Haunted (Dreaming Anastasia Series #2)

( 25 )

Overview

Anne Michaelson is trying to forget everything that happened last year. But it's hard to do when her heart aches for Ethan and there's a wild-haired woman stalking her...

Ethan Kosinsky is embracing his newfound mortality. But something is drawing him back to the girl he left behind—back to Anne and back to the magic...

A mysterious stranger is hunting Anne wherever she goes. No one sees her but Anne. When she searches for the woman's identity,...

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Haunted (Dreaming Anastasia Series #2)

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Overview

Anne Michaelson is trying to forget everything that happened last year. But it's hard to do when her heart aches for Ethan and there's a wild-haired woman stalking her...

Ethan Kosinsky is embracing his newfound mortality. But something is drawing him back to the girl he left behind—back to Anne and back to the magic...

A mysterious stranger is hunting Anne wherever she goes. No one sees her but Anne. When she searches for the woman's identity, Anne exposes secrets about her own life— things that will change her life forever. And when the gorgeous Ethan returns, her life gets a lot more complicated.

Anne thought her journey with the Romanov family had ended, but it was just the beginning...

Praise for Dreaming Anastasia:

"A ride of paranormal fantasy, contemporary and historical fiction, with a little bit of romance. It's the perfect blend."—Examiner.com

"Dreaming Anastasia is a story of love and loss on many different levels. It was a wild, fun, and sweetly romantic ride."—Galleysmith.com

"An intriguing tale of magic, tragedy, love, and betrayal...Be prepared to fall into this story...Lovers of fantasy and romance will not be disappointed..."—YABooksCentral.com

Joy Preble grew up in Chicago where— possibly because she was raised by an accountant and a bookkeeper—she dreamed of being a back up singer, but instead earned an English degree from Northwestern. Eventually, she began to write books so she could get paid for making up stuff. She now lives in Texas with her family, including a basset/boxer mix rescue dog named Lyla— who never met a shoe she didn't want to eat. Visit Joy at joypreble.com

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lauri J. Vaughan
Despite all her efforts, Anne Michaelson is not happy. Keeping secret the ghostly appearances of a mysterious and troubled woman is becoming more difficult as their frequency increases. Anne's mother's recovery from the death of her son is taking a bad turn. The return of edgy and powerful Ethan is forcing her to reconsider her relationship with lifeguard Ben. As much as she'd like to be a normal teenager, Anne is forced to confront her magical abilities and recognize her role in a hundreds-year-old legacy of betrayal and revenge. Picking up a year after the end of Dreaming Anastasia(Sourcebooks, 2009), this second in the eponymous trilogy has moments of breathtaking excitement. Unfortunately, a promising plotline is held hostage by the details. Preble has clearly struggled to provide her readers with the just right amount of confusion — enough to stay engaged in the story but not to warrant frustration — and has fallen short. Several plot incidents seem to crop up as if they were created out of sudden whimsy rather than a strategic revelation of detail. Preble can craft believable voices—particularly so with Anne's strong-headed, best friend Tess. She can also construct an exciting crisis, but without the big picture equally well designed, the effect becomes a stringy and confusing reader experience. Still, fans of the first in the series will want to pick up where they left off with Anne, and the strength of the continuation will likely carry them through the choppy bits. Let's hope Preble is back on her game with the third and final title. Reviewer: Lauri J. Vaughan
VOYA - Isabel Crevasse
Haunted is an enjoyable but unspectacular read. Teens will recognize the popular mix of fantasy and daily teen struggles in this romantic novel based in Russian folklore. The underlying theme of the importance of choices is somewhat underdeveloped but prominent enough to convey the intended message. As a sequel, Haunted fulfills the promise of Dreaming Anastasia pleasantly, if a little predictably. Teens will enjoy Preble's novel on a cold, rainy day. 3Q, 2P. Reviewer: Isabel Crevasse, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—After rescuing the Grand Duchess Anastasia from Baba Yaga in Dreaming Anastasia (Sourcebooks, 2009), Anne Michaelson is eager to put aside thoughts of both magical destinies and of Ethan, the former magician who regained his mortality when Anastasia was returned to her historical fate. But no amount of focusing on her normal life in modern-day Chicago or her new boyfriend can drive away Anne's conflicted feelings for Ethan, or her own increasing magical powers. Baba Yaga still haunts her dreams, while during the day, Anne is haunted by a strange, wild woman (eventually identified as a rusalka, a Russian water spirit), who begs the teen to help her. Ethan's return soon brings things to a head, and Anne must sort out the rusalka's role in her family history, figure out what Baba Yaga requires of her, and decide which boy she really wants to be with. Themes of destiny, loss, and sacrifice run heavily through this tangled tale, with Anne's brassy friend Tess providing a welcome lighter note. Not a stand-alone read, this is very much a middle chapter to the trilogy, with most of the action focused on elaborating past events or establishing the set-up for future ones. Consider purchasing where the first book has a following.—Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO
Kirkus Reviews

