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Not What I Expected: The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

Hey there!

For my birthday in 2013 my husband sent me to YALL Fest in Charleston with a bunch of money to buy books. And boy did I buy books! The only problem is that I bought so many books it has taken forever to get to them all, which is why I just recently read The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford!

Overview

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 The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie StandifordRussia–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?

My Thoughts

Okay, so I apparently did not read the summary of this one at all before buying it! A few pages into reading The Boy on the Bridge, I posted about it on Instagram and a friend asked me what it was about. My response was “I’m only 5 pages in but it takes place in Cold War era Soviet Union. I think there will be spies!” This is hilarious to me now that I’ve read it. There are no spies! I just assumed that there would be since it was set during the Cold War. haha OOPS!!

All, that to say this book was not what I expected, but that doesn’t mean it was bad! This book is historical fiction, but it’s too contemporary to be my usual type of historical fiction. I honestly didn’t know a single thing about what life was like in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but Standiford’s writing drew me in so quickly and it was really eye-opening to learn more about the time period. I had no idea that average Soviet citizens were under strict food rationing while any visiting foreigners shopped at stores that sold the best of the best. Laura’s experience with her friend Alexei allows the reader to discover this divide in lifestyle alongside the Laura

Although, this is historical fiction, it is also a romance through and through! The way Laura meets Alexei is the perfect meet-cute when he saves her from being taken advantage of by a gypsy woman on a bridge. They quickly become language conversation partners before they blossom into full on romance and the best thing about this romance is that it is realistic. Standiford succeeds at making the reader feel the obsessiveness and all consuming nature that often characterizes first love.

In the end, The Boy on the Bridge was not what I originally expected, but I enjoyed it anyway! Romance lovers high school age and older will most likely enjoy this book the most so if that’s you go ahead and get your hands on this one!

Details

Author: Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic Press (July 1, 2013)
Format: Print (hardcover)
Length: 256 pages
Series: Standalone
YA/MG: YA/NA (New Adult)

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Reading Queue: April

The Reading QueueHi there!

As of today I’ve officially been a mom for a month! I have to say that it’s pretty darn challenging…but also very, very awesome as well! Colin and I are getting to know each other a little better every single day.

But as I said, it’s a new month which means it is time for a new Reading Queue. I co-host this monthly event with Jessica at Books A True Story, so be sure to visit her blog (and her Reading Queue) too!

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How I Did Last Month

I had no idea what to expect reading-wise during my first month with a newborn, but I was pleasantly surprised! I managed to read three books during March. I already loved audiobooks to begin with (which you already know! haha), but I can see that they’re going to be my main source of reading material in these early months because I can “read” and be hands-free!

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford Ruby Red by Kertin Gier Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford (print)

Ruby Red (The Ruby Red Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier (audiobook)

Sapphire Blue (The Ruby Red Trilogy #2) by Kerstin Gier (audiobook)

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My April Reading Queue

I have high hopes for this month because I hit the mother load when I visited my local library the other day. I found a bunch of new titles on audiobook! I couldn’t believe some of them were just sitting there on the shelf! I was like “WHAT?! NO ONE HAS CHECKED THESE OUT YET?!” It was awesome. So here are the titles that are in my plans for the month – all are audiobooks.

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

Emerald Green (The Ruby Red Trilogy #3) by Kerstin Gier

Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman

The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London #3) by Maureen Johnson

All Fall Down by Ally Carter Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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What are you planning to read in April? Did you reach your goals in March?  We would love for you to join up with us! It’s a fun way to see what others are planning to read each month. Plus, you never know who wants to read the same book you do! If you’d like to join up, just link to your own Reading Queue post below!

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Reading Queue: March

The Reading QueueHi!

Happy March! Here at BookTasty we are officially on Baby Watch! My due date is tomorrow and I’ve been having contractions every hour or so, so things are definitely progressing and are about to real, really soon!

It’s also time for another Reading Queue! The Reading Queue is a monthly event hosted by myself and Jessica at Books a True Story where we reflect on our reading from the previous month and set our reading plans for the upcoming month. I find that having reading plans for the month (even loose ones) helps keep me relatively focused…most of the time! haha

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How I Did Last Month

Audiobooks are my friends! When I feel like I don’t have time to sit and read a print book, audiobooks keep my “reading” going! In February 3 of the four books I finished were on audio.

Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (audio)

Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) by Megan Shepherd (audio)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (print)

Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes (audio)

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 My March Reading Queue

With Marshmallow coming soon, I have no idea how much reading I’ll actually get done in March, but it’s totally okay to bit off more than I can chew right?!

Ruby Red by Kertin Gier The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir (audio)

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford (print)

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman (e-galley)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (print)

Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo (print)

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Okay, so there you have it! March’s plans are, let’s say…optimistic…with a newborn on the very near horizon, but we’ll just have to see how things work out. I already started both Ruby Red and The Boy on the Bridge yesterday, but which titles from my queue should I pick up next?

