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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ARC Review: Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash

I was really looking forward to reading this book after having read the blurb. It sounded like one that I would really be able to get into, and I really liked the look of the cover. The first chapter really grabbed my attention and I will admit that as I was reading it I was laughing through my tears. The letter that Wren's dad left her was both funny and heartbreaking. I figured that this one was going to be a home run after finishing the first chapter. Unfortunately this one fell apart for me and although there were things that I did really enjoy about this story this one just didn't work for me. I think that this one had a lot of promise and a great story somewhere inside of everything, but for me it just didn't live up to what I had expected after that first chapter.

Wren has been dealing with her father's estate after he died a year ago and returns home in order to list his house on the market. Her father's lawyer gives her a key to a safe deposit box and she finds their old bird watching book/journal along with a letter from him. She is now a successful businesswoman working in Chicago after having left her small hometown behind. She ends up meeting Laurence "Laurie" Byrd while back in her hometown and they hit it off. When Wren returns to Chicago, both her and Laurie are still thinking of each other. They decide to start seeing each other and even though they are far apart they think that it is worth working for. But soon, Wren's ambition and career goals are threatening to get in the way of their relationship. Laurie isn't ready to let her go, but with him suffering from his past as well things between them are more complicated than ever. Can they both move forward together, or will their pasts and futures be too far apart for them to make a relationship work?

I liked Laurie. He was sweet and thoughtful. I loved how artistic and positive he was. He always seemed to be such a good guy that was just looking for happiness in whatever life threw his way. I really liked that he would journal to get his feelings out and then he would leave them in the form of origami birds out in the world. It was such a unique and different idea that I have never seen or heard anything like before. I did think that Laurie seemed to develop really strong and intense feelings very fast though and that was a little bit too insta-love for my tastes. Especially considering that he had lost his fiance before and was still not over her death. It just seemed to be way too rushed for me. Wren was a character that I both liked and didn't. I loved that she had been so close to her father and that she had such a great relationship with her friends. I really liked her commitment to birding and her love of helping those in the birding community. I did think that she was a bit hard to really identify with though, and I hated that she was dating Troy for really no reason. She didn't like him and didn't really intend to use him to better her career, but yet she continued to date him even after meeting Laurie and it seemed like she was only with him because she couldn't actually have the conversation. I just didn't really like that and I thought that it was kind of crappy to do to not only Laurie but also to Troy even though I didn't like him. I also really didn't like that she made decisions without thinking about Laurie at all or even really talking to him. She said she loved him, but honestly I really didn't buy it. She never really thought about him or their future and didn't seem to take his feelings into consideration at all. She just did what she wanted or thought was best and seemed almost indifferent to him most of the time. I did like that she stood up for him to his mom and sister Jo though. I also thought that they did have some chemistry and that the foundation for a relationship was there. It just didn't ever really seem to develop in a real or believable way to me.

I also didn't like that this book focused so much on birding. It seemed like there was more detail and description on the birds and environment than on the characters, and I felt that it really distracted from the story being told. I honestly didn't care about the birds or birding at all, and I kept becoming distracted and wanting to skim large sections of the book because of it. I also thought that this book was all over the place. This book lacked smooth transitions and sometimes it lacked transitions all together. It would just pick up somewhere completely new and left me trying to figure out what I had missed or how we got to where we were from where the story had just been. I did think that Wren and Laurie were both characters that were capable of being liked and I would have really been interested in their story if it had seemed to actually develop, but it just didn't ever work for me and I felt that the story was too bogged down with the birding parts. I had been hoping for more of a love story, and this one just fell short of that for me. I think that there are a lot of people who will enjoy this story and the characters, and anyone who is a fan of birding will probably really enjoy this book. It just wasn't for me and wasn't what I had been expecting.

**ARC provided by Inkslinger PR**

Purchase: | Amazon |


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