In this sequel to Dreaming Anastasia (2009), 17-year-old Anne faces up to the fact that she has a magical destiny that she cannot escape. The plot relies heavily on the earlier book; this sequel does not stand on its own. It progresses in chapters divided between the viewpoints of Anne and Ethan, Anne's centuries-old, formerly immortal friend. Preble writes the voices of each as nearly identical, however, so readers must pay attention to the chapter headings in order to understand who's speaking. Also in the mix are Ben, Anne's current, very nice, boyfriend, and Tess, her somewhat humorous, chatty best friend and the most appealing character in the novel. The supernatural characters—Baba Yaga, the dreadful, powerful witch of Russian folklore, and Anne's grandmother Lily, who's become a crazed and vengeful Russian mermaid—provide the villainy and the motor for the narrative. In all, it's a somewhat confusing but well-paced roller-coaster ride of death-defying magical encounters. Suspenseful scenes fly by quickly as Anne tries to make sense of unexplained events from the previous book. Entertaining, if quite a jumble. (Supernatural thriller. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402244681
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Dreaming Anastasia Series , #2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 487,936
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Joy Preble
Joy Preble grew up in Chicago where— possibly because she was raised by an accountant and a bookkeeper—she dreamed of being a back up singer, but instead earned an English degree from Northwestern. Eventually, she began to write books so she could get paid for making up stuff. She now lives in Texas with her family, including a basset/boxer mix rescue dog named Lyla— who never met a shoe she didn't want to eat. Visit Joy at joypreble.com
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Read an Excerpt

Tuesday, 1:13 am

Anne

In my dream, I sit at Baba Yaga's table. One of her huge brown hands stirs something in the kettle hanging in the fireplace. The other creeps across the smooth wooden floor on its fingertips, a roughly crafted robin's-egg blue pot­tery mug hooked to its huge pinkie finger. This is gross and unsettling, and if I were awake, I'd probably say so. Detached hands offering people beverages is-generally speaking-rather icky. But I'm not awake. At least, I hope I'm not.

"Drink," Baba Yaga says to me. "If you want to control the power that sits in your veins, then choose to drink." The sleeves of her long, brown cotton dress flap emptily as her hands go about their business.

"No," I tell her. I shiver as I watch those empty sleeves. "I'm not yours. You have no hold on me, Baba Yaga. I'm not Anastasia. I'm Anne. Whatever you're offering, I don't want it."

"Oh, child," she says. Her mouth turns up in a hideous smile. Those iron teeth glint at me. The wrinkles in her dark face are etched so deeply that I wonder if they pain her some­how. It's as though they dip right inside her face. "You have no idea what's coming. No idea what you're giving up."

"I don't care," I tell her. "Whatever it is, I don't want it."

She's still laughing at me, her gravelly voice filling my head, when I wake up, my camisole soaked with sweat. I tell myself to breathe-just breathe-and lie there in the darkness under my ceiling fan until my heart stops pounding and the cool air takes the heat from my skin.

I sit up, fumble on my nightstand for my cell phone. The blue glow makes me blink as I flip it open and scroll to Ethan's number. My fingers hover there. Press? Don't press? Tell him? Don't tell him? It's a routine I've been going through night after night now that the dreams are back. I know I should call. Let me know if you need me, he always says. He checks on me once a week. Lately, he asks, Is there something going on? You need to tell me, Anne.

And maybe because he doesn't press me, doesn't call me out on what I'm sure he knows is a lie, I keep it to myself. I think about the few times that we kissed-that first time in the rain when Anastasia went back to die, and some others before he left. Tentative kisses that spoke of something more to come. The feel of him, the musky smell of him. Those crazy, ridicu­lous blue eyes. But then he left. And if he's coming back, he hasn't said. What kind of silly girl would I be to think those kisses meant the same thing to him? Better to move on. Better to keep things to myself.

