Tuesday, February 10, 2009
A charming and entertaining story of a boy from England who falls in love with a girl from the United States.
Across the Pond by Storyheart is the story of Fred, a boy from England who is sent to stay with his parents' friends in the United States while they are away, and Brittany, the girl who wins his heart.
While Fred struggles to understand American culture and the meaning behind many popular expressions, he finds himself drawn to Brittany, the daughter of his parents' best friends. What he doesn't know, is that Brittany has a secret--a secret so troubling that she hasn't even been able to share it with her parents. And once Brit trusts Fred with her secret, his life is turned upside down.
Having managed to avoid an incident with Steve Harris, the town bully, Fred suddenly finds himself the subject of much attention, when he catches a baseball that is worth a small fortune.
As Brittany and Fred's relationship deepens into love, Fred realizes he must protect Brit from the secret she has shared with him; but how can he do that once he returns to England?
There is so much to enjoy in Across the Pond. Following the developing relationship between Fred and Brittany, Fred's struggles in understanding how the same word he knows from home can mean something very different in America, Fred's desire to protect Brittany, and even Fred's relationship with Brit's parents, Phil and Julie, all make this a wonderful story for young adults. Some fun and exciting moments come when Fred and Brit are chased through the mall by an unknown man and watching things unravel with the famous baseball is a blast.
Steve Harris, acts the part of the perfect antagonist. He's always on Fred's and Brittany's minds because he is sure to make his presence known, and he travels with his goons, Rick and Eddie, who help him keep his fights uneven.
One of the things that seems to be missing in this story is the descriptions of scenery. While you don't want to get bogged down in details, Fred is new to the country, and would therefore, be more aware of his surroundings, perhaps even capturing some of what he saw in his notebook that he brought along for a school project about his trip to America. I wanted more of a picture painted than was there on the page.
The other challenge for me is that Fred, Brittany and their friends use a party in his honor to get back at a couple of people, and I just felt it sent the wrong message to the reader.
Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed Across the Pond. A strong cast of characters, an interesting plot, some great baseball, and a deep secret all come together for an engaging and fun read.
Title: Across the Pond
SRP: $19.99 (U.S.)