Since when did YA reads hit my radar? Since books like this – with a hint of mystery, fantasy, and the adrenaline of youth all rolled into one…
—Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble—
What would you do if your nightmare turned out to be more than
just a dream—and the only way to stop it was to believe the impossible?
Anastasia Romanov knows she should be dead; she watched her family fall in a hail of gunfire. Instead, something, or someone, saved her. Trapped and scared in a magical hut with a witch who may be friend or foe, she begins to come to grips with the truth about her situation: that some fates are WORSE than death.
In her dreams, sixteen year old Anne Michaelson is somewhere else. She is someone else. The dreams feel as real as her waking life and they terrify her. This is not good for her social life! Aside from that, Anne thinks her life is pretty ordinary – until she runs into handsome, mysterious, and (okay) annoying Ethan on her way to chemistry class. Now Anne has powers she doesn’t understand, a history-altering mission she doesn’t want, and a growing attraction to a blue-eyed stranger that seems to be stalking her! And when Ethan realizes that Anne is the girl he’s been searching for, things start to get a little surreal! Despite her skepticism and reluctance, Anne quickly realizes that you don’t need to be imprisoned to be trapped! Stir in the doomed Duchess Anastasia, who is not quite as dead as the history books say, and the Baba Yaga, a legendary witch from Russian folklore, and you’ve got Dreaming Anastasia by debut novelist Joy Preble.
Joy Preble’s experience with Russian legends developed through her crazy maternal grandmother, who had been one of TWENTY children! The story goes that her grandmother’s family didn’t even notice when she ran off to America at sixteen, married badly, raised four children on her own and was the least grandmotherly of grandmothers a girl could ever hope for (despite her amusing and insane tales of the Bolsheviks and tsars). No warm and fuzzies there, only admonitions for Joy to eat her vegetables so she would be strong enough to survive the impending pogroms!
My Thoughts: This book was a wonderful mix for me – not only as a YA read – but to me it dabbled in so much more. There is history to this book with Baba Yaga and Anastasia Romanov. There is the taste of fantasy and the essence of mystery…. basically it had a lot of my favorite genre’s all roled up into one neat little binding.
I have to say I loved the story line based around Baba Yaga (I love folklore!)
Baba Yaga is a witch-like character in Slavic folklore. She flies around on a giant mortar, kidnaps (and presumably eats) small children,and lives in a house which stands on chicken feet. In most Slavic folk tales, she is portrayed as an antagonist; however, some characters in other mythological folk stories have been known to seek her out for her wisdom, and she has been known on occasion to offer guidance to lost souls, although this is seen as rare.
Strong characters, I found I really enjoyed the connections between Ethan and Anne. Tess was great comic relief and reminded me a lot of my own best friend when I was that age….
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I started it last weekend during the big 150 mile bike ride and read it during breaks and at night. For me this was a book I could not, and didn’t want to, put down.
This book was sent to me from Sourcebooks
I would rate this a PG13 rating for some language and sexual content