As always, please join up with us for this month’s Reading Queue! We love to checkout what everyone else’s reading plans are!

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Reading Queue: February

The Reading QueueWelcome to this month’s Reading Queue (hosted by myself and Books A True Story)!

Me last week (35 weeks)!

Me last week (35 weeks)!

Well, I’m officially about a month away from my due date and from meeting our little Marshmallow! Things are about to get crazy! Mentally, I need Marshmallow to come after the due date (March 2) because I just feel completely not ready for anything earlier! But of course, baby will come when baby wants to come!

On to more bookish things!

It’s time for my monthly Reading Queue, which means I’ll recap last month’s books read and preview what I plan to read this month. Notice I say “plan”! It’s a loose goal that I try to keep to stay organized, but I usually end up getting distracted by other books that come my way!

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How I Did Last Month

Okay so I didn’t stick to my queue for January. Oh well. I did read some good books though! I actually chose to put down two books this month because I just was struggling with them and decided that I’d rather be reading other titles instead.

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers (print)

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (print)

Waterfall by Lisa T Bergen The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa T. Bergen (audiobook)

The Young Elites by Maire Lu (audiobook)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare  DNF

The Iron King (The Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa DNF

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My February Reading Queue

I’m really excited about these books this month!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (print)

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (audiobook)

Firelight by Sophie Jordan The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (print)

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford (print)

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman (e-galley)

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Okay, so here we go February! Let’s get a ton of reading in before life gets nuts! haha

Do you have any suggestions for which ones I should make priority?  I’ve already started The Glass Throne and The Madman’s Daughter and I think I’m going to love them both!

If you’d like to join us this month, please add the link to your Reading Queue below!


 

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Reading Queue: January

The Reading QueueHappy 2015!

It’s a brand new year friends! There are going to be a lot of changes happening for me this year as we Hi Catwill welcome our first baby in early March. It’s really intimidating but really exciting all mixed together!

As usual, as the New Year arrives I can’t help but think about how my 2015 “Bookish Landscape” will look. I always get so excited to start the year of with a reading BANG!

Since today is January 1st I have decided that one easy way to start 2015 off right is to attempt to read more from the books I already own. Every good library contains a ton of books one hasn’t read yet, but I’d like to begin by finally giving some attention to these titles.

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How I Did Last Month

The month of December was a pretty good reading month for me. Having the start of my two-week Winter Break allowed me ample to time to read, relax, and repeat! In the end, I was able to read 8 books in December, which helped me finish my 2014 Reading Challenge Goal with 86 books read!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (print)

Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios (audiobook)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater (audiobook)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (e-book)

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski  Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (print)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski (audiobook)

Forest Born by Shannon Hale WaistcoatsAndWeaponry

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (e-book)

Forest Born by Shannon Hale (audiobook)

Did Not Finish

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne (print)

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My January Reading Queue

I always have high reading spirits in January and I know I tend to bite off a little more than I can chew in the first few months of a new year, but oh well! I will have more quiet evenings for reading time this month since my Husband will be in the UK for about 10 days. So here goes!

Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by HeleneJanuary Reading Queue Boudreau (print)

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (print)

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (print)

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford (print)

Firelight by Sophie Jordan (print)

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (print)

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (print)

Not Pictured

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (e-book)

Champion by Marie Lu (audiobook)

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I know I have a big goals for this month! How about you? What titles are on your Reading Queue? Feel free to link to your Reading Queue post below we love to see what everyone else is reading!

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Reading Queue: December

The Reading QueueWelcome to my December Reading Queue!

The Reading Queue is a monthly meme, hosted by Book Tasty (hi there!) and Books: A true story , where we share our reading plans  for the month. You can hop to other blogs and see what others are reading and maybe find someone reading the same thing as you! Or you can ask for people to vote on what you should read next if you can’t decide. Please feel free to contact me in the comments if you’d like to join and/or if you have questions!

Each month I love getting the chance to visit the other blogs who participate, it’s just fun to see what everyone else is reading!

How I Did Last Month

Okay, so November turned out to be pretty crazy what with all the traveling through Europe I did!

Belgium 2013

Here we are in Bruges! (Max, me, Greg the Husband, and Steve)

So, I only made it to four books and only two of them were on my original November Reading Queue. And here they are!

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas (audiobook)

I absolutely adored this fantasy!

Icefall by Matthew J. KirbyIcefall by Matthew J. Kirby

This was such a surprise for me! I did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did!

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (print)

So, I really, really thought this was a great ending to the series! I can’t wait for the Divergent movie!

Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail CarrigerCurtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Seriously, this series is hands down one of my favorite newish series right now. I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I love these books.

My December Reading Queue

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie StandifordThe Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Runaway King by Jennifer A. NeilsenThe Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Okay! Well, these are my reading plans for the upcoming month.  What are you planning to read during December? Have you read any of the titles on my Reading Queue? Do you have any suggestions on which I should start with?

If you’re interested in joining up, add your Reading Queue post to the linky below! We’re happy to have you!