(This review is pretty much directly taken from my goodreads, so if you happen to be friends we me on there and have already read my review, I'll forgive you if you want to skip this post...)
I had heard about this book through Little Book Owl's channel - she completely raved about it - so when I was wandering through the library one day I decided to pick it up. Oh my goodness.
Set in 1941, this is the story of 17 year old Tatiania and her family, and their experiences in the first few months of the Soviet Union's involvement with World War Two. However, it isn't just the war that is changing Tatiana's life irrevocably - as she is going to the shops one morning she meets Alexander (a Red Army solider).
This story is so beautifully written and just so heart breakingly moving, it is really hard to put down once you've picked it up. It's the first book if this kind that I read (adult, set in the past, war romance) and I really enjoyed the reading experience. It is a very long book, but the story is pretty well sustained throughout - although there is one section about 4/5 of the way through in which I started to get more than a little annoyed with all of the characters (it felt like I was reading the same passage over and over and the whole plot wasn't moving anywhere or even building up to anything). However, the ending is dramatic and powerful. At one point I was unsure if I would try to pick up the second book, but now I know I just have to.
Like I've said, overall I love the main characters, however this isn't to say they are without flaw, and at times their interactions sent me up the wall. I'm not going to go into details because spoilers, but be prepared to want to punch all of them at one point or another. This being said, it's probably what makes them so human - they have flaws and are not the perfect 'star crossed lovers'.
This is the perfect book to read on a cold winters night - the cold outside would make the freezing Russian winter come to life even more graphically than it does in the book. Really recommend this book, especially if you already like the historical/war romance genre.
I gave it 4/5 on goodreads, but I'm probably going to give it a 3.75 on here, just because I did get very annoyed with the whole book at one or two points because of the poor momentum etc.
I've decided to try to bring back the 'currently reading' thing that I used to do, hopefully now I'm free to read books I want, they'll actually be interesting!
Currently Reading: The Wild Things by Dave Eggers