My Book Review: Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

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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


Usually I read through the prologue, do not understand it, finish the book, come back to reread the prologue and understand it.  Dreaming Anastasia was an exception, because I did not come back to reread the prologue.  I completely forgot there even was a prologue until I flipped open my book and found it there.  What does that say about this book?  Well, we can take it positively, but let’s start with the negatives.


When I finished Dreaming Anastasia, I quite liked it.  It’s a historical fiction book, with a twist on it, which made it quite interesting to read.  I also learnt a bit from this book, although at the end I was a bit confused which was true and which was false.  It did become a bit predictable by the last few chapters, and when romance fully developed it got a bit cheesy…


Oops, I got a bit sidetracked there.  I was supposed to be saying how not going back to reread the prologue was negative.  To put it bluntly, I did not go back to reread it because I didn’t really care much for the beginning anymore.  You do need to know that this would be because I had the sequel sitting next to me, and a very special book to read.  This special book will be in Thursday’s post, so do come back for it.


Another negative I found (completely prologue irrelevant) was the annoying font the author used for the letter/journal.  I’m still not sure which of those it is, because there is no possible destination for the letter to go, but it seems to be directed at a certain audience and was written in a journal format.  Never mind that though, the annoying part was trying to decipher the text itself.  To this day, there is still this one name that is written over and over in normal font and scribbly font that I cannot remember, probably because it first appeared in the scribbly font and I see that instead.  It was those parts that took the longest to read, but maybe it’s because I am bad at reading cursive.  Maybe it’s far too much of a fancy cursive.


The plot was really interesting because I had never read about the Romanovs before.  In fact, before reading Dreaming Anastasia I had about absolutely zero knowledge on Russia.  Now I know a little, and I can’t wait to read the sequel.  More important things stand in the way of me and the sequel right now, so my motivation to read it is dropping slightly.


Overall I liked the plot and the storyline, but along the way I could pick up a few negatives.  I must compliment on the cover, apart from the ‘ghostly’ man glaring in the background which is a bit creepy.  He probably represents the evil guy in the story, but it’s creepy nonetheless.  I would rate this higher, if not for the ‘demeriting’ along the way.  I rate Dreaming Anastasia 3.5 of 5 stars. For other books of this kind see: Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson Review and Tamar by Mal Peet