The Boy on the Bridge

The Boy on the Bridge

5.0 2
by Natalie Standiford
     
 

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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

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Overview


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?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Standiford (Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters) paints a somber portrait of communist Russia during the early 1980s in this love story tinged with intrigue. Laura, an American college student studying in Leningrad, is homesick and tired of “bitter cold, inedible food, filthy dorms, boring classes.” That’s before she meets Alyosha, a handsome young Russian artist who appears on a bridge just in time to save her from two aggressive gypsy women. Although Laura has been warned not to “fall” for Russian men, who might have ulterior motives, she is drawn to her mysterious rescuer and arranges to meet with him secretly. Their rendezvous become increasingly frequent and intense, and the city that once seemed so bleak to Laura suddenly comes to life. It also becomes more dangerous, making Laura wonder whether Alyosha’s affection is sincere. The desperation behind the Iron Curtain is dramatically portrayed as Laura witnesses the restrictions Alyosha and his friends endure. Besides offering readers passion and suspense, Standiford raises thought-provoking questions about how far people should go for the sake of love and freedom. Ages 14�up. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

Praise for CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS:

"This book has a long shelf life ahead of it, and can be easily offered to any teen as an excellent read." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"Humor abounds in the inner workings of this interesting and unusual family." --KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Standiford makes reading about Baltimore high society and the flawed, pampered, but likable Sullivans feel like a wickedly guilty pleasure. . . . Readers will wish that more family members had confessions to make." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"[A] sweet and charming new novel." -- VOYA

"Standiford (Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters) paints a somber portrait of communist Russia during the early 1980s in this love story tinged with intrigue. Laura, an American college student studying in Lenigrad, is homesick and tired of "bitter cold, inedible food, filthy dorms, boring classes." That’s before she meets Alyosha, a handsome young Russian artist who appears on a bridge just in time to save her from two aggressive gypsy women. Although Laura has been warned not to "fall" for Russian men, who might have ulterior motives, she is drawn to her mysterious rescuer and arranges to meet with him secretly. Their rendezvous become increasingly frequent and intense, and the city that once seemed so bleak to Laura suddenly comes to life. It also becomes more dangerous, making Laura wonder whether Alyosha’s affection is sincere. The desperation behind the Iron Curtain is dramatically portrayed as Laura witnesses the restrictions Alyosha and his friends endure. Besides offering readers passion and suspense, Standiford raises thought-provoking questions about far people should go for the sake of love and freedom." - Publishers Weekly starred review

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—In this love story set during the Cold War, 19-year-old Laura Reid is an American studying in Leningrad. She meets Alyosha on the bridge near her dormitory, and their star-crossed love is immediate and dangerous. They live at a time when every move is watched and luxuries are scarce. Laura shows Alyosha what is available to foreigners in Russia during a covert trip to the Berioska Shop. In turn, he gives her a glimpse into his secret past and a present that creates more questions than it answers. As the end of the semester draws near, so does their time together. Although Laura has heard that Russians will do anything to get to the U.S., she doesn't want to believe that Alyosha might be one of them. Readers are left wondering until the very end about his true intentions. Standiford accurately re-creates the bleakness of life in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. This is a great book for teens who enjoy tragic romances with a historical twist.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH
Kirkus Reviews
A young woman studying abroad in Leningrad in the early 1980s falls for a young man she meets there in this uniquely suspenseful romance. Nineteen-year-old university student Laura is warned repeatedly about young Soviets so desperate to escape to the United States that they'll do anything--even con American students into marrying them. However, when Laura meets Alyosha, she is electrified. He is the exact opposite of the sarcastic and emotionally distant guy who's been messing with her head back home. Alyosha earnestly quotes poetry and brings flowers, and soon she's convinced herself that their relationship is an exception to the rule. While many will need to spend some time familiarizing themselves with an era unfamiliar to contemporary teens, Standiford balances just the right elements to make this story work. Readers will see that Laura's insecurities, which will endear some to her and likely frustrate others, play into her willingness to believe Alyosha is her true love, but there is such a surplus of mystery created around his background and circumstances that anything seems possible. The mood of Leningrad through Laura's eyes shifts throughout the novel, the city described in a simple, often elegant style. An unlikely love story set in an unusual time and place; there are no happy endings or easy resolutions here. (Romance. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545334815
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
07/30/2013
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
906,340
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.42(h) x 0.96(d)
Lexile:
660L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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