Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

The Boy on the BridgeTitle: The Boy on The Bridge 
Author: Natalie Standiford
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Publishing Date: July 3rd 2013
Pages: 256
Genre:  New Adult Historical Romance
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Hardcover


A new breathtaking novel from Natalie Standiford about love and trust during the Cold War.

Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia--a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she's been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches--when Laura must return to the United States--Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She's only nineteen and doesn't think she's ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn't she take it?

I was really excited for this book. I love the 80's, Russia sounded like a great change of scenery, and I love another book by this author. I wanted to dig into it and finish it in one setting, since it was a pretty small book. Unfortunately I was a tad bit disappointed. The book had some really great stuff but fell short on some of the more important parts for me. 

Laura loves everything about Russia. The history, the language, and of course the boys. She takes a year of college and spends it going to university in Russia. In her first semester she meets a cute boy that saves the day on a bridge full of gypsies. She spends the rest of the year in his company falling in love and learning love isn't easy and sometimes there are hard choices to make. 

I liked the story. It was a good story that had a lot to say about the truth of Russia in the 80's. The city was dark, gloomy, stinky, and full of desperate people trying to make another life for themselves. I really enjoyed the culture the book gave. The writing was simple and the book was a very fast and  easy read to get through. I did feel that book had dept but it didn't get the depth across clearly. 

I didn't feel the romance or the characters the way I would have liked. I really though the romance would be swoon worthy. Russia, one year, a college student and a native boy, doomed relationship... I thought I would be in a state of awe the entire way through and I just wasn't. This story completely missed the mark on the romance. 

I really didn't feel the characters either. Both of the main characters, Alyosha and Laura, had a shot at being pretty cool,  but they fell short. Laura started with great potential. She seemed to have been responsible and knew what she wanted but she quickly turned to needy, whiny, and bit dramatic. She acted more like a teenager in love for the first time than a college student with a plan. She was a bit to obsessive and to be honest a bit dumb when it came to her relationship with Alyosha. 

I never liked Alysosha. He came across way to strong from the very beginning and he never felt right. I was always waiting for his true colors to show and couldn't enjoy the romance because I didn't believe his intentions were honest or true. He also came off a bit stalkerish to me. 

So I think the story could have been a lot better. Great cultural aspect, but the character building and the romance lacked for me. It was more of a light read than an deep story about two star-crossed lovers. 

It just wasn't what I was looking for. 

1 comment:

  1. I really loved The Boy On The Bridge, but I think my memories of that era probably had something to do with that. The romance was very bittersweet, but I like that :)

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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