September 6, 2009

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Dreaming Anastasia
Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (September 1, 2009)
320 pages, paperback
$9.99 (Amazon.com, 09/06/09)
Plot: 5
Setting: 5
Writing: 5
Originality: 5
Characters: 5
Passion: 3
Overall: 28/30 = 93% = A
Cover/Title Bonus: 5
I picked this up while at BEA in May. I read it a few months ago. I’ll be giving away my copy of the ARC in the next post.
Summary (Amazon.com):
What really happened to Anastasia Romanov?
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…
Plot:
Anne dreams about Anastasia being locked inside a hut with an old, ugly woman with a cat. She meets Ethan, a “wicked hot”, blue eyed guy who is pretty much stalking her. Strange things begin to happen. They are pursued by crazy men who want to kill Anne.

I enjoyed the plot immensely. It was full of mystery. The pace was great. I read this pretty fast because I wanted to see how everything merged together.

Setting:
The majority of the story takes place in Chicago where Anne lives. There are the flashes back to Anastasia that’s being held in the strange land where Baba Yaga’s hut is located.

Writing:
This is another book written from multiple POVs. It switches between Anne, Ethan, Anastasia and Anastasia’s letters to her family. It’s pretty cool and I enjoyed being able to understand what was going on in the other characters thoughts. I thought that was a great choice for the writer to do considering the plot was pretty crazy with everything going on.

Originality:
This was a pretty awesome book. I learned a lot about the Russian Romanov family and it was handled with great creativity that just worked my brain like crazy! The story line of Anastasia being captured for all those years by Baga Yaba and the ones that helped capture her was a true piece of work. The detail that Joy put in to make it all work together was awesome.

Characters:
Anne was a pretty average teenager. She had a cool best friend, Tess. Learning about Anne’s family history was pretty cool. It all came together in the end.
Ethan is a cool guy. I enjoyed him in this book. He’s very strong and handsome. He helps Anne work through everything and in the end he realizes all the truths. It’s refreshing. I know I’m being vague, sorry! :) I don’t want to say too much and give it all away.

Passion:
There’s a real attraction between Anne and Ethan. Although it’s really not the point to the book in the least. The mystery behind the dreams is the main focal point. However, it’s another refreshing thing to see their relationship evolve around the huge issue at hand.

Overall:
This book was very interesting. I loved the history element to it. I loved the action. And I enjoyed the underlying romantic element to the story. I’m a huge fan of historical fantasy and this did a wonderful job of keeping me interested.

Cover/Title Bonus:
The cover is what stopped me while roaming the Sourcebook Jabberwocky booth at BEA. I love the slight insert of Ethan’s profile in on the left hand side. It’s very cool. I also like the title. It’s not my preferred title but it works.
This was Joy Preble’s debut novel. She did excellent! I will be following her and seeing what she has in store for future books.

Connect with Joy:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Class of 2K9

What do you think? Have you read it? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?
Giveaway coming up next! Enter to win my copy of the ARC of Dreaming Anastasia!

Jess Sig

15 comments:

Donna [Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings] on September 6, 2009 at 4:30 PM said...

This looks like a good read. The name Baba Yaga sounds familiar for some reason, I feel like I should know who this is...

~Mary on September 6, 2009 at 4:58 PM said...

this is ONE book I'm really interested in!
I hope I win your ARC!
I'm crossing all m body parts.

Cherie J on September 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM said...

Sounds awesome. I was already intrigued by the plot but now I am even more so now that I haved read your review.

Angela C said...

I'm very intrigued by Russian history and the idea that Anastasia might have survived somehow. I'm excited that it's getting good recommendations from bloggers that I follow and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Margay on September 6, 2009 at 5:39 PM said...

I love how you blocked out this review - it made it so much easier to get a feel for the book. I was intrigued by the title and the cover anyway and i have been intrigued by the Anastasia story for awhile now, especially after a certain cartoon movie came out, so I really want to read this book.
Margay

Lizzy on September 6, 2009 at 5:45 PM said...

I love reading about anything to do with the Romanov family, and the mystery surrounding their deaths. This book sounds really interesting, and I like that it also focuses on a few different characters. Great review, I'll add this one to my list!

Wanda on September 6, 2009 at 6:28 PM said...

I love the plot. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Tynga on September 6, 2009 at 9:13 PM said...

It really sounds great! thanks for sharing!

Jill of The O.W.L Blog on September 6, 2009 at 9:17 PM said...

I've seen this book on a few blogs. I'm usually not one for books with historical fiction, but this one has really made me curious and want to read it.

Great review - like the breakdown.

Morning Glow on September 6, 2009 at 10:58 PM said...

Great review! I will have to check this book out, especially since it got an A!

Thanks!
Morning Glow

Jenn on September 6, 2009 at 11:14 PM said...

Awesome review! I love historical fiction, and this one has a dark, blue-eyed guy so even better. (:
Hm, the different point-of-views sound interesting, and now I'll definitely have to read this book sometime. Thanks!

DeNiSe MaDnEsS on September 6, 2009 at 11:59 PM said...

I love books that are based of where I live chicago I always loved the store behind the Romanov the last royal family !!! Im really lookind forward to reading this book !!!

donnas on September 7, 2009 at 1:10 AM said...

Great review. I have been reading a lot about this one and am anxious to get my hands on a copy. Glad to see you enjoyed it and it was well done.

...MY NAME IS ELENI AND I AM A BOOKAHOLIC... on September 7, 2009 at 2:30 AM said...

Great review, this book looks really good :)

-Eleni

Alexa on September 7, 2009 at 12:18 PM said...

This book sounds amazing. I can't wait to read it!

 

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