Title: Dream Things True
Author: Marie Marquardt
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: September 1, 2015
Summary (via Goodreads): 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.
I did not finish this book at 12%. The summary sounded great and I love finding diverse books to read, so when Netgalley approved my request, I couldn’t wait to read this book. But the writing wasn’t for me.
Within the first 3%, I realized Alma’s father was a douche. Then it kind of got worse because the characters weren’t very interesting. I was looking forward to an author taking on the issue of immigration and undocumented workers, but this book wasn’t doing it for me. Maybe if she’d introduced some of those issues sooner I would have stuck it out and kept reading.
I adore romance, especially interracial romance, but things felt off between Evan and Alma. The interaction between the two of them wasn’t very good unfortunately. It felt stereotypical and just weird in a way. I don’t really even know how to describe it. I guess it just didn’t feel like a strong romantic connection was being portrayed, especially when all they seemed to be focused on was how hot the other person was. I know teenage hormones are probably running rampant, but it was a little too much for me.
Final note: I had high hopes for this diverse novel, but it fell short. I wasn’t really invested in the characters at all, and therefore I stopped reading.