It’s Monday! What are you reading? A weekly Wrap up



As per usual, It’s Monday is a meme sponsored by Check out her blog and the others participating. Maybe you will find more books to add to that growing TBR list of yours.

Now, it’s Monday again. My does the week go by fast. I am going to be very busy this month. Lots of cool posts and literary adventures. This Saturday I will be going to the Lit Crawl NYC in NYC. It will be my first time going. As I am not a drinker, I am more looking forward to the bars that involve writing stories, even literary trivia. Pictures and reviews will be posted, of course.

I am always participating in one of my first blog challenges, Tackle Your TBR Shelf read-a-thon  co-sponsored by and I am looking forward to that. You can see my kick off post here.

This week I posted a few book reviews, as well as a book to movie review.

Shadows by Paula Weston the first book in this debut author’s series The Rephaim. Two books are currently available for you to buy. It is a YA Fantasy book, similar to The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. So, if you readthat series, or the spin-offs Clare wrote, you may want to give this book and series a try.

Speaking of The Mortal Instruments. I recently went to see that film. And, no surprise there that I was disappointed. You can read my full review at

I also read Just One Day by Gayle Forman. This is also part of a series, but only a two parter. The second book, available in October is called Just One Year. Can I tell you have excited I am over it’s upcoming release? My review can be found here. It is a quick YA novel that is as engrossing as endearing. It isn’t your typical YA book because there is country hopping, self-exploration that is realistic, but there is a cute guy. There must be.

Then, there was The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford. This was a cute YA novel that takes place in Russia, where an American exchange student meets a cute Russian boy that changes her world. My review can be found here.

Currently, I am struggling with reading Sideshow of Merit by Nicole Pietsch. The cover is a little creepy, and doesn’t really coincide with the novel itself.


I am thinking of putting it on my DNF shelf. The cover is strange, but the novel is slightly disturbing and just as confusing as seeing a neck on the cover.

Happy Monday and Happy reading!


Love in the time of the Cold War: The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford Book Review



The Boy on the Bridge

By Natalie Standiford

Published July, 2013 by Scholastic Print

Genre: YA Historical fiction, YA realistic/romance

Arc copy via netgalley

Four and a half stars

It is January, 1982 and the Cold War is at its peak.  Nineteen year old Laura Reid, and a select handful of Americans, are studying aboard in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Leningrad. Naive Laura did not know what to expect; especially with her chosen semester taken place during the winter term where Russia is not the warmest of places. Americans are both mistreated and admired. Walking in to get food, the purveyors will bark that they are busy with no customers in his or hers store. Gypsy women surround the bridge by the university, holding bundles that are supposed to be babies that never age or change size. They want every last penny an American has. Laura is no exception. Alone, the gypsies become Laura’s future muggers until a young man comes along.  Surprise!

Meet Alexei Mikhailovich Nikolayev, or Alyosha for short. What starts off as a rescue mission, saving this unfamiliar American girl from Gypsies who are trying to mug her, to a love story. Everyone but Laura Reid suspects something as Alyosha starts to take up a majority of her time, as they always do. He is handsome, trying to learn English, and soon to be the love of Laura’s life.

While the two become closer and more intimate, the riskier their relationship becomes. KGB, prison, being unceremoniously brought back to the US. There are dangers, suspicions, and more that make this a relationship that most couples would retreat from. With all of Alyosha’s black market clothes, books, and music,  it starts to become easy to question him. The last person who wants to is Laura.

Standiford writes a captivating story; so captivating, I hated letting go of it. I couldn’t stop reading until I had to. As I have been to Russia years, it was nice reading about the sights again, remembering the places I saw. This is a fast read that left me with my mouth open, wanting to scream, “That’s it?” I enjoy when books do that to me. This book was no exception. The only disappointing thing about this book was there was no part two. Yes, concept is not wholly original. We have seen it in books before, and movies. Native falls for American.  Secret plans for Green cards, maybe? There was something completely sincere about this novel. It is realistic, and actually beautiful.  The language was simple and fluid. When Laura is hit with a surprise, the reader is, too. It is hard not to feel it all. If you enjoy young adult novels that don’t go your traditional route,  that includes foreign places, historical setting and time, and a more realistic love story, pick this up when you can. I loved this book. I hope you do, too.

Happy reading!


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