Thursday, December 5, 2013

REVIEW--The Boy on the Bridge

Well, it's definitely getting colder here in Indiana!  The forecasters are predicting 5 inches tonight which has all my students buzzing about delays or school closings (I'm sure all you in the West are laughing about that!).  So today is a PERFECT day to review The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford, a book set in the cold and dreary Soviet Union.  So let's get to it!

  •  Standalone novel
  • Romance
The Gist:
Laura, an American, is studying abroad in Leningrad (the Soviet Union) in 1982.  An odd choice for studying abroad, yes, but she has always been fascinated by their violent history.  Despite all the warnings she receives from her teachers and guides, she falls in love with Alyosha, a Russian who is fascinated by American culture.  But Laura soon starts to question whether Alyosha really loves her or just wants to use her as a ticket to America.

What I Loved:
  • I LOVED the setting--1982, Soviet Union.  You just don't get this very much in YA literature and I really appreciated itIt definitely opened my eyes to the USSR at this time.
  • I enjoyed seeing the Soviet Union from Laura's point of view.  She didn't love it all the time--actually, A LOT of the time--due to its depressing climate and even its temperament at times.  I probably would have felt the same way.
  • I liked how things wrapped up with Alyosha at the end.  And that's all I'll say :)
What I Didn't Love (which, unfortunately, was a lot):
  • The cover and the title...UGH!  Ok, this is not a 1982 couple on the cover.  He is wearing skinny jeans, for goodness sake.  And they don't have coats in the freezing USSR temps!  And "The Boy on the Bridge" is just too cheesy for my taste.
  • There was just no growth in Laura throughout the book.  I just never saw her change.  And she made dumb decisions over and over--not going back for curfew, saying yes to getting married...oh Laura.
  • I didn't care for Alyosha throughout the entire book.  Especially when he showed up on Laura's field trip...umm, possessive much?!  Regardless of the ending, I believe he had major ulterior motives.
  • The college essays that Laura wrote?!  I'd be disappointed if a high school student wrote them!  Very low level.
  • Olga--I just never fully understood her.
  • The minor characters that lived in Laura's dorm--I never saw enough of them to keep them all straight.
My favorite quote: "She decided that day to study Russian, the language of violence, terror, and absurdity.  She knew she would never be bored."

Yeah, not my favorite read of the year for sure.  I'm only able to give this one two heels.  But I'll be back tomorrow with a very fun outfit inspired by some traditional Russian toys!  Can't wait to show you!


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