This Bird has flown, Susanna Hoffs

Review Rating (out of 5):

Spice Rating (out of 5):

Genre: Romance

As with every review: spoilers.

So, I was intrigued by the cover of this book – the typical pastel of a romance novel, but this time — green. Something a bit different. Maybe a little funky. And about a musician. So I picked it up. Read it.

As I mentioned in my Tiktok (which you can see at the bottom of this post, if you’re curious), I kept waiting for the actual romance to kick in. To me, this was teased at the beginning of the book when she had a near one night stand with a rock star. But then, on the way to her friend/manager’s house to get rid of writers block and start writing music again after her ex inadvertently sidelined her music career, she had a…missed connection…with the soft Oxford professor she sat next to on the plane because she doesn’t like flying and clutched his hand the whole time.

And then, dear reader, (we find out later) the two weeks they weren’t in touch when she was first in the UK was when he essentially did a runaway bride and abandoned his fiancee very nearly at the altar…and then he doesn’t tell her about it, she has a crisis of faith, but then decides she loves him so much that it doesn’t matter, and he and his ex weren’t right for each other — even their friends said so, so that must make it ok— and ugh.

I genuinely kept assuming that the near-one night stand would come back into the picture, sweep her off her feet when he was in London on tour away from soft, deceitful proffessor boy, but…40% of the book read, and it didn’t happen. 60%. 80%. 100%. If I was reading this as a paperback, I would certainly be using a lot of my curse word stickers to really, truly, let the book know how I feel (and remember it for myself).

I kept waiting for the climax — the second act peak where she has a great relevation, or the third act betrayal where she realises the professor is wrong for her all along.

And to make it all worse — what the professor did to her (lie about still being in a relationship) is essentially what her ex did to her when he cheated on her, except she was on the other side of it. She even has that roadblock, that realisation, a few times…and yet, never ends up actually acting on it in the end. So she’s essentially allowing the same behavior that caused her to leave her last relationship, and yet staying in this one? Doesn’t feel like a very empowered or modern message to women.

@fourletterfancies

super front camera review of a romance I’ve read recently

♬ original sound – fourletterfancies

Can you tell I wasn’t much of a fan of the plot? Let me tell you why.

One of the things romance novels are about is fantasy fulfillment. We all dream of getting swept off our feet after a one night stand with a rockstar. Few, if any of us, dream about living in Oxford with a professor who has kind of been cheating on his fiancee with you the entirety of your relationship.

This novel did not fulfill a fantasy. Nor were there any (? I don’t think — I read this less than 36 hours ago and it’s already nearly gone from my mind) truly open door sex scenes, so you couldn’t even be distracted by good, smutty scenes while reading this otherwise mediocre book — it was all shades of fade to black and the feels.

Rather than fulfill a fantasy this novel almost seemed to justify settling. Almost seemed to be a way to say, “if you’re really truly happy, it doesn’t matter how the relationship starts.” I honestly thought maybe Hoffs was a member of LDS or another conservative church, and in my digging found out she was a member of the band The Bangles. Honestly, I wonder how many of her reviews out in the wild were bought and paid for, because she certainly, to my eye, doesn’t have “immense writing talent” as described by NPR.

If you’re looking for a good romance, I’d go to Emma Hart before I’d go to anyone else. This is not one I’d recommend, even with the pastel illustrated romance cover.


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