I want to tell everyone I meet about this book. It’s taken me several days to work up to writing a review purely because I was afraid that if I wrote it immediately it would only end up being solely composed of “ILOVETHISBOOKSOMUCH” and “YouHAVEtoreaditNOW”s. There will still be a fair amount of that, so this is your warning.
This is the first book in the contemporary young adult genre that I’ve loved unconditionally in a long time. Robin Bridges’ writing really reminds me of Deb Caletti’s style. Any time she comes out with a new book I read it because I know I’ll like it. But this. This. I’ve never read a Robin Bridges novel before, and in the middle of reading this I knew I had to read everything that she’s ever written and will write.
Dreaming of Antigone is about Andria, a girl who has recently lost her twin and who finds a kindred spirit in Antigone when they begin to read the tragedy in class. For a girl who lost her father when she was a baby and blames herself for the death of her sister, Antigone’s family tragedy is relatable. Andria has always been the weird twin, the one who looked more likely to have a drug problem with her all-black wardrobe. It wasn’t meant to be Iris, the one who had everything. She had her life put together. Like many things, what you initially see on the surface is not what lies beneath. As Andria rediscovers how to live in the wake of her sister’s death, not everything that appears perfect is as it seems.
Reading this book was so lovely. It’s young adult, it’s romance, it has a heavy amount of astronomy and stargazing, and there’s poems and Greek literature. As a writer and reader who was an English major, this made me so happy. Writing poems back and forth to a mysterious person was so romantic. I loved that there was such a focus on it. I was able to connect with Andria through that and her habit of sneaking out late to look at the stars.
The romance in this novel was gentle. Both were looking for forgiveness and understanding as they tried to move on while also maintaining a balance of remembering the person whose death still haunts them. It was just the right amount of “aww”s without becoming corny. I honestly could continue reading about them even beyond what happens to them in the novel. The romantic relationship was written well, but it went beyond that. I felt that all the relationships in this book were realistic: Andria and her mom, Andria and her two friends who are also coping with Iris’ death in their own, different ways…this author really had a handle on how to write characters, relationships, and the different ways people handle grief.
The writing style was beautiful. I was able to get lost in the words. I really wish I could forget everything about this book in order to read it again. As soon as it comes out, I want to order a physical copy so I can read it all over again. And when I have to lug it around when I move in about a year and a half, that’s saying something.
Read this book if you’re a fan of other young adult contemporary romance novels and their authors. I feel that you won’t be disappointed.
I received a copy of Dreaming of Antigone from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It will be available March 29th, 2016!