Author: Marie Marquardt
Genre: YA, contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: September 1, 2015
352 pages, hardcover (328 ARC)
Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
NOTE: I was provided with an ARC of this book from the publisher as Marie was on one of the panels I moderated at the Decatur Book Festival. This does not influence my review.
Dream Things True is essentially a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet but the boy is a white, upper-middle-class son of a senator and the girl is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. In terms of the characters, I really appreciated how flawed everyone was, because it felt real and relatable, even though my life falls nowhere near either of these characters.
I’m sure most of you won’t be surprised when I say one of my main issues was the relationship – because it developed WAY too quickly. There was a bit of instalove instalust almost right away, and it made me pretty uncomfortable. I think this took the focus away from the actual issues in the book and I would’ve appreciated a little less of the Romeo and Juliet inspiration here. I think the book could’ve benefited a lot had the (somewhat forced) relationship not driven the plot so much.
My favorite character is hands-down Whit. He was witty and smart, open-minded and oh-so-flawed, but that’s why I loved him. He was real. He stood up for what he believed in, and although he did some terrible things, he acknowledged what he’d done and worked towards fixing it. I also appreciated Alma a lot; she was honest and young and felt very realistic to me. I honestly probably could have done without Evan’s perspective though.
I appreciated the end of this one as well. Marie obviously knows what she’s talking about, and I think she did a great job of properly representing the tediousness of immigration and race and the issues surrounding it. I really respect the fact that Marie just presented the story as is – this is what happens and this is how our society is. I do feel like we could’ve gone a little bit deeper into some of the issues, however.
The bottom line: Dream Things True is a realistic, complex, dramatic, engaging story of immigration and young love. I had some issues with it, but I enjoyed it overall, and I would recommend it to fans of romantic tragedies.