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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bite Size Review: Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash

Title: Bird After Bird
Series: Standalone
Author: Leslea Tash
Published: April 2014
Format: ebook received for review

Dear Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff, Keeper of Dreams, Lover of our Fine Feathered Friends, queen of my life and light of my world, I hope this letter finds you well. If you are reading this then I am gone, and sweetheart, I am so sorry.

Chi-town professional Wren Riley is 25 and a rising star in the business world. She can eat a man alive and laugh about it to her girlfriends in seconds flat--and she does, on the regular. Behind the power suits and the flashing, flirty eyes, however, Wren has a secret, vulnerable side. Following a devastating loss and the discovery of a bird journal she and her father made together years before, Wren sets out to seek peace, closure, and something she just can't name. Is that something tied to the little paper cranes she keeps finding along the way?

Laurence Byrd grew up a lanky Hoosier kid with the good/bad fortune of having the same name as the state's perennial basketball legend. With a better affinity for dogs than sports or school, he ends up in the Army instead of the Chicago art school of his dreams. Still, his service to our country is something he can be proud of--until an argument with the girl who means the world to him results in a series of events that blows his life apart. With no one left to understand him, black sheep Laurie pours out his heart into letters and drawings he never intends to send--then he folds them into paper cranes that he leaves behind like messages in little winged bottles. He never dreams someone might be finding them.

God damn it, Sylvia, for a few moments I tricked myself into feeling really alive. I cut it off before anyone got hurt, but just for a moment or two, I really thought I might feel something again--something like trust. Something like love. Not the kind of love we had, but something new. Something like hope.

Spoiler alert: Wren and Laurie are going to meet. And when they do, their lives are never going to be the same.

Bite Size Review! 

When I first saw this book, I was expecting one hell of an emotional read.  I thought perhaps it would be one of those books that tore you apart from the inside out, and I was giddy with excitement.  While the story itself didn't quite reach that level for me, it was still a pretty good love story.

Wren and Laurie (short for Laurence) grew up in the same small town, yet they never met.  I found this to be quite unusual since everyone and their mother seemed to know every single detail about Wren.  When we catch up with them Wren is 25, and Laurie is 22.  Wren is wrapping up her deceased father's estate, which was a bit of a tear-jerker.  As it turns out, her dad kind of stole the show for me with his insightful and heartwarming letters left behind for his only child to read after he passed on.  

While back in town, Wren meets Laurie and sparks fly.  But the two of them have a lot of baggage to contend with, and it makes for some good drama throughout the book.  As for Wren herself, she was an interesting character.  She seemed a bit uppity to me, and always wondered why people from the small town thought her to be so.  Knock knock knock, hello?!? On more than one occasion she pointed out how she just wanted to get out, to get away, etc.  When you live in a small town, the overwhelming need to escape doesn't always fly real well. As for Laurie, I liked him real well.  He has a lot of inner demons to deal with, and he's doing it in his own way.  He seemed far older than his twenty two years old, and when it was actually pointed out in black and white, I was taken back a bit.  I mean, if I had done that math I would have realized, but somehow it just didn't click in with me.  He's a genuine and caring soul, and I really felt like I could connect with him as a character. 

All in all, there are plenty of ups and downs with the story and their climb to relationship status.  My one real complaint about the story is all of the bird references.  I mean, I get that her name is Wren and his last name is Byrd, and I thought that was cute.  Ok, her dad took her out to watch birds throughout her childhood, and he had an obsession with birds... Alright, both of their nicknames were Birdy, etc... It just got to be too much for me in that regard, and I did start to glaze over during some bits.  But that is strictly a personal opinion of mine, as someone who is not overly interested in birds.  The romance and romantic drama throughout the book was definitely interesting, and if you are into contemporary romance, then this might be a book you'd like to check out.  I wouldn't put this in a New Adult category, if that's what you are looking for.  They definitely fit the age range, but there's no college type behavior or the normal angst and heartache that usually goes along with the NA genre.  I'd definitely be interested, though, to see if you are going to read this book and I'd love to hear your thoughts!