Cover Image: This Bird Has Flown

This Bird Has Flown

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The co-founder of 1980s pop-rock band The Bangles makes her debut with this unabashedly Anglophile rom-com about a washed-up pop star looking for a new lease on life (and love) while on a working vacation in England. (Think: Notting Hill set to a catchy beat.) With a curated reading playlist and chapter titles named for the songs that inspired them, it’s a sexy and effervescent romance that showcases Hoffs’ deep love and knowledge of music and literature, and an engaging charmer from the songwriter of the band’s forever classic “Eternal Flame.” 
Delighted to include this title in the April edition of Novel Encounters, my regular column highlighting the month’s most anticipated fiction, for the Books section of Zoomer magazine. Separately, I also had the pleasure of interviewing Hoffs about starting a new career as an author at 64 and she was a DELIGHT.
Was this review helpful?
Cleverly written, believable characters, be they the hero or the villain, and a realistic progression. Everything I want in book! 4/5.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Little Brown and co for the review copy of The Bird Has Flown.  Did I request this when I realized it was the Susanna Hoffs of my once upon a time cassette playing childhood?  Yes.  Will I recommend it because it is a fun, witty, charming story that has fun moments of music industry insights, romance, and relatable, engaging characters? also yes.    This is just the kind of book my dismal manic Monday March needed, I was lifted up to the plane as Jane was flying and maybe just maybe meeting someone to be her eternal flame (sorry not sorry).  I also personally enjoy stories that mix celebrity and everyday person and love an academic character in particular, just a lot of tropes and themes that work for me!  

This is a great read, I find myself enjoying books that have a balance of a little charm, a little life messiness, a little romance steam, and some fun.  I think this is a win for a lot of romance fans!
Was this review helpful?
“This Bird Has Flown" (Pub Date April 4th) by Susanna Hoffs, the lead singer of the iconic rock band, The Bangles. 

Hoffs takes readers on a journey with Jane Start, a struggling musician who's trying to make a comeback in the music industry. After being sent to London by her manager to regroup, she meets Tom Hardy on the flight, but not the Hollywood actor you’re thinking of. He's an Oxford professor of literature who's just as charming and handsome. The two fall in love, and Jane finds the inspiration to make a comeback in the music industry. With her own insider knowledge of the music business, Hoffs expertly explores the complexities and challenges faced by musicians.

The story is infused with humor, passion, and excitement, making it a fun read. Hoffs' writing, just like her music, is heartfelt and authentic, so it’s easy to become invested in the characters and story. Her background as a musician adds depth and authenticity to the novel which I loved.

I’ve always been a fan of The Bangles so reading this was a no brainer. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed! She might be known for iconic hits like, “Walk Like an Egyptian” or “Manic Monday” but look out world, this book is gonna soar on the charts! I highly recommended for fans of The Bangles/Hoffs, music, romance and/or anyone looking for a fun book to read. Thank you Little Brown and Company for the advanced e-copy of this book!
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. Susanna Hoffs has proven to be a great author as well as singer/songwriter! I could not put the book down and it filled me with so much happiness. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read This Bird Has Flown!
Was this review helpful?
This Bird Has Flown reminded me a bit like Nick Hornby’s writing!  I was reading that there are rumors it is being optioned for a movie and I can definitely see it.  There is an endearing and fun meet-cute, who hasn’t had daydreams about meeting a love interest on a plane, and a relatable main character, Jane, you really root for.   I also really enjoyed the glimpses into the music industry and the musical references.  Some parts were a bit slow for me but by the end I was really invested in Jane.  What a fun debut written by the co-founder of the bangles!

Thank you @netgalley and @littlebrown for the early copy!

3.5 stars

Grab your copy April 4th!
Was this review helpful?
“This Bird Has Flown” by Susanna Hoffs

You might remember Susanna Hoffs as the lead singer of The Bangles and her protagonist Jane Start is having a series of “Manic Mondays”.  Jane Start had a one-hit wonder written by a pop-icon Jonesy (gave me Prince-type vibes) but since then her career has stalled.  She is reduced to playing bachelor parties in Vegas and promising her agent/manger/best friend that she will start to write again.  Her love life has also stalled when her fiance left her for a model.  But is her luck changing.  It might be after meeting a hot professor Tom Hardy on a fight to England and an opportunity to perform at Jonesy’s concert.

