Monday, September 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Dream Things True (With Giveaway)


Title: Dream Things True
Author: Marie Marquardt
Published: September 1st 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
Goodreads
Source: eARC courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story in which a wealthy Southern boy falls in love with an undocumented Mexican girl and together they face perils in their hostile Georgia town.

Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much -- except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There's too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she’s an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives."

Review: Two things I'm constantly seeking nowadays, in terms of YA novels, are originality and diversity. DREAM THINGS TRUE fits that bill. This is a novel that deals with current issues that will touch many hearts and leave readers wondering how many people must be going through this.

First off, this is a novel about Alma and Evan- two every people with incredibly different backgrounds. While Alma must keep her family and situation a secret, Evan's life is all about fulfilling expectations. Both characters are incredibly flawed yet somehow blend well together into what I can only describe as this sort of awry perfection. Evan lives a life of privileged and as he gets to know Alma, he begins questioning his beliefs and thoughts. His upbringing is nothing like hers. While this is occurring, Alma is dealing with her own struggles, one of which being how to become close to Evan without revealing that she's an undocumented immigrant.

What I loved about the novel is how it explored to very different classes and cultures. The Spanish included in the novel was a nice touch, though I often found myself google translating half of the dialogue (Hablo muy poco espanol- I think that's how you say it.). The writing was also another thing I adored. It felt flawless, so I found myself easily getting into the story and sticking with it. I actually finished this in one day.

Now, the romance itself can be categorized in the insta-love category. It felt all-consuming, which gave me mixed feelings. Typically, I prefer relationships to build, but I also think teenagers are very much all or nothing when it comes to romance. I understood it from that perspective. The downfall is I do think the story line took a backseat to the romance. I would've liked the novel to focus more on Alma's family and situation and slightly less on her relationship with Evan.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to fans of Simone Elkeles. It's one I won't be forgetting anytime soon. I'm definitely look forward to seeing what the author has in store for us next.

Rating:

3.5 Stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Marquardt is a Scholar-in-Residence at Emory University's Candler School of Theology and the author of Living Illegal: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration. She is widely published on issues of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. South. Marquardt has also worked as an advocate among immigrants in Atlanta. She is a founder and co-chair of El Refugio, a hospitality house near the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. Dream Things True is Marie's first young adult novel.

From Dream Things True (St. Martin's Griffin) by Marie Marquardt

Evan led her onto the dock, where a dozen people she didn’t know were climbing into ski boats. She watched as all of these strangers, presumably students at her new school, casually distributed themselves into boats.

Do teenagers own boats? Alma wondered. Evan led her onto his boat, where two other people were already rummaging around under the seats for life jackets. An athletic-looking girl with long brown hair threw her one.

“I’m Caroline,” she said, “and that’s Logan.” She motioned toward a short, muscular guy with a shaved head. He had his back to Alma, and was untying ropes from the boat. Hearing his name, he turned and grinned.

“¡Bienvenidos!” he said in terrible, Southern-accented Spanish.

“Just ignore him when he acts like an idiot,” Caroline said. “That’s what I do.”

Evan got behind the wheel and started the engine. Just as he was backing out, an amazingly beautiful girl came running down the dock.

“Evan, hon! Wait for me!” she called out.

The girl reached the edge of the dock and, without hesitating, leapt gracefully across the water and toward the boat. She was wearing nothing but a bright-red string bikini. Her sandy-blond hair bounced and shone like a model’s in a shampoo commercial.

Evan pulled her safely onto the boat, and she collapsed into the passenger seat.

“Thanks, sweetheart,” she said to Evan.

“This is Alma,” Evan said, nodding in Alma’s direction. “She’ll be starting at Gilberton next week. And this is Mary Catherine,” he said, grabbing onto the beautiful girl’s shoulder and squeezing hard. “She’s my perpetually late neighbor.”

“But he loves me anyway!” Mary Catherine proclaimed. Then she smiled, revealing perfect teeth to match her perfect body. Were they flirting? Alma felt a tightness in her chest, knowing that she was no competition for this girl.

The engine rumbled, and the boat lurched forward from the dock. Evan grasped Alma’s arm to steady her and then pulled her toward him. “Ready to learn how to drive?”

“You’re mocking me,” she called out above the noise of the engine. “I don’t think you even need a license to drive a boat,” Evan said.

“Plus, no brakes, so we’re safe.”

Keeping one hand on the steering wheel, he wedged her body in front of his and guided her hand to the throttle. “Do you want to go faster?”

“No.” The wind pressed her back against him, and she felt the heat of his chest through the T-shirt.

