March 31, 2010
Review: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Author: Joy Preble
Anastasia Romanov thought she would never feel more alone than when the gunfire started and her family began to fall around her. Surely the bullets would come for her next. But they didn't. Instead, two gnarled old hands reached for her. When she wakes up she discovers that she is in the ancient hut of the witch Baba Yaga, and that some things are worse than being dead.
In modern-day Chicago, Anne doesn't know much about Russian history. She is more concerned about getting into a good college—until the dreams start. She is somewhere else. She is someone else. And she is sharing a small room with a very old woman. The vivid dreams startle her, but not until a handsome stranger offers to explain them does she realize her life is going to change forever. She is the only one who can save Anastasia. But, Anastasia is having her own dreams…
I had shared the book trailer for this book with my students and had the book out to show them. They were working on some assignments, so I picked it up and thought I'd read just a bit at the beginning to get the feel for it. I do this often, so I can book talk a book better. Well to my suprise it really hooked me and pulled me into the story! I took it home and finished it that night! From the start I liked Anna. She seemed like a really nice girl caught up in something she didn't understand. And the mystery surrounding Ethan really intrigued me. The story is completely unrealistic, but like Anna I found myself believing in it! As I kept reading I was more and more curious how it was all going to end - especially because the story of Anastasia is true. I found the author worked out the ending perfectly leaving me satisfied and not rolling my eyes in disbelief. (trust me I've seen endings that had me rolling my eyes because they were so silly). But what I really found interesting was the play of present day against history and against the world of folktales. The author did a great job threading the three together. Throughout the whole book she brought all the different threads together seamlessly, even adding in a few suprises. At the end I left the book very satisfied. OH the only thing I would've liked more of was a bit more romance, but I guess that wasn't the focus of the book so it made sense to not have much!
Final thought: Good book that had mystery, suspense and a few suprises
Best stick-with-you image: Baba Yaga's hands detached running around!
Best for ages: 12+
Side note you should know - there are a few pages written in cursive. I could read them, but they did slow me down. They CANNOT be skipped or you'll miss important details.