I really liked this book, especially the music parts but some of the plot-lines seemed to stall along with the Romance.  This book was a quick read -the characters were witty and well rounded.  I look forward to Hoff’s second novel after reading her debut.  I want to thank NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for sharing this advanced copy with me in exchange for my honest review. 3.5 Stars
Was this review helpful?
This was a really great story about a woman who has lost herself and her quest to pick up the pieces of her life following a devastating break up. Jane has been wandering through her life, with blinders firmly fixed. She wants to take control of her life, but she doesn't seem to know quite how to do that. And then, she hits the metaphorical bottom. The story that follows is engaging, if not somewhat frustrating at times, and leaves you rooting for Jane to discover who and what she really wants to be,
Was this review helpful?
This book was FUN. Big thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC to read and review. This debut by Susanna Hoffs (yes, that Susanna Hoffs, the co-founder of the Bangles!!!!!!!) hits bookstores (and libraries!) on April 4.

Y'all know I love a messy leading gal and I find some of the best books are ones where the main characters are at a crossroads. The authenticity really hits here, and that to me makes for a book that I just can't put down.

Jane Start is going through it. She was recently dumped by the guy she thought was the one. She's a musician, most well-known for a cover she did years ago. She is reminded that her career is stuck when the first gig she's had in a while ends up being glorified karaoke.  So when her longtime manager and Pippa offers to whisk her to London for a reset, she gleefully says yes. What she least expects is the handsome professor seated next to her on the plane.

Jane's story zigs and zags and takes us through all the ups and downs of trying to get out of a rut and rediscovering yourself. I found myself unable to contain my laughter throughout and I really struggled to put it down. There were enough surprises to keep me on my toes, and revelations that I didn't fully expect. 

There were parts that felt so wild, but they worked! And again, I cannot overemphasize just how enjoyable a read this was. These characters were fantastic - and just when I thought one was gone, they popped back up. And while each had something to contribute to Jane's story, they were fully realized characters themselves. I was invested in Jane (and Pippa!) from the first pages of their wild night in Vegas. 

Make sure to preorder and add this one to your library lists! A fun ride you will not want to miss!

I will post this review on goodreads, retailer sites and my bookstagram @scottonreads
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown, and Company for access to this title. I am auto-approved by this publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

The debut novel of co-founder and performer of American pop rock band The Bangles presents a romantic comedy about an American one-hit wonder (Jane Start)and a British professor( Tom Hardy).

This is one of those titles in my reading experience that I do have "like" rather than "love" vibes towards. I dug the Jane Eyre inspiration. It was an instant-love storyline that worked. Jane and Tom have a quirky romance and I enjoyed how their storyline played out. Although I would have liked Jane to be a bit more assertive and Tom to be a little bit more truthful. However, these are just little quibbles of mine. Lastly, it was a slow-moving novel and I tended to read chapters stop and start. So yeah it stays in the 3.0 category. However, I think I would try another Susanna Hoffs's novel.

Expected Publication Date 04/04/23
Goodreads Review Published 26/03/23

#ThisBirdHasFlown #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
A meet cute on an airplane turns into a love affair between Tom,, an Oxford professor ,and  one-hit-wonder songstress, Jane.  Jane may be on the cusp of something big professionally while Tom seems to be hiding something.

Lots of fun ancillary characters.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so much fun to read. We have Jane who gets her second chance at fame, her manager Pippa sends her off to London, to regroup and start writing again, she meets Tom on the flight and the rest is history. There is an automatic attraction!  I like me a good Insta-love. Give me a little romance, a struggling artist, and some humor and I am sold. But the book lagged a bit and it started to become too repetitive. I wanted to enjoy it more, but it was not very memorable to me.
Was this review helpful?
I love books that revolve around the music industry, and who better to write one than someone who is an iconic singer/songwriter? While rom com novels usually aren’t my cup of tea, I enjoy them occasionally, and I was especially excited about this one because of the subject matter and the musical-artist-turned-author!

This Bird Has Flown has all the ingredients you’d expect of a music-themed-romance: a struggling singer/songwriter, a mysterious love interest, and a looming concert that could change everything. I’m not typically a fan of insta-love, but there was something endearing about this story and all the layers in it. If you’re in the mood for a cute romance where you know everything will turn out okay in the end, this one may be for you!

Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company for the advanced readers copy!
Was this review helpful?
This romnotverycom from former Bangle Susanna Hoffs didn’t cut it for me as I really disliked the main character.

Singer-songwriter Jane Start is living off her one hit from a decade ago and after an unpleasant breakup, she heads to London for a change of scenery and maybe some inspiration. On the flight, she meets, and is instantly attracted to, Tom Hardy (not that one or that one, ho ho) and starts a whirlwind romance, but is there something he’s not telling her (yes! is the answer).

