The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. No spoilers.
Sometimes I forget how important it is for a writer to read. It’s been a while since my last book review. It’s been a while since my last book. But diving into The Wrath & The Dawn was like riding a bike, and I finished it this morning*, having started on Christmas Eve.
I’ve been meaning to read this book for years. I first picked it up in twelfth grade. I had been on a streak of Holocaust stories including The Diary of Anne Frank, Hanna’s Briefcase, and Yellow Star. It blew my mind (and still does) at the scale of destruction and death that one man managed to cause, and these stories of survival and humanity in the face of such horrors were amazing to me. The Book Thief would have shown me the war from a very different angle, had I gotten beyond the first chapter at that time.
A couple of months ago, I showed my teacher a first chapter I had written. It was all I had of what might eventually become a novel, and it was told from the perspective of the devil. My teacher quite liked it, and he suggested I read The Book Thief because it was narrated by Death. By now, I had completely forgotten the first chapter I’d read years ago, but it piqued my interest and after class I went to the library and borrowed it.
Let me tell you, it was definitely worth getting through the slow first chapter to read the rest of it.
Patricia McCormick’s Sold is a thought-provoking YA novel about a young girl who is unknowingly sold into prostitution.
Lakshmi is a brave character who starts out as a twelve year old girl in the Himalayas of Nepal. Her mother is desperately trying to feed her and her baby brother, and her stepfather gambles away what little they have and buys himself luxuries with any of his winnings. When a flood comes through their town, the family’s crops are washed away and Lakshmi goes to work in the city as a maid. However, having never left her small mountain village before, Lakshmi doesn’t realize until too late that her destination isn’t just a city–it’s in another country. And far from doing housework, Lakshmi is one of many girls sold to work in a place called “Happiness House” as a prostitute.