Anne Michaelson is trying to forget everything that happened last year. But it's hard to do when her heart aches for Ethan and there's a wild-haired woman stalking her...
First I would like to thank Cindy at Princess Bookie for running so many book contests earlier this year. I won this signed book from her site. I was really excited to read it because I had read the first book when it was free to download on Amazon to celebrate the release of book two. Dreaming Anastasia really sucked me in. Since I'm not used to e-books I ended up reading it all in one day because it was hard to find a good place to stop!
Haunted starts later the same school year. In the first book it is the fall of Anne's junior year. Now it is now the summer after. It is the summer after Anne discovered that she has magic, that Baba Yaga is a real witch and not just as story, and that spells can be real. Ethan has been gone for months and in order to feel normal Anne has been dating Ben, a lifeguard at the pool. Ben loves her, but she isn't sure how she feels about him. her mother is still coping badly with her brothers death from cancer, her best friend is still funny and outspoken, and now there is a crazy haired mermaid haunting her.
Ethan comes back into Anne's life at the same time the woman shows herself to be a Rusalka, a Russian mermaid that seduces men into the water and to their deaths. In just a few days everything falls apart again and Anne and her friends have to deal with Baba Yaga, her horsemen and the house on chicken legs in the forest.
Within all the magic and myth, Anne is still trying to find a way to be herself and find balance. Mostly she wants time to be a teenager, to spend time with her family and see them heal from the loss of her brother, to find love, and to be a friend. More mysteries and family history is revealed and comes to light and the book is very open to another installment since she is tasked with something at the end.
Seeing Anne try and try to make Ben the choice of her heart so that she could feel normal and finding that it wasn't working felt real to me. i think a lot of times in high school both girls and boys make choices in dating life for reasons outside of how they actually feel. Who will their friends be impressed if they date or hook up with? Who will help to open doors into certain clubs or groups? Who is going to make them look good? Rather than thinking, who is going to let me be myself? Who is really going to listen to and care about me for me? We all need to learn to ask the hard questions and be more true to what is inside of us.
Russian folklore is new to me. I had always thought of mermaids as in the Disney Little Mermaid sense, so seeing them as something more dark and sinister was an interesting twist. I am wondering if the mermaids in the new Pirates of the Caribbean might be more along the same line as the Rusalka in this book.
I am glad I had the opportunity to read this book and add a signed copy to my shelves! I would recommend it and will be looking out for more books by this author.
Pub. Date: February 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Format: Paperback , 304pp
Age Range: Young Adult
Joy Preble grew up in Chicago and later moved to Texas. She has an English degree from Northwestern University and she teaches English to high school kids. Dreaming Anastasia is her first novel.