Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

Title: Dream Things True
Author: Marie Marquardt
Format: Ebook
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: September 1, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From "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"

My Two Cents: 

"Dream Things True" is a Romeo and Juliet-esque story about two very different teenagers. Evan is the all-American boy. He has everything he has ever dreamed about. His family is also quite socially conservative. Alma is an undocumented girl from a Mexican family. They fall for each other very quickly but things are not easy for them. ICE raids their town and everything they know will change. This book is a ripped from the headlines young adult fiction!

The author uses the characters as the driver of a conversation about immigrant issues and how everything is not always as clear cut as some of our politicians would like us to think it is. This book provides a good start to learning about some of the issues that affect our country today.

I did like the main characters. I liked how the author was able make them feel real. The secondary characters are a real treat. I especially liked Alma's tight knit family. The author gives a lot of detail about them so that even the secondary characters stand out!

I love what this book was trying to do with bringing a timely social issue to the attention of young adults. This book is definitely informative but sometimes the narrative suffered a little because it seemed as if the author was trying to cram so much information into the book that the book got bogged down. There were definitely a few places in the book that felt like an information dump of sorts, which took me out of the story. This book is definitely a good example though of how even fiction can be educational (something that I have always known!!!). 

Guest Post:

I am thrilled to have Marie Marquardt here on A Bookish Affair today! She is talking about what inspired her to write the book with us!

I love a good love story. At its heart, Dream Things True is about two kids who fall in love in a world that wants to keep them apart. It just so happens that the forces keeping Alma and Evan apart in my story are ripped from the headlines.

We hear constantly about “the eleven million” –undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States. People are asking what should be done about “them”. This is an important policy question, and one that I care about deeply.  I have worked  with undocumented immigrants for many years, and I know this: each of those eleven million immigrants has a story – they are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. Some of them have extraordinary stories of love and sacrifice; some have mundane stories of living everyday life -- making lunches and making ends meet.

Each of those stories matters -- way more than a number. When we turn these real, complex, people into a number, we strip them of their humanity. I think this paves the way for terrible consequences, not only for undocumented immigrants, but for the neighborhoods, churches, schools, and communities where they live, work, and worship.

Because I’ve written non-fiction books about undocumented immigration, I often get asked to talk with groups of non-immigrants about these issues. I know a lot of facts and figures, and these help people think about immigration in new ways, but I find that what really matters is relationships – knowing and loving a person who faces these issues is what makes a person care.

I wrote Dream Things True because I wanted to give readers a chance to step into the stories of a few of those “eleven million”. It’s narrated in alternating points of view because I want for readers to imagine themselves into the experience of being an undocumented teenager, and I also want for them to imagine what it would be like to love an undocumented teenager, and to want the best for her.
When we see thorny issues through the eyes of love, it changes everything.  


Want to read this book yourself? Thanks to the publisher, I am giving a way a copy to one of my readers (U.S. only, please). Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This novel sounds captivating and wonderful. Thanks for this lovely feature and great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I liked Marie's comments about having the reader step into another's point of view. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy!

  3. I appreciate and admire very much the activist work that inspired the reader to tell this particular story; I think it's true that the best way is to change hearts and minds is to personalize whatever the situation you want to be better appreciated is. This is easier said than done, certainly; it's a very precious gift to pull it off. I want to see if the author managed it -- or to what extent, rather. I'm excited. Thanks for this opportunity and for this feature. Cheers, Kara S


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