Thursday, November 6, 2014

All About Middle Grade Review: Arcady's Goal

Arcady's Goal by Eugene Yelchin, October 14, 2014. 240 pages. Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). Source: publisher.
From Newbery Honor–winning author Eugene Yelchin comes another glimpse into Soviet Russia. For twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a children’s home after his parents are declared enemies of the state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunity and achieve his goal? Or will he miss his shot?
First Sentence:
I'm a risk taker.

So, Arcady's Goal was not the book I intended to grab from my TBR. I was actually reaching for a different title; although, once I started in on Eugene Yelchin's novel about Soviet Russia and and Arcady's soccer aspirations I could not turn away to that other book.

With Arcady's Goal being an accidental read, I feel that maybe it was meant to be read on that day and maybe I am meant to review it now instead of later. So, with those thoughts running through my head,I shall give you my thoughts on Eugene Yelchin's latest release (which came out last month...I'm just saying).
    When I started Arcady's Goal, I felt it was wise to read the author's note at the back of the book before starting it. Why, because I wanted to better understand not just the story but the way people from Soviet Russia during this time felt and the ripple effect that spiraled down through generations; namely how they wouldn't speak aloud of what happened. I think to better understand the book and the mindset of the characters, it is vital to read the author's note first. Of course, that is just my opinion.

First off, Eugene Yelchin did an amazing job of bringing every aspect of life in the orphanage and the hardships that Arcady and Ivan, the guy who adopted him, faced as they embarked on their new journey trying to build trust and a family unit. What really struck me about this book would have to be the difficulty they faced in coming to understand one another and what the other one wanted out of their new family. It was really interesting to see them slowly come to terms with one another and how they helped to make each other stronger. For the rough start to everything to the bond that was forming near the end, that alone is enough for me to recommend Arcady's Goal to everyone. The author just did a great job with the characters.

Soccer, oh, how I dearly love books about soccer! I admit, the whole reason I was interested in reading this one was because Arcady loves soccer and because I myself love soccer. I know, we all have that moment when we select a book just because we love something the characters feels strongly about; it's nice to read something were you and the character have a common interest. But, beyond the love of soccer, I find that it his passion for the game and how he used his ability to make the most about his situation that caught my attention.
   Between the soccer and the Eugene Yelcin's writing, there are so many reasons for one to enjoy Arcady's Goal. For me, I enjoyed the how easily I found myself caught up in the story of Arcady and his chance at a new life; also his drive to achieve his dream of playing for his country's soccer team.

Final Verdict: Arcady's Goal- Unforgettable and well written.

Arcady's Goal earns

 this book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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