Monday, May 12, 2014

ARC Review: Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash

Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash
Arc Recieved through Publisher and Netgalley
Published April 6, 2014


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.

“If he would see me again, I would die happy. In the meantime, I was merely dying.” 
This book had a brilliant start, a lovely end, but the middle was a little rocky. Let me explain real quick. It starts off with a letter. It’s been one year since Wren’s dad died of cancer. A few years ago, her mom died of cancer and she and her father started Birding. AKA: Bird Watching. This became a hobby, a pastime, a way to move on and a source of hope for both Wren and her father. As I stated before, it’s been one year, and it’s finally time for Wren to read the letter her father wrote her before his passing. It’s a letter addressed to Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff, Keeper of Dreams, Lover of our Fine Feathered Friends, and that, my dear readers, says it all. This is Wren’s story. It’s a story of her hopes and dreams. It’s the story of how she fell from the top, or that top that she was put on, or maybe even just the place she thought she was meant to be, and found her ground. It’s a story of growing up and then growing back down again. Bird After Bird is the tale of how paper cranes can change a person in more ways than they know. It’s a tale of moving on and learning to love again. It’s a tale about being exposed and raw.

Now with that said, all those emotions which I felt should be there, weren’t necessarily there. The beginning was smashingly executed but the falling head over sneaker with a love at first sight tone left me unsatisfied and frankly kind of upset. I knew there would be this love that would be all consuming, but love isn’t meant to destroy you, it’s meant to keep you stable, or at least help you keep your head above water. I thought that the characters let themselves become too consumed and, therefore, leaving absolutely nothing to be imagined. The I love you came too soon for me.
 “For the first time in ages I felt a tiny pinprick in my heart--not like it was breaking, but like something small and unseen had begun sewing it closed again.” 
Both the main characters, Wren and Laurie, had their fair share of problems. Laurie being a war vet with a dead best friend, a dead fiancĂ©e and a dead dog, and Wren with two parents who died from lung cancer. And neither of them know how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. When they found ‘love’ with each other, they clung to it like a life line. They needed it because it wasn’t the black-hole pit of despair that they were so used to. And it made me feel a little stabby towards the both of them more than a few time.

I was reading this is speech class and found myself aimlessly clicking the next button on my Kindle. That is not supposed to happen. I’m supposed to fall so in love with a book that a savor ever word. So, in the end, this book was an okay read. It wasn’t something I’d shove to the top of my to-read pile, but it was a decent book.

What this book really comes down to is taste, and sadly, this one just wasn’t my flavor profile. 

Have y'all read this one yet? What's the verdict? And isn't that cover amazing?! 

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