Fitting in

Marilyn Levy, Author Fawcett Books $3.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-70373-1
On a trip to the Soviet Union prior to her senior year, Julia meets handsome, brooding Mikhail Danilovich; their mutual attraction is undeniable. After returning to Los Angeles, she is thrilled to learn that the Daniloviches' exit visas have come through, and that Mikhail will attend her school. At first, he's the center of attention, until everyone, Julia included, becomes immersed in clubs and activities. Offended by the change, Mikhail grows increasingly homesick and befriends a Russian gang embroiled in drugs and thievery. Levy's ( Is That Really Me in the Mirror? ) novel, heavy on narrative musings and short on dialogue, occasionally drags; frequent shifts of perspective between the two protagonists may prove confusing. Mikhail's various personality transformations--sweet, arrogant, stalwart, wimpy--tend to negate whatever sympathy may be due him. The novel does, however, contain realistic incidents involving neo-Nazi skinheads that are alarming and ironic for a country espousing religious freedom. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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