While You Were Dreaming
– Alisha Rai –
Quill Tree Books
Published 21 March 2023
I think most people of a certain generation would know and love the movie While You Were Sleeping. I certainly do. But even if a younger generation are not familiar with the movie that seems to have inspired the title and premise of this book, they’ll be sure to fall in love with its charming story.
When Sonia gets struck working, covering for her boss’s daughter, instead of attending the comic event at the bookshop next door, she thinks she’s lost the opportunity to connect with her crush, James. Walking home (in her costume) she happens to see James pass out and fall into a river. Diving in to save him, the last thing she expects is for her rescue to be videoed and shared online, quickly becoming a viral sensation. It’s the last thing Sonia and her sister need. Sonia might be a legal citizen, but her sister is not. Sonia knows the pain of losing a family member after her mother was deported, and she can’t risk losing her sister, even if they’ve drifted apart. She plans to get close to James, to see if he knows her identity and will keep her secret, but in doing so she meets his family. James’ warm and loving parents, the bustling restaurant they run and James’ older (slightly grumpy) brother. It’s hard to remain detached when James’s family are everything she’s been missing.
While You Were Dreaming is just a lot of fun to read. I adored the parts when Sonia meets and works with James’ family. I wish there were more moments shared between Sonia and Niam, as they make a super cute couple. As Sonia grows closer to Niam, she has to figure out what that means for her crush on James. She also has to work to keep her identity secret (though, she’s pretty terrible at that) and maybe even restore her relationship with her sister.
While You Were Dreaming is a rom com brought to life again on the page, with a refreshing and current twist, and honest and diverse characters. A book that will leave you smiling.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Themes: Family, restaurants, sisters, deportation, romance
Reading age guide: Ages 13 and up.
Published: 21 March 2023 by Quill Tree Books
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 432 pages.