If you’re looking for a light, fun read that is sure to tug at your heartstrings, then you should definitely read Leslea Tash’s Bird After Bird. After reading the blurb, I just knew right away that this is not like most other NA novels out there. I was definitely intrigued. So, imagine my excitement when I was given the opportunity to review the book for the blog tour. Needless to say, I signed up faster than a hound out of hell.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.(
Bird After Bird tells the story of Wren Riley, a hotshot economist from Chicago who comes back to her hometown of Birdseye to settle her late father’s estate one year after his passing. It was emotional for Wren to be back in Birdseye especially since her father instructed his lawyer to give Wren the key to a safety deposit box he left for her. Wren finds in the safety deposit box the journal she and her father brought with them to document their birding adventures.
This was one thing that initially hooked me into reading Bird After Bird. I’ve heard about bird-watching as a hobby but I know next to nothing about it. So it was really interesting to read about Wren, a serious birder. Ever since her birding escapades with her father when she was a little girl, birds have always held a special place in Wren’s heart.
Wren decides to retrace her and her father’s adventures using the journal by visiting their old birding spots. It was just odd because she always finds a paper crane in these places. When she opens the cranes, she finds heart-wrenching letters to a girl named Sylvia from someone named Birdy, a nickname her father also called her when she was little. Wren feels an unexplainable connection to whoever this Birdy was.
“Birdy” isn’t the only one with whom Wren felt an inexplicable connection. On her first night back in Birdseye, Wren meets Lawrence “Laurie” Byrd and there was no denying the attraction between them. But there’s more to this stranger from Birdseye that meets the eye.
Bird After Bird is told in dual POVs: Wren’s and Laurie’s.
Laurie Byrd is the prime example of a hot brooding artist. His stint in the army left him with scars he has never fully recovered from. And we’re not just talking about the horrible things he witnessed in Iraq. What made Laurie the broken man he has become was what he left behind and lost in Birdseye while he was in the army. Laurie never did figure out how to move past that tragedy. Until he meets Wren, that is.
Just like Wren, Laurie feels the undeniable attraction between him and Wren. He never thought he’d ever feel that way again but Wren turns his world upside down. She makes him want, no, NEED something more than the solitude he has been living in after the tragedy that broke him. For the first time in a long time, Laurie feels something more than the heartbreak and the soul-deep ache that he has held on to for so long.
I instantly fell in love with Wren and Laurie from the very first moment they met. There was definitely a spark when they first met but what I love most about them is that every encounter is filled with fireworks. Their chemistry is palpable, there’s no doubt about that and I enjoyed every moment spent with Wren and Laurie. It’s simply beautiful how much they helped each other get over the pain and loss they’ve both lived through. They survived those tragedies but that was never enough. Wren and Laurie pulled each other out of the dark holes they've been living in and back into the light of friendship, family, and an all-consuming love that healed them better than time ever did.
Bird After Bird is truly an amazing book to read. It’s written in such a way that readers can easily become immersed in Wren and Laurie’s world. Those are the kind of books I love the most, the ones in which I fall completely into the story and feel as if I’m living every page right there with the characters. It really tugs on the heartstrings and leaves readers with that radiant feeling of a love story done so beautifully right.
Kudos to Leslea Tash! Bird After Bird is a beautifully written story. The story flows and ebbs creating an exquisite tale of love and loss, pain and redemption, family and friendships. You can’t help but fall in love with Wren and Laurie. I know I couldn’t.