Friday, 8 January 2010

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Sorry it's a bit late, but it's here! By request by a few Twitter followers, this was the first book from my pile to read.

Dreaming Anastasia
Joy Preble

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…

Maybe this is the history nerd coming through, but this book was insane. There was a lot about the history I never learned and a Russian folklore too. And I found one of the Russian words that was taught very helpful in real life.

But the actual storyline was very unique. It's definitely a new take on the mystery of Anastasia Romanov. I loved the voices of the characters, how they all seemed to fit perfectly together, completely entwined. The past, the present, and the magic blend together in an astounding way.

The romance was wonderful too, though a little sudden. Though it was bound to happen, it seemed like all of a sudden they wanted each other. I found that a bit odd.

My only other complaint would be the pacing of the book. While needed, everything only happened in less than a week and I find that really hard to believe for the world that it was in. And the fact nobody seemed to care that Anne kept missing school. Maybe it's just me, but if I'm out sick and my mom calls attendance to tell the I'm sick, we STILL get a phone call to inform us I wasn't there that day.

I also need to be fair and put this warning out there: If you like history, this WILL make you crave more Anastasia Romanov. Sadly, there's not a lot of YA fiction about her. Very saddening for me, but hopefully I'll have one soon!

But I'd love to see more like this from Joy Preble, or a sequel. A sequel to this would be cool. Just sayin'.



  1. I saw your tweet link to this...My middle name is Anastasia so I have always been interested in Anastasia Romanov. It disturbs me that so many people are in this day and age writing books about her that discount the scientific findings that she in fact was murdered along side her family. It is very tragic yet misleading and irresponsible to teach otherwise at this point. I don't know the rest of the story line in this book or even if that it what they say. I am just voicing my opinion about a woman who I wish had escaped and there really was a happy ending for her life.

  2. I love, despite the fact that it's a tragedy, the story of Anastasia :)

  3. I have this book on my wishlist. It sounds like a fun bit of historical fiction.

  4. I really like historical fiction and especially like mystery type stuff. I'm halfway through this one and I also thought that everything was happening way too quickly. The mc just accepted everything Ethan was telling her, so I felt that the writing was a bit awkward, but maybe I'll get into it later on. :)

  5. Thanks for the review! I'm glad I've left you wanting more. And to Michele who left a comment, I'd love you to read and then tell me how you feel about the ending I chose. I agree with you that it's important to do such a tragic woman justice. As for sequel, well, um, stay tuned to my blog for soon to come breaking news. That's all I can say right now! :) Oooh. Hope that grabbed your attention. And check out the new Sourcebooks Teen Fire fan site at



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