Title: Dreaming Anastasia
Author: Joy Preble (site)
Published: Published September 1st, 2009 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Price: $6.41 Book Depository $9.99 Amazon
Series: Dreaming Anastasia #1
Synopsis: 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… (Goodreads)
Initial Thoughts: I love all things Russian, so a book with it's roots in Russian mythology grabbed my attention immediately. The lovely cover didn't hurt, either.
Review: This is a really difficult book to review. I finished it over a week ago and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. For the first third of the book, I loved it. The characters were fresh and interesting. A mysterious, handsome young man shows up and starts following her. She confronts him and he apologizes and asks her to please have coffee with him so that he can explain: she tells him to get lost. I loved it! He tells her something completely insane that somehow feels like something she's always known....and she tells him he's insane and gets out of there. Basically, Anna is a no-nonsense character who's not about to get caught up in a lot of magical nonsense. Her reluctance to be the typical heroine of a supernatural YA novel was both hilarious and frustrating. You expect her to do one thing and she does something reasonable instead. Also, the romance brewing with the dark, handsome, mysterious stranger? She wasn't about to start dating a man two hundred years older than her. Her best friend was a great character, too. She seemed like the typical Sassy Sidekick, but she ended up being so much more. I loved these characters! That said, something about the story just didn't keep my attention. It felt a bit drawn out (but it wasn't a long novel) and somehow vague. There's a sequel, and I would love to read more about these characters, but it's not at the top of my list. News Flash: sequel contains a love triangle and a murderous mermaid! This one just moved up the list quite a few spots.
Quick Review: A girl discovers a mysterious connection to Anastasia Romanov when she realizes that there is a handsome young Russian following her. The characters were amazing and the story was very out-of-the ordinary and interesting, but it dragged a bit. Definitely worth a read, but not the best book I've read lately.