Dreams Things True has been called a modern day Romeo and Juliet. It follows the romance between an undocumented teenage Mexican female and a rich white Southern male who fall in love and try to fight against his Conservative family. I enjoyed how this book tackled the issues of undocumented immigrants and the political stances that often work against them. Unfortunately, the romance fell flat for me, and it made it made difficult to enjoy everything at its fullest potential.
Dreams Things True does a fantastic job portraying how perceptions of an individual being undocumented can blind people to who they actually are. Evan, a wealthy white teenage soccer player, falls for Alma not knowing that she and her family are undocumented immigrants. It was interesting to read his reaction once she told him what was going on and find that he still had feelings for her regardless of her circumstances. However, Evan is also a bit naive and blinded by his privileged as a white boy who comes from a political family. Dating Alma forces him to open his eyes in ways that she has had her open for years. Marie Marquardt does a really good at portraying these differences and how each has been blinded by the realities of their lives.
Even though the differences between the characters were portrayed well, I felt that the main characters of Alma and Evan were not fully fleshed out. In a way it felt like their characteristics were based primarily on pre-conceived stereotypes that were never really pushed past the surface. I also never fully felt their connection. Yes, there was an attraction but, their “connective” felt very insta-love to me, and I’m just not particularly a fan of that. But then again, if this a Romeo and Juliet retelling – Romeo and Juliet’s love was also pretty instant, wasn’t it?
All in all, I think reading Dream Things True is going to come down to personal preference. If you are someone who enjoys more of an insta-love connection with the characters fighting the odds to be together, this is likely going to be a good book for you. Or if you’re someone who is interested in reading books about immigration and politics with a touch of romance this may be the book for you. Personally, I just wish things had been a little bit more fleshed out. If they had, I think I would have been able to enjoy it more.
Rating: 3 Stars