Posted in 4 Stars, Book Review

REVIEW: Dreaming of Antigone by Robin Bridges

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Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication Date:
March 29, 2016
Formats Available:
Kindle, Paperback

“I can’t ever be the blazing star that Iris was. I’m still just a cold, dark satellite orbiting a star that went supernova.” 

Andria’s twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact–including a drug problem. Six months after Iris’s death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren’t enough to ward off her guilt that she–the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe–is still here when Iris isn’t. And then there’s Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris’s death. The boy she’s unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him. 

Heartwrenching, smart, and bold, Dreaming of Antigone is a story about the jagged pieces that lie beneath the surface of the most seemingly perfect life . . . and how they can fit together to make something wholly unexpected. 

MY RATING: 📚 📚 📚 📚

One of my favorite aspects of young adult books is that the protagonists within them are more likely than adult characters to have quirky personalities and interests. This is definitely the case in Dreaming for Antigone. Andria feels more like a real person than a fictional character. She’s a smart goth amateur astronomer afflicted with epilepsy. She likes fried pickles and practically subsists on Diet Coke. She misses her sister. Less than halfway through the book, I felt like we were intimate friends.

Perhaps it was Ms. Bridges’ stellar (if you’ll pardon the pun) development of Andria that left me feeling unconnected to the other characters in this book. I had a hard time keeping Natalie and Trista straight–their personalities seemed pretty much identical, except for the fact that Trista had been more Iris’s friend than Andria’s. I liked Alex, but at the same time, I didn’t really feel like I knew much about him at book’s end.

That is the only reason for the one-star deduction. I have no complaints with the writing, plot, or pacing. The romantic elements are sweet and don’t detract from the main point, which is Andria healing from her sister’s death and the horrible circumstances surrounding it.

This was my first Robin Bridges book, but I doubt it will be my last, especially since I just learned that Natalie’s story will be told in a companion book–The Form of Things Unknown–scheduled for publication in August. I’m very interested to read that!

I will note that while this book is not graphic, it does delve into some very serious topics that some may find upsetting. If seizures, drug use, and/or sexual abuse are particularly difficult for you, I would consider skipping this one.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Author:

Olivia Ard is the author of women's fiction trilogy The Bennett Series and Readers' Favorite 5-Star recipient 'Tis the Season. She is pursuing a second degree in sociology. She and her husband JD live in Central Alabama, where they await their miracle baby's arrival this November with joyful expectation.

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