Dreaming in English (ARC) by Laura Fitzgerald.

This is my first ARC that I've actually managed to read. I won it along with an ARC for Kristie Cook's second book, Purpose. I jumped it to the top of my reading list after I noticed the publishing date is February 1, 2011.

Warning: This is a sequel. If you like to read the first book of a series before learning about the second then it's okay to ignore this review. I haven't read Veil of Roses either. But for those interested, and I'll explain why, it's really not that bad to read the second book first, just be prepared to know how the first book ends. Also, this is an advanced readers copy so changes may have been made between this draft and the finished product. Example of how the ARC is different to the published book is the number of pages. On goodreads it says the book is 384 pages but the ARC version is 418. A bit of a difference.

From Goodreads: "Knowing she could never be happy in Iran, Tamila Soroush took her mother's advice to "Go and wake up your luck" and joined her sister in the United States. Now, after a spur-of-the-moment exchange of "I do"s with her true love, Ike Hanson, Tami is eager to start her new life.

But not everyone is pleased with their marriage, and Tami's happily- ever-after is no sure thing. With an interview with Immigration looming, Tami wonders if she's got the right stuff when it comes to love, American-style. Maybe her luck is running out. Or maybe she'll stand up for herself and claim her American dream."

Love this book. OMG! I really didn't except to like this book as much as I did because I am a fantasy reader at heart. So, I rarely read anything that doesn't have fantasy elements and when I do it's usually stuff like John Grisham novels. But when I saw this book in my prize options from Kristie Cook's giveaway the description made me want to read it and even though I've never read the first book,  Veil of Roses. And while I love the character, chances are I won't read that book because I already know what happens at the end pretty much.  But I may consider getting it anyways. The covers are pretty for both, though I'm a little partial to the Dreaming in English cover.

One good part about this book is that even if you haven't read the first book, it's written in a way that you can understand the whole story without having read the one that came before it. The first chapters have layered carefully the information that would have been read in portions of book 1, but they are written in a way that doesn't come off as an info dump or anything like that. It's laced in well enough that this book stands up on its own. And even though it's written in first person, I barely noticed. The main character's voice is very distinct and easy to like. I was rooting for Tami from the first chapter. And while I was pretty sure I knew how it ended, near the end I was in tears but unwilling to move to get a kleenex. In fact, I cried several times with this novel.

I could get a little nitpicky: like I always struggle to understand when random words or sentences are italicized. I understand when it's done as inner dialogue but in spoken dialogue when it's just one word or sentence, I still haven't quite figured out the purpose of that. Maybe I need to research uses of italics because clearly I don't know what they can be used for afterall. And at first it was jarring in the last 100 pages because the point of view changes. The first time was rough but I'm glad it was done more than once because it would have been out of place if it had been the one time. But those little points don't affect my opinion of the novel.

Normally, I won't do this but I saw the greatest paragraph about books in this novel and have to share it. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with the plot of the book so I promise, it's not a spoiler.

"The Bible, the Torah, the Koran--all books of stories that people use to get or keep power. They do more, of course. They provide comfort. They inspire. They justify--both good and evil behavior. I think a well-told story is more powerful than any person ever could be, because people die but stories can be handed down century after century, year after year. They can hold people captive; they can set people free. I think it's the stories people tell that, in the end, will bring down regimes."[p. 145-46] Spoken by the main character, Tami.

And with that said, here is my verdict because this book is awesome. Even if it's not your normal genre or age group, I say go ahead and read it anyways.

Dawn's Verdict: 10/10



L'Aussie said...

Dawn, this book sounds awesome. 10/10 Wow! Maybe you should read the first one as it may be ever better! Isn't the cover lovely? I think so.


Dawn Embers said...

L'Aussie - It was pretty awesome. If I didn't have 50 other books to read, I probably would consider reading book 1. The only issue is that with book 2 there was the tense question of whether she would get to stay in US. I know exactly how book 1 ends to it may not be as exciting to read. The cover is very lovely.

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