20 April 2014

Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash - Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway

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.
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When you meet the right one, Wren, even after they’re gone you don’t feel lonely the way other people do.

Wren is going to break Laurie’s heart. I just knew it, and I was feeling helpless watching him fall in love with this amazing, intelligent, sad girl whose heart is encased in a huge, thick citadel since the moment she had lost her mom at a young age.

She was the office man-eater. She was good at what she does, and she knows it. She was on her way on becoming a partner at a young age. But despite all of these – it was all a fa├žade, because beneath is tough exterior lies a vulnerable side of her no one has ever known. After graduating high school in a small town, she studied at Northwestern and never looked back, until her father died and she needed to sell the house. Then, she got a hold of a bird journal she and her father made when she was young, and a letter from her father. Not only that, she keeps on finding those paper cranes along the way. The one whom is written by someone who seemed to share the same pain as she does.

Follow your instincts, sweetheart. Find your center, your peace, your home. Fly after your heart and be happy, sweet daughter of mine.

Did you fell in love with this young man as well? Because I did. He might not possess all those alpha male qualities most male characters has now, but he has depth, and sensitivity I greatly admire. Although I would have wished he would stood up to his mother who is becoming more and more annoying every time I see her on the pages. He is perfect! He wasn’t only good looking, but he has brains as well, not to mention he can sing and he can paint too! But instead of going to an art school, he ended up enlisting. This was something he knew he can be proud of – until an argument with his girlfriend sparks an unfortunate series of events that blows his life out of proportion. With no one seemed to understand what he was feeling, he started to vent himself through his paintings and letters he never intends to send – he makes this into paper cranes and leaves them behind in various places. He had no intention of someone finding them or reading them.

They have met in the most unexpected circumstances, the chemistry was already present, and there was already the attraction, but none of them made the moved. She was living in Chicago, her life was there, and he was here – how can that possibly work out? But it did! The long-distance relationship work for a while, until he decided to upped his game, and it scared her. There were problems at work, job offer elsewhere, and they were starting to grow apart. Wren decided they were too different from each other. Which had really saddened me. I think my heart broke when she decided to accept the job offer and leave him. He was perfect, he never really minded going to and fro in Chicago, I wished she’d informed him of her plans. He was really into her, and he assumed they were on the same page. So imagine my surprise, HIS surprise when she decided to turn around.

Thank goodness for his sister, Janice, and a nun who made them see that they were really for each other. It had taken a while and I thought I was in for a cliff-hanger or a not-so-happy ever after. I was nearing the end page, and they haven’t figured it out yet. After his viral performance that was all over the internet, not to mention his grand gesture over central park, Laurie hasn’t found Wren yet. Wren hasn’t made up her mind as well. She didn’t really wanted to be like her dad who gave up his full potential and became a math teacher when he could be something else. She wanted to be someone – but the question is – would that make her happy? Because clearly, when she’s not at work she’s miserable. Until when can she finally decide what is right for her? Until when will they finally realize that they were meant to be together?

I read this hoping it would be as good and beautiful as the cover – and I wasn’t disappointed. With interesting, complex characters, well-written letters that can shatter hearts and make you cry – Leslea Tash had written a novel that will have her readers unable to tear their eyes from the pages. Not just that I had a crash course lessons about the birds (literally), but I was in for an emotional ride with both characters in their journey into finding themselves, and along the way, finding love and healing.

Maybe I’d been chasing birds on paper too long. Maybe it was time to chase a Byrd, instead.

✪Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.✪

Dear Dad, Prince of the Partridge, Purveyor of Practicalities, King of Birdseye and Sayer of Sooth,

It’s about time I wrote to you. I know you’re gone and there’s no chance you’ll ever read this, but since you did me dirty and wrote from the grave, I figure you owe me one.

You were right. First time for everything, you’d say, but I’m serious. You were right about me, about Martin, about my love life in general, and I’ve finally realized you were right about my career, too.

Maybe you never came out and said that I was doing the wrong thing—not directly, anyway—but you were right about the decisions I was making. I was following what was “good on paper.”

“Good on paper” sucks in real life.

Leslea Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist, an avid bird nerd and the happily married mom of four. She has been a professional writer for many years. This is her first romance novel.
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1 comment:

  1. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and reviewing!