“Are you scared?” His lip brushed her ear as he spoke.

“Yes,” she said. Her body was off balance, as if the floor of the boat were shifting under her.

“Get over it,” he replied, lifting her hand gently and placing it on the throttle.

Together, their hands guided the throttle forward. She tried looking across the lake, in the direction that he was steering, but all she noticed was his hand on hers. The floor kept shifting. She wondered if this was what it felt like to be drunk. He slipped out from behind her.

“I’m gonna dig out the skis. Just keep going straight, Alma. It’s easy.”

She grasped the wheel hard to avoid falling back. The boat skittered over the water, and the wind fused Evan’s T-shirt to her practically bare skin. Alma tried hard to ignore the dull ache spreading at the pit of her stomach.

After a few minutes, Evan took the wheel. Caroline and Logan both dived into the water and began to swim fast as Evan tossed a ski rope in their direction.

“This should be entertaining,” he said as they wrestled with their slalom skis.

“Entertaining?” Alma asked. “Yeah, they’ll both show off.” “Are they, uh, a couple?”

“Most of the time. They fight all the time and break up every couple of months.”

Evan shoved the throttle forward and the boat lurched.

“Logan gets bored easily,” he said. “He’s always looking for a rush.” Logan and Caroline both popped out of the water, crisscrossing each other as they leapt and dived over the wake. “So they just break up for fun?”

“Yeah, I think it runs in his blood. Everybody says his dad was the same, back in the day. He stole boats and stuff, just for the hell of it.” He shrugged and continued, “Which is weird, since he’s the sheriff now.” The sheriff. Evan said it like it was nothing, like he was describing the color of Logan’s dad’s car, or his height—not like he knew this man had the power to throw people in jail and keep them there.

Evan gestured toward Logan and Caroline and winced. “That’s gotta hurt.”

Caroline was spinning in rapid circles as Logan did strange contortions with his arm.

Maybe, Alma thought, they were all so used to being around powerful people that they didn’t even notice it anymore. Maybe they never had.

“Come back here, Alma!” Mary Catherine called from the back of the boat. “I can’t hear what y’all are saying and I’m lonely.”

Alma glanced at Evan and shrugged. She made her way back and settled into a bucket seat next to Mary Catherine.

Alma wasn’t sure how to make conversation with Mary Catherine. She seemed so unapproachable—this girl who wore a bikini confidently, like she was hanging in comfy sweats. But within moments, it became clear that Mary
Catherine—or M.C., as Evan called her—was not your typical Southern belle.

“So, when did you and Evan start hooking up?” she asked. For starters, she was excruciatingly blunt.

“Uh, we’re just sort of friends,” Alma replied, shrugging.

“Alma, honey,” she said, “I’ve known that boy forever, and the way he looks at you, he doesn’t wanna be your friend.”

M.C. let out a deep, bellowing howl that sounded like it should come from a balding white guy with a beer gut. Alma was so surprised by M.C.’s laugh that she forgot to be embarrassed.

“OK.” Alma shrugged. “Maybe we’re not exactly friends. But we’re not hooking up.”

“Makes sense,” Mary Catherine responded, sort of talking to herself. “Evan doesn’t really hook up. Plus, I would have known.”

Confused and desperate to change the subject, Alma asked, “So how did you two meet?”

“Meet?” M.C. asked. “We’ve been neighbors for as long as either of us can remember. I mean, we used to play doctor together! I was the doctor. I always made Evan be the nurse.”
Mary Catherine bellowed again.

“So when you and Evan do hook up,” she said, “you can thank me for his gentle, nurturing touch.”

Now Alma was blushing.

“You mean, you and Evan were, uh . . .”

“Together? Lord, no. He’s like a baby brother to me, Alma. I think I went through puberty something like four years before he did.”

Alma and Mary Catherine turned to look at Evan, his perfectly toned arms casually gripping the steering wheel, his broad shoulders gleaming in the sun.

“My baby’s all grown up,” Mary Catherine continued. “Now, he’s what my grandmomma calls a ‘tall drink of water.’ ”

They both laughed, catching Evan’s attention.

“What are you ladies talking about back there?” he asked.

“Nothing that concerns you, Ev, sweetheart,” Mary Catherine re- plied. “You just drive the boat.”

“Not unless Alma gets back up here to finish her driving lesson,” Evan said, reaching his arm out toward her.

Mary Catherine laughed and nudged her out of the seat.

“You heard him,” she called out. “You better get on up there, darlin’, because I’m sure as hell not driving.”

