response, because I’m pissed off—confused, maybe—by my reaction to that girl. “Henry? Did you hear me?” “I don’t know,” I say, letting go of Catherine’s hand and loosening the collar of my tuxedo. It’s one thing for my girlfriend’s insecurities to bubble over at school. Another entirely to make a scene here, where the sheriff’s wife stands just a few feet away, ears perked and ready for gossip. Catherine’s eyes dim. “She must be new.” “Seems that way.” As a new waltz begins, I make a motion like I want to dance again. But it’s not Catherine I’m thinking about as I pull her close, and from the corner of my eye, I spot the girl. She catches me staring and I count the seconds, breaths, heartbeats, before she slowly lifts her disguise. Fuck me. As Catherine twirls around, she sees the girl too and freezes midstep. “That’s her with your mother and the architect for the creative center,” she says. “What’s his name? Terry? Travis?” “Thomas,” I mutter, not glancing back. “Thomas Harris.” Catherine clucks her tongue. “She’s a bit . . . harsh looking, don’t you think?” The comment is classic Catherine. Classic Medina, I guess. The whole damn town is crammed onto a tiny pedestal, pushing and shoving, jockeying for position as they claw their way to the top. “I guess we should introduce ourselves,” I say. Catherine fakes a smile. “Of course. But only for a minute, right?” She rubs her hand along my biceps and squeezes. “Charles and Marie are sneaking a bottle of champagne out to the dock. I promised we’d join them.” She drops her voice to a whisper. “I can’t wait to slip out of these shoes—they’re killing me.” Catherine’s long gown hides five-inch heels, an effort to disguise her height. At six-foot-two, I tower over her. “Trust me, a million other places I’d rather be too.” Which is turning out to be a bold-faced lie. The closer we get to the girl, the louder my mother’s cackle echoes over the white noise of laughter, small talk, and music. Life without Dad and my brother hasn’t been easy for her the past year—hell, it hasn’t been easy for either of us. But somehow she’s managed to rise from the ashes of grief like a fiery phoenix, this evening’s gala the final step to full-on resurrection. Me? I’m still buried under the wreckage. Catherine hangs on to me. This new girl has shoved her right out of her comfort zone. I feel guilty about it—because even though I shouldn’t be staring, I am. What’s left of the painted heart on the girl’s lips cracks on our approach, revealing a small gap between her teeth. “Hello again,” I say, warmth spreading across my cheeks. She nods, stares. My face goes hot and I’m at a loss for words. Catherine’s fingers move from my elbow to my shoulder, and tighten with a possessive squeeze. She crooks her neck, leans into me, and her blond hair spills over my tux. “I don’t know what’s gotten into my boyfriend tonight. Must be the alcohol in the punch.” She smiles, but even from my view it looks more like a sneer. “I’m Catherine.” The girl’s lips part and I catch a flash of something silver in her mouth. My throat dries to sandpaper. Is that a tongue piercing? Jesus. Everything about this girl is sexy as hell. Catherine clears her throat, squeezes too tight. “And you are?” “Anne.” The girl smiles a little. “Anne Boleyn.”

Editorial Reviews

"Students of history already know where this is headed, but Ius' creative interpretations of the facts are seductive, and she weaves an intriguing web around the doomed lovers. Her prose evokes both the intoxication of teen lust and the treacherous social landscape of adolescence. The first-person narration, alternating between Anne and Henry, draws a layered portrait of two flawed players in a rigged game who are simultaneously affecting and a bit unlikable in their addled decision-making. The end of the affair has a cinematic flair. Clever and compelling storytelling from a promising writer."