Book Description via Goodreads:
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…
Anne dreamt that she was someone else. In her dreams, things seemed real. Things felt real. But are they really? She doesn’t know what the dreams mean or if they even mean anything at all. Then weird things started to happen. A gorgeous stalker told her that she was the one he has been looking for and that Anne needed to fulfill her destiny.
Joy Preble took a simple fairytale, one I used to read when I was a kid, and fused it with the colorful history of the Romanov family and an ancient Brotherhood. The Russian nature of the novel made it all the more interesting with the tidbits of history and just the right amount of magic, twisted and combined to become what is now Dreaming Anastasia. I loved the fairytale aspect so much! Everything is not always so simple and yes, in this novel, things were not so simple. In fact, they were very complicated. The magic that compelled Baba Yaga to do the will of the Brotherhood, the magic Ethan and Anne shares, the magic in blood. There was always something behind these things.
The alternating perspectives of Anne, Ethan and Anastasia allowed me to understand the story piece by piece, according each character’s history and truth. The characters were very alive, from Anne, the logical, to Tess, the rambling best friend. I believe that I found another YA gentleman in Ethan or Etanovich, an immortal guy who has been through a lot. His life was something I was fond of reading about. Another thing I liked in Dreaming Anastasia, were the letters of Anastasia to her family. They held so much emotion and passion that were kept alive through the years.
Although at times I found myself having more questions than answers, it was worth the wait. Because the last few pages of this novel were very intense. Secret after secret, discovered. It also reminded me of the Disney movie about Anastasia. This novel and that movie had the same vibe for me, especially during the last few pages. Dreaming Anastasia is a unique fantasy novel that combines magic and history of the Russian culture. I recommend this original tale to fans of magic, fantasy and history.