Book Reviews

Review: While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai

While You Were Dreaming is a tender story about identity and love. About taking a second look. This YA Debut is oozing with character which I always associate with Alisha Rai. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


If Sonia Patil had her way, she’d be attending her local comic con instead of covering a shift for her boss’s daughter. Since Sonia’s mom was deported and her sister, who never claimed deferred status under DACA, had to forgo college to support them, Sonia’s had her hands full with work, school, and pretending everything is okay at home.

Then Sonia, in homemade superhero cosplay, stumbles into saving her crush James’s life. When a video of the daring rescue goes viral, she—or, rather, a mysterious masked savior—is thrust into the spotlight. Now she’s hiding from TikTok detectives while trying to connect with James. And while she’s drawn to his friendly but oblivious nature, she can’t deny her escalating chemistry with another awkwardly charming boy.

Juggling crushes and a secret identity might just take superpowers. Will Sonia be able to hide in plain sight forever?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

In While You Were Dreaming, we immediately are placed smack dab in the action. And from the beginning, I loved Sonia. The ways she’s just trying to balance her midnight rescue with staying under the radar to not draw attention to herself. To not draw attention to her sister whose presence in the US is in peril. I felt Sonia’s fear which lives coiled in her stomach. How her and her sister are getting by, but struggling alone and how she doesn’t have anyone to turn to.

This story line alone was enough to draw me through While You Were Dreaming. But Rai delivers a main character who is also struggling with her sense of self. She feels disconnected from her heritage because her mom is gone and her cultural touch points make her feel abandoned. That particular element was a big punch to the gut for me. Sometimes we have to know when to ask for help, to let others see the burdens and worries we carry.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

While You Were Dreaming features a sister relationship that made my heart ache. It’s a story that examines agency and honesty. To know when we can share the pieces of our hearts with those around us. And when we have to examine the expectations around us to figure out what we truly want to be. Find While You Were Dreaming on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


Who is your favorite cosplayer?

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