Using Jane Eyre and, it seemed to me, Rebecca as inspiration, this romance takes a long time to get anywhere. Jane almost immediately moves in with the rather blank Tom, who turns out to be an Oxford professor and hopes that her newfound happiness will get her creative juices flowing again. She meets various undeveloped/caricatured characters around Oxford and becomes immediate friends with all of them. When she gets the opportunity to sing on stage with a superstar, it looks like everything is coming up roses for her, only for Tom’s secret and something that I didn’t really understand from the past to upend everything.

What I found so annoying about Jane is her complete lack of agency and gumption. She dances to everyone else’s tune but gets crippling anxious about what she’s agreed to. Just say no or get on with it - she’s in her 30’s not a teenager! She lets her best friend/manager buy her a first class ticket to London but then almost immediately ditches her to sponge off the swoony Tom. She manages to write one song in several months despite this being the only thing she does.

On the plus side, clearly Ms Hoffs is writing from her experience of the music world so that all rings true and makes a great setting, if only Jane wasn’t such a drip about it. I also enjoyed the many evocative song references that Jane shares with Tom.

For me, a good romcom should engage me with its characters and the setting and plot are merely props for people I want to spend time with, so this just didn’t work for me but may for you.

Thanks to lIttle Brown and Netgalley for the digital review copy.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, Susanna Hoffs and the publisher, Little, Brown and Company for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book.

This Bird Has Flown is a funny story about a part "cult-classic" and part "washed up" musician, Jane Start, who had much success with a break-out remix of a song several years earlier. Her success was followed by a debut album that wasn't received well by critics and fans. Now Jane is broke and giving it one last shot to make it again in the music industry.

This highly readable debut novel starts with Jane back living with her parents, she is suffering from writer’s block and is unable to write any new songs. After reluctantly accepting a gig to do a private performance for a bachelor party in Las Vegas, Jane is happy to accept an invitation from her longtime agent and friend, Pippa, to fly to London and spend a few weeks, trying to find herself creatively while living with Pippa.

At the last minute, Pippa is unable to make the flight to London and Jane finds herself sitting in first class next to a very attractive Oxford professor named Tom Hardy. Jane and Tom hit it off and before leaving the airport, Jane gives Tom her number. Two weeks go by and no text or phone call from Tom; just when Pippa is urging Jane to forget about Tom, he finally reaches out and they meet in Oxford for lunch, and their relationship is magical... but both are keeping secrets and Jane is a bit of a fish out of water. Although she's not really making any progress in writing new songs, Jane also receives an offer to sing her hit song at the Royal Albert Hall that could help to revive her career. Jane is sent on a bit of a spiral. You don't say no to Jonesy, but her stage fright is huge. I will end the review there so that I do not spoil anything. 

This was adorable, sexy, and entertaining debut with an appealing cast of characters and an interesting look inside the music business with a funny twist.. I loved all of the characters- both Jane and Tom have great friends and colleagues, and I was surprised how invested I got in even their storylines.
I look forward to Susanna's next book, whatever it is, I am now not only a fan of her music, but now also her writing.
Was this review helpful?
Well wasn't THAT fun?  I had no idea what to expect form Susanna Hoffs, a singer from an 80s band that influenced my music listening habits as a teenager, but I was very happy with the result!  A steamy, fun romance with story and drive.  LOVED it and hope Hoffs writes more!
Was this review helpful?
Ten years ago, pop star Jane had a massive hit—but now she's hit rock bottom. On a flight to England to regroup, she meets Oxford literature professor Tom. Will their whirlwind romance lead to lasting love—or will secrets come between them?

Wow, did I love this book! I really wasn't sure what to expect, but as a fan of Susanna Hoffs' music, I wanted to give it a try. I was prepared to be disappointed, but this novel is compelling from the start. The emotion, the character development, the pacing, the plot, the setting—it all came together for a funny, relatable, and satisfying story. Jane and Tom have immediate chemistry, and it's just plain fun to spend time with them. But the novel also has a lot of depth, with Jane's struggles with insecurity and getting her career back on track, plus Tom's baggage from his past. If you like sparkling contemporary romance with humor and heart, don't miss this one. 

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Was this review helpful?
A funny story about a part "cult-classic" and part "washed up" musician, Jane Start, who notoriously enjoyed success with a break-out remix of a song (written by another famous artist) several years earlier. Her success was followed by a debut album that wasn't received well by critics, and when this story begins, Jane is now broke and giving it one last shot to make a go of it in the music industry.

