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?
Sara Sargent at Simon Pulse has acquired debut author Dawn Ius‘s Anne and Henry, a contemporary retelling of the romance between King Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn, in which Henry is a wealthy, popular teen destined for political greatness, and Anne is the manic pixie dream girl who ensnares him and threatens to destroy the life he’s worked so hard to build. Publication is planned for fall 2015; Mandy Hubbard and Bree Ogden at D4EO Literary Agency negotiated the two-book deal for North American rights. – Right’s Report, Publisher’s Weekly (June 10th, 2014)
Here, ladies and gentleman, we have the author herself calling Anne a “manic pixie dream girl.” Can it be any worse?
Like many people, I too have developed a strange kind of fascination for Anne Boleyn. Maybe it’s because of the fact that she was so different from what the Tudors had expected to see. Maybe it was because this woman managed to impact English history like no other woman before her. I think my love for Anne Boleyn comes purely out of the fact that here we have a lady unjustly prosecuted and beheaded for only being herself. Needless to say, I started reading Anne & Henry with an abnormally high degree of enthusiasm.
Henry was a spineless piece of shit. Being a Tudor has placed some major responsibilities on him, and that’s okay. Without his father and brother, he was the only support system his mother had. And that was okay too. What wasn’t okay? Him letting everyone push him around, and dictate his actions. All his decisions, all his thoughts—the only thinking he did, all of it came from his cock. Here we have an example of a boy who is being prepped for taking over as President from the age of 17. Fucking seriously?! And the best part? He didn’t even want to do it. The only emotions he felt for Anne were that he thought she was “hot.” That is all.
Anne from Anne & Henry was rude, obnoxious and tried to hide her fear and hurt behind a false mask of bravado. I thought her motorcycle riding, her generally not giving a shit for other people’s opinions and her badass-ery would help me connect her to the real Anne Boleyn, but nope. She effectively let Henry destroy her, and all for what? Every time she could have improved on a situation, she thought about Henry—almost to the point of obsession—and made the situation worst. And just like his “feelings” for her, she only found him hot. I failed to see any real chemistry or love between the two of them at all.
And the secondary characters in this book—every single one of them—disgusted me. They were selfish, self-centric and self declared protectors of Henry’s proverbial President’s Office. Their main reason for hating Anne was because she just didn’t fit in with them, that she was all wrong for Henry, and that he could do better. Why? Because she rode a motorcycle? Or was it because she was not one of them in terms of being born with a platinum plated spoon in her mouth? Oh no wait, it has to be because she had Henry’s attention and his friends did not.
The most unfortunate part of this book is that right until the 65% mark, this book would have a 3 star read for me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters and reading the pitiful writing that was trying so hard to convince me that Anne and Henry were in love was very frustrating, and yet, I found myself strangely entertained by it all. A solid 3 star read. But after the 68% mark or so, things progressively went to hell. Everything, everything about this book made me want to cringe—the over drama, the stupid excuse for a student trial and if you know the story of King Henry VIII, you know how this all ends.
This book was a nightmare and I think we need to run far, far away from it. Not only is this book an insult to the memory of Anne Boleyn, it is also quite possibly the worst retelling I’ve ever read. Go home kids, nothing to see here.