So I don't tell him that things are getting weird again. Maybe they've never stopped being weird. If I tell him the truth, then I'll have to admit that the magic inside me hasn't let up one bit. And since this scares the hell out of me, it's a lot easier to lie.

But right now in the dark, with my heart still erratic, I imag­ine myself fessing up. Funny thing, Ethan. Those powers you said would go away now that Anastasia didn't need saving anymore? Well, they haven't. I'm juiced up to the max most days with this stuff lurking inside me. But Anastasia's dead for real now. So what use is this magic to me? And why aren't you here to help me figure things out?

Maybe that's why he left in the first place. Not to find him­self or wander Europe. I mean, I get that. He was immortal for so long, and now he's not. He needs to know what that means. But maybe his journey took him that far, and now he's just done. Easier to bolt than to commit to the craziness again. Or to a girl he's known for just a few weeks. No matter how much they've been through together.

But I'm having these dreams again, and Baba Yaga hasn't let me go. I'm as much her prisoner as Anastasia ever was-I'm not stuck in that creepy hut, but I end up there night after night anyway. If it's not real, it feels real. And if I've learned one thing about all this magic business, it's that those two things are pretty much the same.

I don't know what she wants. Okay, that's a lie. I don't want to know. Whatever it is she thinks I can do or wants me for or hopes I'll stumble into-I don't want any part of it. And who else can I tell that to except Ethan? But then I remember that I've told him that before. Only it didn't really matter. When you're destiny girl, you don't get a lot of choice.

This is what I ponder while I sit here in the dark in the middle of the night. This and the fact that I probably bombed some of my final exams last week, and that summer's begin­ning, but I'm not exactly in a summery mood. Outside my window, some early-rising bird squeaks out a chirp. Just one lonely little eep, and then it's gone. Phone still in my hand, I walk to the window. The cool glass feels good as I press my forehead against it.

"Liar," I say to myself. "Go ahead. Blame everything on him."

Because here's the real truth: as much as I hate the chaos that Ethan Kozninsky brought with him when he smashed into my life last fall, I don't hate him. Not at all. And I won't say that I love him. But I won't say that I don't either. What I will say-just not to him, and definitely not to Tess because she'd get all judgy even though she's my best friend and certainly has had some major lack of judgment of her own-is that I can't get him out of my thoughts. Dreaming or waking, he's always there somewhere. I've told myself that's ridiculous. But telling it to myself doesn't make it true. Since he's been away, I've felt empty and alone and incomplete. And no matter how much I do to push away those feelings, they just keep coming back.

Serious neediness. Not something to make a girl feel proud. So I toss the phone on my nightstand, climb back into bed, draw my knees to my chest, and hike the covers up to my chin. It's not just the dreams anymore, I know. Or my more-than-slightly-conflicted feelings for one absurdly handsome, blue-eyed Russian. It's what I saw just now when I peered out into the darkness of our supposedly boring little Chicago suburb. It's the other thing I haven't mentioned to Ethan...
She was out there again, barely noticeable in the flicker of water from the Spauldings' sprinkler that comes on in the middle of the night. Just like last night, when she was leaning against the oak tree a few houses down during that thunder­storm. The same woman who'd stared at me silently a few weeks ago as she sat at the edge of the duck pond near our house, her tattered lilac dress soaked, her hair a mass of wild black waves. The woman who sometimes has a fish tail and sometimes has legs. The one who seems to be stalking me.

I close my eyes. I won't sleep, but at least I'll rest. If she's out there still, I won't go look. If this is all starting again, I don't want any part of it.
Only I'm pretty sure that once again, I don't have a choice.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Wow!

    Excellent second book. Can not wait for the next one...
    Great writing superb story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    So Good! Can't Wait for Book 3!

