Review: Anne & Henry

Dawn Ius - Anne & Henry
Published: September 1, 2015 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 304
Genres: Contemporary, Retellings, Young Adult
Find on: Amazon, Goodreads, Book Depository
Rating: 1/5

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'd hesitated in reviewing this.

Not for any reason, exactly. Lately, I've been writing a vast amount of negative reviews and it's starting to become a downer.

When Anne & Henry first surfaced, I was absolutely thrilled. A YA retelling of King Henry XIII and Anne Boleyn's origin? Could there be anything better?

Forced to be at a masquerade ball his mother is hosting, Henry Tudor is miserable. Surrounded by his friends, girlfriend, and wealth, there has yet to be a solution to #RichPeopleProblems. But being an entitled garbage can has its perks. Henry is the QB - even though he never participates in a game or practice - the student body president, an aspiring politician, and a Harvard go-getter. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Catherine, is only a lowly cheerleader.

So when Anne, an essential thrill, decides to crash the party, he's instantly besotted with her. His best friend, John, tries to make the moves on her but fails epically. At witnessing his newfound fascination with Anne, Catherine fumes.

As Anne attends school the next day, she's slutshamed into oblivion. She makes one sort-of friend, Sam, and Catherine, who has been recast as Regina George, approaches her with her girl clique and offers Anne the invitation to another party, where they trick her into dressing as a stripper.

Fitting in is overrated.

Then, Anne finds solace in Henry's arms, Henry distances himself from Catherine and his friends, says Fuck me for about 150 pages, and nearly dies in a drunk-driving accident.

Unable to actually learn, Anne decides to give Catherine another chance, so she attends another party with further ill-fated results. Henry shuns Anne, reconciles with his friends and family, and Anne resumes her place as a nobody.

I went through phases with these characters. Even though they're not characters, really. I'd liked Anne, at first, then hated her. I hated Henry, at first, liked about 1% of him, then resumed hating him. I never liked Catherine. Never liked John. Never liked any of the parents. This felt like a parody. Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, who were such remarkable figures in history, were shit on. The boys in this YA were disgusting sacks of shit. The highest title a girl had was cheerleader. Or society darling, rather? Anyway, I simply couldn't. Though the cover is absolutely gorgeous - seriously, I spent about five minutes admiring the book jacket, it honestly looks like a magazine spread - the book is intolerable. Next time, I'll watch a documentary.


  1. Oh I was not a fan of this one either. I also loved the cover but hated all the characters!

    1. Seriously! This book was such a letdown but the cover is so stunning!

  2. I had this weird feeling that I would hate this book. Something about Henry on the cover made me mad every time I saw it- he looked like such an ass! And as it turns out.. I guess he was! This sounds so, so awful, and I am really sorry it was such a letdown for you! I hope your next book is MUCH better :D
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. It had such a lovely cover, though! That's why I had such high hopes! I think that's what gets me, usually. Thanks, Shannon! :D

  3. The premise of this book sounds so promising, I love contemporary twist on historical characters - but it sounds like the book isn't worth picking up at all. Thanks for the honest review.

    Aentee at Read at Midnight.

    1. I know, right? I always love retellings! Maybe you should check it out, anyway. I would love to see your review! Thanks, Aentee! :D


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