Alma closed her eyes and stood up slowly, her head spinning and her legs quivering.

He took her hand and pulled her body back toward the wheel, and she realized, finally, the meaning of the word “swoon.”



Giveaway: Thanks to the amazing team at St. Martin's Griffin, I am giving away one copy of DREAM THINGS TRUE. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends September 30th. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

  1. I love the concept of this book and have been waiting a long time to read something like this! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I heard good things on twitter about this book. I'm curious to see what all the talk is about.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    -Rosie
    @rkgutmann
    literaryhedonist.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. The cover of this book is beautiful and I've heard amazing things about it!

    -Kelly
    @happyendingblog
    herestohappyendings.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. How Dr Eboehi The Great Spell Caster help Bring Back My Ex Lover: Husband

    Hello My name is Kathie Sherine, Am from USA, Texas. and I am very happy for posting on this blog on how a great spell caster helped me in bringing back the love of my life. I know there are lots of women like me out there who have done so much to have back their Husband, I am here to tell you all to search no further because the answer is right here. I sincerely believe if there are up to five spell casters like Dr Eboehi this world would be a better place, I have seen people complaining on how fake spell castes promised to help them but couldn't but with Dr Eboehi I tell you your problem is solved already. My Husband and I had been apart for 3 YEARS and I couldn't bear without living without him, I have tried everything to have him back but nothing was working until I saw numerous testimonies about a spell caster called Dr Eboehi and how great his work is. I contacted him via email (eboehispellcaster@yahoo.com) immediately and follow the step that he ask and in the next 48 hours my lover called me and was eager for my forgiveness and that he wished nothing more than to have me in his arms forever. I filled so much joy and happiness that I found Dr Eboehi, I hope you all here will find this testimony of mine and get your husband back in just 48 hours thanks... contact his email: eboehispellcaster@yahoo.com or call (208) 627-4749

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mi nombre es katherine soy de Chicago am 25
    años i casaron a la edad de 23 i
    tener un solo hijo y yo estaba viviendo
    felizmente .Después de un año de mi matrimonio mi
    el comportamiento del marido llegó a ser tan extraño y yo
    en realidad no entender lo que estaba pasando,
    empacó fuera de la casa a otra
    mujer que amo tanto que nunca
    El sueño de de perderlo, trato lo mejor posible
    para asegurarse de que mi marido volver a
    mí, pero todo fue en vano, lloro y lloro búsqueda
    en busca de ayuda, lo discutí con mi mejor amigo
    Allix y que prometen ayudar a mí. Ella dijo
    me de un hombre llamado Dr. vudú, me dijo que él
    es un gran hombre y un hombre real que pueden
    ser de confianza y no hay nada en relación con
    cuestiones de amor que no puede resolver y me dijo
    la forma en que tiene ayudar a innumerable cantidad de
    personas en la restauración de su relación. yo era
    Realmente convence, me puse en contacto rápidamente su correo electrónico
    abordar en voodoospelltemple66@gmail.com.
    Explico todo mi problema con él, me dijo
    que no debería preocuparse de que todos mis problemas
    será resuelto inmediatamente. Me dijo lo
    que hacer para conseguir mi marido de vuelta y lo hice, él
    dijo después de 3 días mi marido va a volver
    para mí y empezar a mendigar, y lo que realmente
    sucede cuando dijo que estaba muy sorprendido, esto es tan increíble.
    A Dios sea la gloria nuestra relación es ahora
    muy estrecho y los dos vivimos felices de nuevo. Si
    usted tiene el mismo problema, Póngase en contacto con él
    ahora (voodoospelltemple66@gmail.com) y
    obtener su problema a resolver de una vez por todas. estoy vivo testimonio de ello.
    (1) Si usted quiere que su ex atrás.
    (2) si usted siempre tiene pesadillas.
    (3) ¿Quieres ser promovido en su oficina.
    (4) ¿Quieres mujeres / hombres que corren detrás de usted.
    (5) Si desea un niño.
    (6) ¿Quieres ser rico.
    (7) ¿Quieres atar su marido / esposa sea
    tuyo para siempre.
    (8) Si usted necesita ayuda financiera.
    (9) ¿Cómo te han estafado y que desea recuperar el dinero que perdió.
    (10) si usted quiere dejar de su divorcio.
    (11) si quiere divorciarse de su marido.
    (12) si desea conceder sus deseos.
    una vez más la dirección de correo electrónico es
    voodoospelltemple66@gmail.com en contacto con él
    inmediatamente.

    ReplyDelete

I love, love, love comments, and therefore, love you! Thanks for dropping by!