    Great book for young adults, and adults who are young at heart. Haunted is a great follow up to Dreaming Anastasia. The boy/girl relationship is portrayed realistically - teenagers driven by their emotions and insecurities, not prone to calmly/rationally discuss how they honestly feel about each other or tell each other the full truth of what is really going on in their lives. Hence, a majority of the book may be painful for those who wanted to see an immediate "happily ever after" to Anne and Ethan's budding relationship in Dreaming Anastasia, but it is an important part of the character development - no cliched weakling women and superman men here. The legend of the rusalkas is interesting and unexpected, and it made me interested in Slavic folklore. It was also nice to see the development of Anne's relationship with her mother. I can't wait for the third book, Again and Again! Spring 2012 can't come soon enough!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I think I being a little generous with the 4 rating, but I know I enjoyed more that those books I give a 3. It was really the ending that I had issues with.

    I've noticed lots of reviews that stated the reader was surprise/upset that Ethan and Anne are not together at the beginning of this book. I fully expected it and it didn't bother me. I think they were both trying to process and deny what happened during book 1. Ethan was coming to terms with being mortal and trying to avoid the girl who made him that way. Anne was doing the same. Sometimes being together isn't the best idea no matter how much you care for one another.

    I really enjoyed the story of the rulaska. I don't know a lot about Russian folklore and this series had definitely changed that. I liked how she could be seen in very little amounts of water. It's no wonder Anne that she was going crazy. I liked how all the pieces fall together in this installment. Everyone is connected somehow from the jewelry shop owner to the rulaska herself. It's not something I even suspected at the start of the story.

    The ending is the only thing that bothered me a little. First, I still have no idea what Baba Yaga really wants from Anne. Anne made a deal with her, but I don't think she even knows what she really has to do. I'm guessing there will be another book to explain it all. If not, I have no idea how the story really ended.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2011

    Fantastic Read

    Anne Michaelson's only dream is to be a normal girl. No magic, no immortal boyfriend, no crazy mythical Russian mermaids chasing her about. Unfortunately, she's not about to get her wishes granted anytime soon. Trying to recover from the trials of the previous year, she finds herself knee-deep in the middle of it all again.

    In all fairness, Anne does her best at appearing as normal as she can. She resists the magic and the weirdness until it overtakes her and everyone around her, leaving her no choice but to fight back. However, in spite of all that weirdness, she remains oddly grounded for a seventeen-year-old. I was highly impressed with her relative lack of attitude towards her parents and the usual teenage angst that you find in novels like this. That's not to say that she and her mom didn't have their moments, or that she didn't have her own, dark thoughts, because she did. The difference here is that those moments all helped the story move forward instead of just painting Anne as a selfish, spoiled child.

    Ethan, on the other hand, is a one-time immortal learning to deal with being mortal again for the first time in decades. In between his moments of indecision, once the weirdness of the year before finds Anne again, he never once hesitates to do what he believes is right - and that is to protect Anne at all costs. He is my idea of a real hero. Ethan is considerate, conscientious, and one hundred percent dedicated to Anne and only Anne. When they're together, they're completely and utterly happy, no matter how bizarre the circumstances.

    Even without having read the preceding book in this series, Dreaming Anastasia, I was able to not just follow along, but thoroughly enjoy Haunted. Ms. Preble has a masterful way of weaving a story that is not just romantic, but exciting and magical. You'll be loath to leave Anne and Ethan behind when the book closes. Haunted is a wonderful and imaginative story for both older teens and adults alike. Entertaining and magical to the very last page.

    Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    BookWhisperer Review: Haunted

    I had the pleasure of participating in the blog tour for this incredible read. Haunted is the sequel to Dreaming Anastasia. Preble has created a very interesting and twisted tale about a young girl that is unknowingly a Romanov descendant. This magical and mysterious world is a very confusing and pondering tale that leaves characters and readers with question after question. ?This journey for Anne is an intrigueing story; that I find myself reflecting to a childs movie for understanding. For years my children have enjoyed watching Anastasia and Bartok the Maginificant. Many character of this Russian story are parellel with this story. While the story is more adult oriented, and gruesome for an adult undestanding. The first novel seems to have a very slow and unsteady pace, but this was completely restored in the Haunted. This sequel was action packed and gripping from the start. Upon conclusion it is obvious that there is more to come from this intense story. I look forward to seeing if there is more to come from this journey.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Pinkamena

    "Fine," she growled, handing over a battered, three-legged, dead Sweetie Belle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Rainbow Dash

    *Takes off her mask to reveal her cyan blue face. Takes Sweetie Belle to the sixth res.*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2011

    love it and i lovehow theres show not tell in this book just loving it

    breanna

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 22, 2013

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