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Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Title: Anastasia's Secret
Author: Susanne Dunlap
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: Historical Fiction
Age: 12+
Pages: approx 320
Series: no
Book Acquisition: Swapped / Traded an ARC
My Rating: 3 / 5 Stars

“Will I never see you again either?” I asked, feeling as though I was about to jump off a high mountain peak and hope to land without hurting myself. That’s how impossible everything seemed at that moment, no matter what I did.
“Perhaps we will meet again,” Sasha said, softening his voice. “But you must see that it does not matter. You have so much ahead of you. It’s your choice now. Choose the future! Choose life!”
For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?
Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap’s new novel is a haunting vision of the life—and love story—of Russia’s last princess. 

I'm not much of an historical fiction fan and I think that might be one reason I couldn't really get into this one. And, I have to admit, my Russian history is a little lacking so I went into this book knowing I wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell fact from creative fiction. Even with that handicap, I didn’t have a hard time following the story. With that said, I didn’t really love this book.

Told from the first person perpective of Anastasia, for me, it read more like a series of diary entries then a detailed story with a beginning, middle and end. Not a whole lot happens and I found this a bit boring.

I can equate my reading of this book with my experience watching the movie Titanic. Yeah, it was a good story but the whole time I was just waiting for that ship to sink. Not in a morbid way, mind you, more like in a I know what's going to happen so just get on with it, kind of way.

The story follows the events that ultimately lead to the deaths of Anastasia and her family. And again, not a whole lot happens. We do get the added character of Sasha who I really warmed up to. At times I wished the book was in 3rd person and we got more of his point of view.

Even with all my dislikes, I would recommend this book to historical fiction fans. Dunlap story telling is very detailed and I very much appreciated her writing. Also, you can tell she did her research - tons of it - and I find that beyond awesome. I think this one falls under the category "good, but just not for me".

Linkage Love:
Bloomsbury Teens
Author's Website

Other Reviews:
A Sea of Pages
Bookworming in the 21st Century
*if you would like your review added please leave me a link in the comments*


  1. Hmm, historical young adult fiction can be hit or miss. This sounds pretty interesting though. I know very little about Russia history. :(

  2. Oooo this sounds like something I would like.

  3. Up until now I've only been reading reviews on this book from people who really enjoyed it. It's interesting to see another point of view! I'll keep what you said in mind before I decide to read this one.

    from Une Parole

  4. I think I'd really like this one, historical fiction always calls my name.


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