It's a great glimpse of the lifestyles of the former rich and famous, the music industry, and of course there is also romance. I am not a fan of love-at-first sight in books, it's always a bit too cheesy for me, but this was a unique story, and I enjoyed it, and still thinking about it weeks later. It went on a bit long with Jane's writers block and the back and forth in the relationship between Jane and Tom Hardy (no, not that Tom Hardy), but it's well worth a read, and a great first novel.

Like other readers, I picked this book because I was a fan of Susanna Hoffs and the Bangles back in the 80s/90s. I think I was kind of hoping this might be a bit auto-biographical, and I sure did a lot of googling while I was reading it, but it's not clear to me if any of the story mirrors Hoffs' real life.

Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.
Was this review helpful?
This Bird Has Flown caught my eye because it takes inspiration from Jane Eyre and the concept of the story sounded fascinating. With the author’s unique perspective to the story as a well-known singer/songwriter just like the main character Jane Start, I felt like this was bound to be a distinctive take on Jane Eyre inspired novels.

 What I truly loved about this book was how authentic this perspective felt. Jane Start comes across as a believable and warm character the reader wants to get to know. There are so many layers to her experiences in the music industry - many ups and downs - and Jane shares so much of her vulnerability from the very first chapter making it easy to empathize and understand her.  The plot of the novel can sometimes wander, and the impetus of the romance between Jane and Tom sometimes moved too slowly for my tastes, but throughout, the story focused on painting Jane Start as a real, sensitive, and complicated woman. And as the novel is an homage to Jane Eyre, there is no better way to honor the original than to create a heroine as strong, magnetic, and fascinating as Jane Eyre.

And while romance is at the forefront of This Bird Has Flown - it guides Jane Start in making some pretty important decisions quickly once she has connected with Tom Hardy - I think the only drawback to the building of their relationship was in how monotonous it became.  The lovely moments of their first meeting and insecurity about each others true feelings was fun, but once they made a commitment to each other, the tension stalled, and Jane and Tom’s relationship has the common flaw of lack of communication.  This avoidance of talking about previous relationships seemed more of a needed plot point to stymie their relationship and not so much a believable way they would decide to develop their relationship.  This aspect was not a huge issue though, as Jane Start is such a well written character and she is surrounded by interesting and entertaining characters that help move the story along.

Jane’s best friend and manager Pippa is a definite highlight.  She is so warm and nurturing, while also needing Jane’s friendship to help her through her own issues, and I loved the dynamic of these two women. There’s also Jane’s friends and brother who are delightful to get to know and helped create some moments of humor and connection throughout the story.

Tom Hardy as a character did feel muted as Jane’s romantic other half. He does have a secret to keep and that means he must remain slightly mysterious, but it was difficult to really understand him as a character, other than that he is charming, English, and intelligent.  All great qualities for a romantic interest and that did give the story an alluring escapist romantic quality.  I love an idealistic romantic, and Tom fit the bill to a T.  I just wished that the reader could dive a little deeper into his character.

As a story that takes some aspects of Jane Eyre, I did want to touch upon the reason for Jane “leaving” Tom.  It’s a difficult scenario to recreate in modern versions, as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre is unable to get a divorce and that is not usually a problem today.  Susanna Hoffs creates an entirely new kind of obstacle that echoes the original novel, but feels very realistic for today and I thought that part was so well done. I felt for Jane, and understood how difficult a situation it was for her.  Having a believable reason for Jane to leave Tom was very important to make the story work, and I felt that Hoffs unique take was perfect.

Overall, I really enjoyed the characters and the perspective and unique insight into the music industry that this book provided.  The romance is sweet, if a little simple, but by the end I was totally invested in Jane Start’s happy ending, and if the author would consider writing continuing adventures in her life, I think that would be wonderful!
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun debut! The writing style was pretty loose and casual, which I liked. Obviously Susanna knows what it's like to be a musician, so I enjoyed that those scenes were treated pretty authentically. I hate when I read a book about a specific industry and can tell it's written by someone who has no clue. 

I was a little put off by Tom's lying to Jane - both initially by omission and then by straight up lying about where Amelia was and what their interactions were. I guess in order to make it a romance, they had to move past that and get back together but for me that would be a big hell no. I was able to look past it for the purposes of enjoying the book, but it was kind of a drag. 

I thought Pippa was a great friend & character. I feel like the author must have someone just like Pippa in her life, because it was too specific to be fictional! I also just love when British novels feel British and this one definitely did. I hope Susanna writes more in the future, it was great fun!
Was this review helpful?