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Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of Dreams Paperback – September 1, 2009
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"The novel is cleverly written in alternating points of view (Anastasia, Anne, and Ethan) and takes you on a ride of paranormal fantasy, contemporary and historical fiction, with a little bit of romance. It's the perfect blend that will attract a variety of readers." - Examiner.com
"I really enjoyed this book. It made me want to research the Romanov family and the fairy tale character of Baba Yaga... DREAMING ANASTASIA is easy to read and an enjoyable story. Thank you, Ms. Preble, for a great read." - TeensReadToo.com
"Dreaming Anastasia is a story of love and loss on many different levels. It was a wild, fun and sweetly romantic ride." - Galleysmith.com
"Dreaming Anastasia is a fun young adult fantasy that takes the reader back and forth from current-day Chicago to the time of the Romanovs, and throws in elements of a Russian folktale for added chills." - MsBookish.com
"Joy Preble has given readers an intriguing tale of magic, tragedy, love, and betrayal... Be prepared to fall into this story; your heart will ache for the characters and what they've suffered, especially Anastasia. Lovers of fantasy and romance will not be disappointed, and a sudden twist at the end will leave readers eyes wide and mouths agape... Dreaming Anastasia will most definitely be gracing my shelves from now on. " - YABooksCentral.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, this is a badly edited book that uses the currently popular YA theme of the very-old-but-smokin'-hot man lusting after a teenage girl. The plot had promise, but the characters were so one-dimensional that they all but killed my interest in the story.
I liked the inclusion of the Baba Yaga element, but that sort of fell flat for me, too. For a much better novel that incorporates this folk tale, try Orson Scott Card's Enchantment.
After reading this book, I'm left with a fairly sour taste in my mouth. But at least I know that Ethan's eyes are blue. How could I forget that fact, after Anne mentions it more than 30 times?
Someone suggested this book to me because I have an advanced degree in Russian Studies, so it seemed like it would be up my alley. From the description on the jacket, it sounded promising, but alas, it was not to be. For the people who are liking the Russian culture lesson...eh. Almost every single Russian word or phrase she used in the book was misspelled to the point of changing the meaning of the word, mistranslated, or misused...unfortunately, all three in some cases. Here are two off the top of my head: it's matryoshka, not matroyshka. "Ya khachu videt'" means "I want to see", not "I want." And Etanovich? Really????
The Russian folklore and culture bits read like she pulled them off Wikipedia and for Romanov history, I suppose she probably read "Nicholas and Alexandra" (or watched the movie). There's no deeper understanding of any of the Russian cultural bits that she tries out, it's all very American and very, oh, it's Russia, let's throw in some gratuitous mentions of the ballet and Tolstoy!
Leaving history and culture aside, the writing is not good. The characters are complete cardboard (except maybe Anastasia, but it's hard to tell, because reading the impossible cursive font that most of her entries were written in was just too annoying after a certain point). Tess and Anne's dialogue is a sad approximation of how adults think teenagers speak--it all comes off stilted and unfunny even when it's trying to be witty. And it never ends--the plot is heavily reliant on dialogue, and the dialogue is the worst part! The story pacing is just...weird.Read more ›
But she keeps having a strange dream over and over again. This dream is about Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tzar Nicholas. Nicholas was the last reining Tzar of Russia and his whole family was gunned down in the basement of their house.
Then in walks Ethan. He is an attractive stranger who seems to know Anne and is stalking her.
Add a lacquered box that depicts the fairy tale of Baba Yaga along with the mention that her mother used to enjoy the stories of Russia as well, and you have a compelling story full of romance and mystery.
Oh, and did I mention the blue light coming off Anne's hands, or the arms that come from the sky to try to take Anne away, or the house on chicken feet?
I really enjoyed this book. It made me want to research the Romanov family and the fairy tale character of Baba Yaga. I loved the characters, especially Anne's best friend, Tess, who seems to be in the right place at the right time. She defines the expression, "I've got your back."
DREAMING ANASTASIA is easy to read and an enjoyable story. Thank you, Ms. Preble, for a great read.
Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
Joy Preble did a great job mixing history and folklore and turning it into a fascinating read. The characters are great. Anna and Ethan have great chemistry. Tess, Anna's best friend, is a true friend in every sense of the word. Anna has to search inside herself to discover the truth and unravel the mystery of Anastasia while trying to escape two different nemesis. The girl has her hands full.
Overall this is a good book. I like the modern-day twist on historical facts blended with Russian folklore. It also has action, adventure, mystery, and romance. Dreaming Anastasia was predictable at times, but still very enjoyable.
This is where it gets even weirder. The author makes an attempt at mixing the fictionalized historical parts with a Russian fairy tale/fable. It doesn't work at all. Baba Yaga send her detached hands down to wreck havoc and keep Anne and Ethan from Anastasia? Huh. And the three horsemen thing had a big lead up like it was important and feel flat to me.
The best part was the climax and conclusion although what happens to Anastasia is sort of a let down. The book has some good. The story is easy to read when sometimes thats just what I need. It is a page turner and it is definitely unique. My biggest complaint is that I just can't shake the thought that this story may be somewhat disrespectful to the Roamanov's. There are a lot of liberties taken with this book and thats fine, the story is 100 years old but it should still be a little more respectful. There is no feeling for the deaths of the family...even Anastasia's recollections don't seem to feel all that grief stricken.
I think I just wanted more from this book. And trust me there are MANY better YA books out there worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. I only know a little about the ANASTASIA story but enough to remember that people speculated she survived... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jenn721
It was an easy read with an interesting plot line. That pace was even and and really entertainingPublished 12 months ago by Catherine F. Evans
Couldn't get into this book, though it's not terrible. Starts off with a slice of life in Chicago, but just does not convey what it's like here (I live in Chicago) even with the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Kindle Customer
I accepted a review copy of Haunted which is the sequel to Anastasia Dreaming. As I don’t read books out of order I quickly read this one so I can start Haunted. Read morePublished on June 23, 2014 by Kathy Habel
Recommendation: 9. Read more
It starts out a bit slow, but quickly picks up pace to become a real page turner. I am excited to begin the second in the series...Haunted.Published on April 4, 2014 by Marla
I was struck by the cover art and have more than a passing interest in the Romanov family. This was a great read and the romance was barely there. Read morePublished on February 20, 2014 by Holly V