Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash

Synopsis: 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.

Review: To be quite honest I don’t know anything about ornithology. I don’t know how to tell most birds apart and as a good city girl, I’ve never been birding. That being said, I was scared that this aspect of the book was not going to get to me… I was wrong. Birding is what created links between Wren and her father and, as someone who was raised by her dad, I could totally relate. Also the aspect of the book that evolves around birds is really well handled by the author. You find yourself getting into it as much as you’re getting into the characters and their story.

First of all, I really liked Wren. At first I was scared that she was going to be a bit snobby, especially after she mentioned that she never felt like she belonged in her small hometown. But even though she never felt like she belonged, she also never felt superior. She genuinely felt bigger than Birdseye but as she gets to know Laurie, she’ll also get to know herself and where she truly belongs to. She rethinks lots of her choices throughout the book and I think she did end up asking herself the good questions. It was really interesting to see her change and find herself during the book. I really liked her personal journey, on top of the fact that she is a really lovable character.

You know what else I liked? The fact that Laurie was also a well developed and defined character. He is someone who went through a lot of complicated moments, whether it was when he was on duty or when he lost his fiancée. After his girl’s death, and the death of one of his army pal, he settled with a good amount of guilt on top of his grief. Of course all of these hard times made him a mature and rational man but it’s amazing to see how he slowly starts to let go of all after he met Wren. The struggle of moving on he is living will probably resonate with anyone who ever lost a loved one.

The romance between Laurie and Wren is also very moving. I particularly liked the way the author decided to play it out. Loss, grief, and guilt, are sensible themes and I was really moved by how well Leslea Tash handled them in her story. There was a lot of truth and realness in this book and that’s part of why I enjoyed it so much. Plus, it’s always nice when the storyline stays clear of the usual clichés like crazy jealousy fits, unbelievable misunderstandings, and all that jazz.

The symbolism around birds that rhythms the story also adds a nice romantic and poetic aspect. Between Wren’s love for birds, Laurie whose last name is Byrd, and the paper cranes where he writes letters to his dead fiancée, everything falls into place perfectly. As I said before, all of this is intelligently inserted in the storyline and it has the prospect to move everyone, whether or not you’re into birding end up being irrelevant.

Bird After Bird is a fresh and charming romance that will capture you from the first chapter until the very last. I had an amazing time following Laurie and Wren, and I’ll happily read any future contemporary book by Leslea Tash!



46 thoughts on “Bird After Bird by Leslea Tash

  1. Wow, sounds like a really good read! I heart well developed characters, and the book’s blurb certainly caught my attention to begin with.
    I don’t know much about ornithology either, but I do love birds by large, mostly as a symbol I guess. I think as long as the bird-specs, lol, don’t go too much over my head, I’d actually love to read about them.

    Great review, and I’m happy you enjoyed the read!

  2. I’m in the same boat when it comes to ornithology, it always has been something I didn’t care to learn more about, and to be honest I don’t think the subject would interest me, but seeing how much you enjoy this book confirms my believe that a good author can make fall in-love with anything. This sounds very cute, I love it when it get surprise like this.
    Thank you, great review 🙂

  3. I love that all the characters weer well developed and you didn’t have an issues getting into this one at all, that is awesome and a sign of a good author that knows what she is doing.

  4. To be completely honest, I don’t know anything about ornithology either, but it’s good to hear that this is not an issue at all to really enjoy this book. It really seems like you found a fantastic read and now I’m curious about it, too!

  5. Confession time: I had to google ornithology. Yeah. I’m not into birds, I mean, I can tell birds apart (the obvious ones, at least) but I couldn’t tell you what they were. At least- like you said- it’s handled well, and keeps you reading (and not yawning). Both characters sound great, though I think I’d probably connect more to Laurie than Wren. It sounds kind of sad one but beautiful at the same time. 🙂

  6. I know absolutley nothing about Ornithology either, but I love that even not having a link to birds in any way, you were able to connect to Wren and her love it thanks to her father. This is a new to me book which is always fun for me, I love adding books to my TBR list! Thanks for the wonderful review:)

  7. Ok I have to say right now that I really almost stopped reading that book synopsis entirely after I read the first line “Dear Birdy, Princess Birdzilla von MuffinStuff” – it just made me think – jeezuz this sounds terrible I don’t even want to know anything about it.

    But then I thought ok gotta broaden my horizons and all that. So you do make it sound great and the relationship as well. I totally think I could watch this as a movie but I just don’t think I could read it. (books taking longer haha)

    • I get what you’re saying, I think it would make a great movie too. And I was also a bit taken aback by the first line of the synopsis, but it’s just a line from a letter her father felt her so it’s not that representative of the book’s tone.

  8. I love the fact that despite not knowing much about ornithology, the author is able to wrap you up in it like you would expect from a character. Plus, the symbolism, and poeticness of it really sounds wonderful. Great review, Melliane 🙂

  9. I have never read a book that features birding. Since I moved to Oregon, I have become a bird watcher. I think that this sound fun and I am always interested to pick up a book where I learn something new.

  10. This sounds delightful Melliane. I have always liked birds and use to have a huge book on them with pictures, their habits and regions. My youngest however is terrified of them. She is 19 and still screams like they will attack her like a scene from a Stephen King novel. LOL

  11. I haven’t heard of this one, though Wren seems to be a fairly common name that authors give their characters. Still, it’s interesting that ornithology plays such an important role in this novel, so you’ve definitely piqued my interest. Wonderful review! 🙂

  12. I like you don’t know the second thing about birds. I mean I can differ maybe a dozen but that’s about it. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one and I’m sure it was really unique. I love that word! Great review, Melliane 🙂

  13. This does sound like a lot of fun. I share your ignorance concerning birds. There are maybe half a dozen that I can recognize (b/c my grandparents were bird fanatics), but mostly . . . nope. Bird things aside, I do like a good contemporary that avoids all of those cliches, so I’ll definitely check this out 😉

  14. aww sounds like a wonderful read, I am glad that the bird watching was handled well and you weren’t put off from it. It sounds like the author did an awesome job and I like that it was a connection between her and her father.

  15. This is quite an interesting book; definitely something that I’ve never tackled before. It would intimidate me too, knowing that the subject matter is an unchartered territory. I’m glad it worked out for the best, anyway. 🙂

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