Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

Published September 1, 2009.

Author website.

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.com)

I got to just about under halfway before I put DREAMING ANASTASIA down.  I couldn't invest myself in it.  It's not that the writing was bad or it wasn't interesting.  I just felt it was a bit . . . ridiculous.

As if I haven't read absolutely ridiculous books in my day.  Or currently.  The majority of what I read is inherently ridiculous.  But I just wasn't feeling DREAMING ANASTASIA.  I don't think it's anything I can specifically put my finger on.  I don't believe my move had an influence because I was reading other books just fine.  So can't chalk it up to not being able to invest myself in the story.  I just felt all of the little pieces that knit the story together were one contrivance after another.  From Anne being a descendant of this brotherhood explaining her dreams and weird powers that randomly manifest when the shit hits the fan to the shit itself embedding itself in the fan blades I wasn't buying it from the beginning.  It felt more like a finely fit cluster of puzzle pieces than something organic that grew into its own story.  That every piece of the DREAMING ANASTASIA story was meticulously crafted and set in place, as if strategizing a chess game where the mover of the piece is the one in control as opposed to the piece itself.  I felt led along and each element in the story was displayed to me as if I were at a museum exhibit.

It's not inherently a bad thing.  Like I said, there was nothing wrong with the writing.  I liked the dialogue between all of the characters.  That in and of itself felt genuine.  It was absolutely action-packed right from the beginning and the Romanov history was definitely an interesting aspect of it all.  I just wasn't connecting with it.

Ban Factor: High - Fairy tales come to life and chicks with magic powers.  Someone's got some devil in 'em.
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