The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I cannot even begin to express to everyone how much I loved this book. I am both extremely sad and extremely happy that this isn't a trilogy. I am 100% sure I would have bawled my eyes out if I had to wait for the next book. That's not to say that if another book happens to come out I won't read it because I will read anything that Renee Ahdieh writes and I mean anything. It could be about flying raccoons or a one legged murderer, I don't care. Her writing is so incredibly beautiful. She has a way of writing terrible things but still making them beautiful, almost peaceful. I am not a writer of any kind so I don't have the right words to describe it. But I love it.
I loved seeing all the characters grow. Shazi is so incredibly strong. She was in the first book, but I feel like in this one that she grows stronger as an individual. She learns new things about herself and she tries to explain things the right way to Tariq, she makes new friends and she makes nice with her sister. We also learn a whole lot about her sister. She's growing up too and she wants to help Shazi and she wants to love the boy that she's always loved with out having to be meek about it. I fell in love with her sister. She was a strong side character. Tariq, I did not like. He was extremely selfish and it got people hurt. Towards the end he got better but it was still hard for me to let go of my grudge. Then there's Khalid. Love of my freaking life Khalid. I love that he doesn't try to hide what he feels for Shazi, even in front of what he sees as enemies. I love that he gets close with Shazi's sister. That moment where they connected in the tent was amazing. They both wanted a sibling and after that moment they acting like siblings. I love that everyone got to see him as he really was and not the monster everyone said he was. It's easy to see that they were wrong and that he is a good person.
What I loved most about this book was the relationship between Shazi and Khalid. I loved that she was able to be herself and in doing that she brought Khalid out of his shell. I loved that she got his smiles and kind words. And that ending!! The little epilogue was amazing! There could not have been a better end. There was not one single thing I didn't like about this book. That rarely happens. It was written perfectly. There just aren't enough words.
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