Friday, October 23, 2015

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
Published September 1, 2015

I was a little excited about reading this book because I felt it was due time for me to read a chicklit, which this definitely was, and the fact that I’ve always enjoyed the romance between two people with different social standings.  I blame this fact on my Korean drama obsessions (it’s always the same – rich/famous girl or guy falls in love with a pauper).  However, I finished this book with mixed feelings.  Overall, I liked it but it could’ve been better. 

The main girl, Alma, for the most part, was very mature for a teenager.  She grew up knowing that she was grateful and lucky to have the opportunity to study in the US and therefore tried her best to obtain a scholarship for college.  What I didn’t really understand was the fact that her brother, Raul, also received a scholarship but because their entire family was illegal and therefore had no proper documentations, he was unable to actually receive the scholarship and go to college.  Why, then, did she think that she would be the exception and somehow obtain a scholarship to go to college?  That was something that didn’t really make sense for me.  I mean, great, she worked hard and I respect that but I just don’t understand how she could’ve gotten a scholarship and actually use that for school when it didn’t work for her brother.  Other than that though, I found her very mature and very family oriented.  Even though she wanted to study and get as much as she could with her education, at the same time, she also cared a lot about her family.  I also think this is a cultural thing – from my experience and knowledge, Latin families are more family oriented than, say, the average white American family.

Evan, the typical rich, Southern, country club boy was surprisingly not your average teenage boy.  He didn’t seem as cocky as some of his friends nor did he come off as a tool like other teenage boys.  But there were still a few things that I didn’t really like about him – for starters, he didn’t seem to realize how privileged he was so he took a lot of things for granted and also, he had this odd way of objectifying Alma.  He was very concerned about her legs and he went on and on about it.  It was honestly a little disconcerting.  Otherwise, he seemed to care about people a little more and once he realized how unfair life was and how privileged he was, he did try to right the wrong.  Unfortunately it was a matter that was too big for a teenage boy.

The relationship between Alma and Evan was very skewed.  On one hand, Alma’s family and friends learned to accept Evan and in fact, became incredibly close to him.  On the other hand, Evan’s family and friends, while accepting at first once they realized she was an illegal, they completely changed their views about her.  It was incredible actually.  They went from worshipping her to resenting and looking down on her.  The dynamics of the relationship between the Alma and Evan was also filled with the teenage angst – there were so much drama between the two that was really unnecessary especially at the end. 

Honestly, I think my favorite character was Whit.  I really liked his interactions with everyone and I found him quirky in a good way.  Yes, he had a past that was a little dark but upon finding out about it, I now understand the way how he acts sometimes.  He was also smart and funny which, to be honest, Evan lacked.  Evan was more of the serious prep guy and wasn’t particularly smart either.  Actually, now that I think about it – what did Alma see in him?

One last thing - I hated the ending.  It is possibly the worst ending ever.  It felt as if someone ripped out the last few pages of the book and forgot about putting it back.  It wasn’t even considered as a cliffhanger.  It was more as if half of the scene was just missing.  It was awkward and I didn’t like it.  Overall, it was a meh book and then the ending just made it worse.  There were definitely some interesting topics going on – immigration, cultural differences, privileged Americans, rape, alcohol abuse – that the book could’ve been so much better but I suppose the execution was just a tad lacking.




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