Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Review DREAMING ANASTASIA: A Novel of Love Magic and the Power of Dreams by Joy Preble

DREAMING ANASTASIA: A Novel of Love, Magic and the Power of Dreams
by Joy Preble
Published September 1st 2009 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Paperback, 320 pages

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights inching towards Top Picks

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.

All I had to do was read the title of this book to know I was interested, not to mention I thought the cover was pretty, and lets face it, I like pretty covers. I have always enjoyed stories of the Romanovs, especially Anastasia. One of my favorite cartoon movies is Anastasia. I know, kind of corny, but I love it! The premise sounded so interesting to me, that a modern girl was connected to Anastasia in some way, with a mysterious guy who has been searching for her. It was all right up my ally -- and I was NOT disappointed.

The writing was smooth, the story flowed well, and the plot was very interesting. It combined Russian history, fairy tale lore and Rasputin style magic. The book switches from different points of view -- Anastasia, Anne and Ethan -- and they were all written well and the voices were individual enough that it was easy to know which one I was reading.

Honestly my biggest complaint about this book was the font they chose for some letter/journal type entries that Anastasia writes to her family. I don't like cursive to begin with, and then it was messy and over-flowy at the same time. It took me a while to get used to it.

It is very clean so you don't need to worry about content. The romance was believable, the history intriguing. Anne is a great character -- so true to life! She doesn't take all of this paranormal stuff without questioning it, and I love that about her. Too often in Paranormal YA lit the character is just like oh, cool magic (or vampires, or werewolves, or wizards or...you fill in the blank) are real and I'm just going to accept that with not questioning it at all.

In the end I liken this book to a YA version of The Historian with it's basis in Romanov Russian lore rather than Dracula. Definitely a good read!


Torri said...

This sounds really good, I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the review.

Cami Checketts said...

Thanks for the review. I will definitely add this book to my list,

Ratliffs said...

This sounds like a really good book!! If you like Anastasia, check out The Diamond Secret: A Re-telling of Anastasia by Suzanne Weyn. It was pretty good and cute too!

FrecklesandDeb said...

I love the cover. Thanks for sharing about it. Definitely sounds like a book to add to my stack.

Aubrey (AKA Stacey) said...

You know what is funny, I like this cover better than the actual printed cover! It is the same except for this ghostly picture of Evan in the left hand side, and he looks demonic and not my idea of what Evan looks like at all. I was sad to see that addition.