Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Guest Review from Desirae: The Notorious Pagan Jones (Pagan Jones #1) by Nina Berry

The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry was a really good read.  As soon as I heard it was coming out I knew it was going to be amazing and I had to read it, because frankly, Nina Berry is a talented author.  I will read anything Nina Berry writes.

From Goodreads:

Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family.  Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk.  Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt -- not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.

But all of that is about to change.  Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer.  Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts is a juicy in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler.  The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days.  If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast -- and she has to agree to court-appointed "guardian", the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth, too sophisticated to be some studio flack.

The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her -- there's definitely something fishy going on.  But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones.  What could go wrong? 

Desirae's Thoughts:

I read her Nina Berry's other books (the Otherkin series) and I loved those.  And now I love this book from her.  Reading The Notorious Pagan Jones was like watching a really good black and white movie, it was so entertaining and classical, you can just watch it over and over again, and it never gets old.

Reading this book was also like traveling back into the sixties, a very different time then now, where fashion was different and there were movie stars like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Gene Kelly walking around making classics, that we still watch today.

Pagan Jones, the main character of this story, is also a movie star.  If she was not a fictional character, I believe she would have her name on the Walk of Fame right now.  She's kind, brave, and a realistic heroine.  I cared about her right away.

This book does not start off on a movie set (but there are some scenes that take place on set, which were really fun to read about), it begins with Pagan in juvie feeling guilty.

She's heartbroken because she blames herself for her father and sister's death.  They died when she was driving drunk with them one night in the car on her 16th birthday, and ever since then, the guilt of it all weighs down on her.

A lot of people have called her a troubled star, a drunk, but all she wants to do is just get better.  She feels remorse, she feels self-loathing, she has made mistakes, but she's still a character worth rooting for.  She's someone worthy of another chance.

And she gets to have one.

She is removed from solitary when Jerry, her former agent, and Devin Black, a movie executive, appears months later after the accident.  They give her a choice: stay in juvie, or go to West Berlin, Germany and star in a new movie that is sure to be a hit.

And this is where the story gets really suspenseful, which I love (because who doesn't love a great story full of mystery and suspense?) And who exactly is this Devon Black?  One thing I am certain about: he is one of my new favorite characters of all time.  He's not an actor like Pagan, but she knows there's a possibility he could be one by the way acts so good.  The way he talks, the way he looks at her, the way he knows so much about her, she knows he has a lot of secrets.  And she is determined to find them all out.

My favorite scenes in this story always revolved around them.  All their conversations were always fun to read.  And you can't not like them.  They are both very witty, independent, smart, and brave people.  They have a lot in common.  They have secrets and scars.

The mysterious atmosphere of this story was so compelling I couldn't put this book down.

As Pagan spends time in Germany filming the new movie while trying her best not to pick up another bottle, she also tries to find out more about her family's history.  Ever since she found mysterious letters in her father's office, she is determined to uncover old family secrets.

I believe at the end of the book, Pagan does become a stronger person, a wiser person.  Every single page, I turned, I just liked her more and more. Especially at the ending where she did something so kind and heroic, how can you not like her?  It was a heartfelt scene.  There was a certain goal she wanted to accomplish, and she did it.  She helped out one of her friends.  Thomas, who is another favorite character I really liked.  He's her co-star in the movie, they're working on together and I enjoyed every single scene he was in as well.

I don't want to spoil anything, but I loved the ending.  It was really nice how she puts others before herself and risked her own life to save the people she cares deeply about.  She made a difference and I really do believe she redeemed herself in the end.

Overall Rating:

I just loved everything about this book.  There was never a dull moment.  I can't think of anything bad to say about it.  It's such a well-thought-out story, very entertaining, and it's just brilliant!

I had to re-read this because it's so fun to read about Pagan.  She was so witty.  Smart. And most importantly, she has a good heart.  And you can tell the author put a lot of hard work and research into this story.

It was so nice and refreshing to read a book set in the sixties in Hollywood and Germany.  She described everything so vividly and accurately.

This book would make a fantastic movie.  It just keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time and leaves you wanting more.  To be frank, I tried to read it slowly, but I couldn't.  It was very fast paced.  Thank you Nina Berry for writing this incredible story.  I can not wait to read the sequel to this (which place in Buenos Aires, Argentina.)

If you enjoy mysteries, action, romance, and a story that takes you to another country, then you will love this book!
Desirae @The Romance Bookie :)

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