Friday, June 03, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Dreaming Anastasia

Author: Joy Preble
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
1st Released: September 2009
Pages: 320

My Favorite Line/Passage: The sky is murky gray as we step outside into the crush of students rushing for nine o'clock classes. Above us, black clouds mass ominously. The air feels charged, pulsing. Thunder booms once, then again. Out over the lake, a jagged bolt of lightning forms, cracking through the tumbling clouds.
    Inside me, there's a storm of another sort. Alex is dead--and I allowed it to happen.

Sixteen year old Anne thinks her life is pretty ordinary – until she smacks into handsome, mysterious, and okay, annoying Ethan on her way to chemistry class. Now Anne has powers she doesn’t understand, a history altering mission she may not want, and a growing attraction to this blue-eyed stranger. And Ethan- who at eighteen made some choices he’s starting to regret – realizes that Anne is the girl for whom he’s been searching – for a very, very long time. Stir in doomed Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia – who is definitely not quite as dead as the history books say – and Baba Yaga, the legendary witch from Russian folklore, and you’ve got DREAMING ANASTASIA, a contemporary YA fantasy that alternates between the voices of Anne, Ethan, and Anastasia as Anne and Ethan join forces to battle the bad guys and save Anastasia. Only problem is – no one’s quite sure who’s really bad and who’s good. And everyone has some secrets. 

Awesome Book & Recommended Read

My Thoughts: Paced with action and mystery in mind, the story quickly moves beyond the typical teen sighting--average girl notices the exquisite-looking boy--into a realm of magic and dark intrigue, twisting among ancient legends of gypsies where potions and spells are real. 

As Anne wonders who this boy is, she dreams of a girl trapped in a strange place and by an eerie power who she'll come to know as Baba Yaga--the witch. The more she dreams the more she realizes the girl is real and she, Anne, is somehow linked to her. Tossing confusion into the mix is Ethan, who's original plan is to convince Anne to fulfill her destiny and save this girl, this Anastasia, but his past brings dangers he didn't foresee as his heart takes more than just a liking to Anne.

Their relationship is volatile at times and soft at others. The getting-to-know-you stage is amped up by the mysteries encroaching on them and the reader can't help but cheer for them. 

Preble uses her characters to examine the act of trust and giving of oneself for another. In the end, the one who sacrifices the most doesn't always win. Life is a choice yet a gamble. And in this tale, it's up to the reader to decide who the true winner really is. 

Joy Preble's WEBSITE.


  1. Great review. Sounds interesting and something I'd really enjoy--so onto the To Be Read list it goes!

  2. Great to hear, Kelly. I really liked book II, also. But that review is for later. :)

  3. I will put this on my TBR list. Thanks and great review.

  4. Okay, this is so going on my TBR closer to the top of the pile like, IMMEDIATELY. I loved your review of it, short, sweet, and to the point. Thank you, so much for sharing your thoughts. And, also, can I just say that the cover of this book is gorgeous and I do love stories like this. :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung

  5. Thank you, soulunsung. I always wonder if I should do a longer review. Sometimes I do. This one just flowed easily. You'll have to get book II, HAUNTED. I liked that one even better. :) Review to come soon...


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