Review: Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

Note: This ARC was provided by St. Martins' Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sixteen-year-old Alma Garcia has lived most of her life in Gilberton, Georgia but has big dreams for herself. When she meets seventeen-year-old high school senior Evan Roland, she finds herself finally distracted by something other than her familial and academic responsibilities. In spite of their differences, they fall in love and it's the kind of love that makes them feel as if they can conquer anything that comes their way. Until they're faced with the very real problems concerning the status of Alma's family in the country and Evan's own woes concerning his parents, leaving them wondering if their love will be enough.

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt is a thought-provoking young adult (YA) romance between an undocumented Mexican immigrant sixteen-year-old named Alma Garcia and a privileged all-American seventeen-year-old named Evan Roland. Alma's father works as Evan's family's landscaper and when the two meet, there's definitely mutual attraction going on. Alma's father is very strict, barely allowing her any sort of leisurely time, making it difficult for her and Evan to actually hang out and get to know each other better, but the two find ways and soon, the crushes evolve into the innocent and full-on blush type of love.

I liked both the main characters who, at their young ages, already have a fair amount of maturity while still acting like teenagers who often think first of themselves and the person they only have eyes for. They're opposites in a lot of ways but I appreciated that this wasn't a good-girl-falling-for-the-bad-boy kind of story. This was more of being different in both simple and deeper ways but also realizing that they have more in common than they first anticipated. They both have heavy issues family issues that they're dealing with and your heart breaks for them when they're forced to simply deal because there is no other option.

A lot of the story is about undocumented immigrants and how that status affects Alma and her family. It's a very real issue that quite a number of countries are facing and is a hot topic in the United States and isn't limited to just immigrants from Mexico. There are many sides to the issue and while you see how it affects Alma's family in particular here, the opposing side is also lightly touched upon. Of course, Evan's worries are composed of Alma's and his own. I liked how, when Alma realizes everything Evan has been going through, Evan points out that she never really asked him about it because it felt very honest and authentic.

There aren't any viable solutions to the immigration problem that are mentioned in the story because, let's face it, coming up with something that all parties will like and agree to is nearly impossible. The ending itself leaves everything somewhat in the air, but I wasn't totally disappointed by it because, just like with the immigration problem in the US, there isn't really an easy solution for Alma and Evan. What they have to make do with is a compromise, one with the most benefits, and the ending still leaves the reader with a feeling of hope that one day, their dreams will come to fruition. Dream Things True gets 4.5 stars. ♥

Release Date: 01 September 2015

Date Read: 28 August 2015

Learn more about Marie Marquardt here.

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