Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tatiana and Alexander Book Review

Rawr Reader,

This is Tatiana and Alexander, also called The Bridge to Holy Cross by Paullina Simons, the second book in the Bronze Horseman trilogy. The synopsis is from Goodreads:

Tatiana is eighteen years old, pregnant, and widowed when she escapes war-torn Leningrad to find a new life in America. But the ghosts of her past do not rest easily. She becomes consumed by the belief that her husband, Red Army officer Alexander Belov, is still alive and needs her desperately.

Meanwhile, oceans and continents away in the Soviet Union, Alexander barely escapes execution, and is forced to lead a battalion of soldiers considered expendable by the Soviet high command. Yet Alexander is determined to take his men through the ruins of Europe in one last desperate bid to escape Stalin's death machine and somehow find his way to Tatiana once again.

The first book in The Bronze Horseman trilogy. This is the second book and there's one more following.

(safe for those who haven't read this book yet)
   Continuing on with the next book because I could not stay away, I absolutely had to know what happened.
   As I was reading it I found it harder to like than the first book. I won't say how long they're separated, but they're separated for a really long time in this book. I found the first part the hardest to read since it included flashbacks I didn't see the point for. Thankfully the author wrote the times and places at the beginning because I would've been terribly confused. This one way more than the other one is a war story. Alexander fights
   I probably disliked this book more because I felt that the author wrote a lot of things Alex did that wasn't likable or honorable to his character, things he did before he met Tania, when he was with her in Lazarevo, and his time away from her (which I didn't mind as much since he was in war and trying to stay alive). He sounded rougher and more abusive than the gentler Alex that was in the first book (and I mean to Tania, not in general-- wouldn't want to piss off this guy). I don't know if this was just because the author wanted to parallel his flashbacks with his present time in the war, because I guess it would make sense if so.
   This book is definitely more of a war-love story I think because we're taken with Alexander through war in his march across Asia and Europe, and sometimes taken back and then forward again. In the first book, we were sometimes in the battlefield with Alex but mostly we read through the spoils and effects of how the war was forcing them to live. Not so much in this book, we saw both ends, in the battlefield and then life in America where Tania had it pretty good (at least comparable to winter 1941 in Leningrad in the first book.)
   I found this book a little more sad and depressing more so because of their separation than because of the war. I think my main motivator for continuing was I wanted to see how they reunited. This is like New Moon all over again. What kept me turning the pages was I wanted to see when they would see each other again. And every time I came to a chapter and it said months later than the prior, my heart tore a little. I just hoped it wasn't going to be like 10 years later when Tania would get a letter saying he died. 
   I don't know if it was because of their separation that made this story not as enjoyable and I found a lot of moments where I backtracked to reread some of Tania's sentences. 
   One thing that I did enjoy (since it seems I disliked way more than liked) is how the author explained what Alex meant when he said "remember Orbeli". It was later than I would have liked, but I think it makes more sense where she placed it or the book would have been shorter.
   I didn't like this book half as much as the first book, but considering this was a war story and it was needed to show both sides of it, I found it pretty good in that aspect. Throughout it all, at the end of the day, it was the undying love that prevailed. Ergo.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

Author's Quote:
“We walk alone through this world, but if we're lucky, we have a moment of belonging to something, to someone, that sustains us through a lifetime of loneliness.” 
― Paullina Simons, Tatiana and Alexander

My Goodreads:

Next To Read:
Once by Cameron Dokey

River Song's Spoilers:
(unsafe for those who haven't read this book yet, so don't read this section)
   I found the beginning __ pages really hard to get into. I didn't like that they were separated for most of it, and that most of it was in flashbacks. I mean, I didn't mind one or two, but after they kept coming and coming I was beginning to lose sight to what the point of those flashbacks were. The Orbeli one in which Alexander meets the art curator, I don't remember in the first book being written, so I was excited to see what happened. But then it turned out to be Alexander speaking to him right before he met Tania.
    Oh, and this book made me like Alexander less. Which made me very sad, because I loved him in The Bronze Horseman. I think it was when he met his first love so to speak, Larissa, and though they never did anything, he kept the name she wanted to call him: Shura. After reading that I was like, oh I bet he only wanted Tania to call him that because he was really wishing it was Larissa. I don't know why that bothered me more than when he was sleeping around with a million women. After reading that part, and revealing that the very morning he met Tania was when he was leading another woman out of his cabin made me like him less, and I didn't really believe the whole: "she just glowed." I guess I'm just not a fan of reading love-at-first-sight stories since there are so many.
   When I was reading the first part about his childhood in Russia and learning about his feelings for his parents, I didn't understand why he met with his father in that prison. It didn't seem like that'd be something he'd do after really getting a look into his past. 
  Anyone else have trouble with Anthony's age? I don't remember which chapter but I remember Tania saying he was 2.5 years old and when I read that scene I couldn't believe that he was really that age. She said that she was taking him to school and he was mad at her for something so he squared his shoulders and then walked into the school. And then he said something that sounded too mature for his age (nothing with big words but he spoke in proper sentences and stuff.) 
   Also I didn't understand why her son's English was more correct than hers, she didn't develop with her English in the four years she'd been speaking it. Whenever she was talking to Vikki or Edward or Sam, her English would forget a verb or a adjective or something and I didn't understand why. It probably wouldn't have bothered me as much but since a lot of characters she met kept telling her her English was good but I kept reading these sentences where if I was listening to her, I'd be correcting incessantly. 
   Three years! ... Three years!! This was like New Moon all over again (except way longer). Like I said in my review I didn't want it to be 10 years later when they finally saw each other, because then it would've been they were together in their youth and in their old age, what about the middle and raising the kid?? Thankfully it wasn't that long-- only 3 years. I could take that. What made it seem shorter was I remembered watching The Notebook and the main girl was telling the guy she waited for him for 7 years. After that, this didn't seem so bad. Considering.
   Oh, can I call on Pasha? I stopped reading for a break a page before he returned and when I read it. Ha! called it! Well, technically at first I was like who's Metanov? (I was watching Game of Thrones which has about a million and a half of characters so I forgot). Then Alex was like, Pavel "Pasha" Metanov? From there I got it. And when he died, my heart broke. Especially when Alex and Ouspensky just ended up returning back to Colditz Castle. Come on!

Until Next Time,
Nicole Ciel

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