Cover Image: This Bird Has Flown

This Bird Has Flown

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This Bird Has Flown started off slowly for me, but I quickly became invested. A lovely story of redemption. fate. and second chances - both in love and in life. Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown, and Company for the opportunity to read and review THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN by Susanna Hoffs as an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC). The story follows Jane Start, a thirty-something washed up music star who has hit rock bottom. Jane’s manager is determined to help her find her voice again, both on and off stage, especially when it comes to Pippa wanting her sweatpants back.

The story takes place in the UK and is set in Oxford and London. When Jane has to fly first class by herself to Heathrow, she meets Tom, an Oxford professor who makes her forget the ex-boyfriend, the bitter breakup, and her fear of flying she tries to heal with champagne since she sat down.

Jane and Tom’s whirl-wind love affair coupled with the mystery of his past creates a fun, humorous novel that reminds readers about the need to let go of the past in order to focus on the present. Layered with musical quips, subtle sexiness, and a behind the scenes view of the industry, THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN is sure to be a hit.

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This book would make a great vacation read as it is a quick, witty, sexy book with likable and unlikable characters all important to the story.
The experiences of the author clearly come through in the writing and add to the appeal of the book.

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Rock and roll queen Susanna Hoffs makes her debut as a fiction writer with the gutsy, tough, romantic and engaging This Bird Has Flown, all about a one-hit wonder who finds a chance at redemption – both romance and career wise - on a flight to England.

At thirty-three, Jane Start is washed up. Recently separated from her philandering ex-boyfriend (who is now set to marry the woman he cheated on her with), in ten years, she’s gone from the top of the charts with her hit “Can’t You See I Want You” to playing gigs-for-hire like a Las Vegas bachelor party. Worse yet, she lives with her parents, in their basement, out of garbage bags.

Enough is enough, and Jane’s lovely agent, Pippa More, wants more for her. They decide to fly off to England together so that Jane can soak up some inspiration and start writing songs again. When a gig offer from Jonesy – the mysterious and ridiculously talented megastar who penned Jane’s only hit - lands her a spot beside him at a Royal Albert Hall performance, it seems as If all of Jane’s problems might be over – in spite of her ongoing stage fright. It might even wind up in a world tour, if things go well.

On the airplane, inspiration arrives in the form of Tom Hardy – not the actor, but the Oxford professor of Literature who shares his name. Jane and Tom hit it off. But might the lingering memory of a mysterious ex-girlfriend from Tom’s past mean things are all not as rosy as Jane hopes they are? And if Jonesy expresses a deeper interest in Jane, will she be able to walk away?

This Bird Has Flown is not your average slice of women’s fiction; it’s wise, knowing, and has a lot of brio to it – a sense of Los Angeles with its glitter and bile hidden in its prose. It’s also sexy and funny and has good insight into the music world.

Yes, you’re going to note some parallels to Hoff’s real life here – Jane is short and Jewish, and so is she. She, too, had a big hit thanks to a talented, mysterious guitar genius with a controversial reputation who favors a single color (Prince wrote Manic Monday for Apollonia 6 but gave it to Hoffs and the Bangles after listening to the band’s major label debut record, All Over the Place, though the Bangles would go on to have many more hits than Jane ever did, many of them self-penned.). There’s plenty enough unique to Jane to make her engaging, enjoyable and fully different from Hoffs. She’s Bridget Jones’ far less awkward, tougher American cousin, and she’s a blast of fresh air in the fictional world.

That’s not to say that she doesn’t encounter the awkward. There’s the first date with Tom, which takes place beside a peaceful river at a university – where the rowing team and its tough-talking coxswain is practicing unexpectedly. There’s Jane freaking out over Tom’s black cat, Ophelia. But Tom himself is lovely, charming, sexually attuned to her, and erudite – but just when he seems perfect to the nth degree, we learn some secrets about his alleged ex (yes, if you don’t like quasi-cheating in your fiction this won’t be a book for you), which balances the narrative. But my favorite character is the emotional, stalwart Pippa, who loves Jane (and vice-versa) and also loves Jane’s brother, Will. Pippa hustles for her as hard as she can. Jane has a warm, wonderful support team built around her and I liked all of them.

This Bird Has Flown will be perfect for anyone looking for a solid novel to make you care, put a little tear in your eye, but which also knows how to make you laugh.

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DNF at 10%. When the main character describes herself on the first page as being "dressed like a whore" and then turns around and claims to be sex positive, I see a red flag going up. And in the first three chapters, nothing made me care any further about the character or her journey. Might be a good book for someone else, but not for me.

True rating: no stars

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The debut novel from Susanna Hoffs, co-founder of The Bangles ("Walk Like an Egyptian") takes us a smidge into the music business.

Jane Start was on the brink of fame 10 years ago when her star abruptly sank and she became known for this one song and the pop-culture phenomenon of the music video. Since then she has gotten by on a gig here and a gig there. When she bottoms out performing at a bachelor party in Las Vegas her best friend and manager whisks her away to Pippa's hometown, London, for some R&R and to get the creative juices flowing. Pippa has to detour through New York for work leaving Jane to fly back to London alone - flying she hates, and flying alone she hates even more. That is until she is seated next to a blond beauty that ignites something inside her - just as she is struggling at the peak to get over a harsh and abrupt breakup.

Tom Hardy is an Oxford professor teaching The Romantics and he has his own complicated past but sees something in Jane that he didn't know was possible for him.

A very cute contemporary romance that I'm sure will make waves when it officially debuts given its star backing and the fact that it has already been optioned for a movie.

I enjoyed both Jane and Tom and the myriad of ensemble characters. Although this one could use some tightening up to push it from good to great, as far as a debut goes and in this genre it is still a worthy read.


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It has been a while since I put down my fun and easy rom-coms for a heartfelt Women's Fiction novel, and I am glad that it was this ARC that got me there. It took me some time to process each chapter and finish the book, but it was worth every minute.

All the characters in this book were relatable, realistic, witty, and well-developed. Jane, the main character, was heartbreakingly and yet beautifully written. Her character is raw and flawed, just like many of us readers, who understand that there is no age-limit to hard feelings and how one deals with those feelings and world-tittering obstacles.

Susanna Hoffs' writing was immaculate. I loved the use of music and song lyrics, and how it seamlessly bled throughout the book. How it tied our characters together, and how it helped them in expressing their thoughts and emotions. I loved the witty banter between the characters. I loved the flashbacks and Jane's inner-dialogue. Hoffs' descriptive writing allowed me to be pulled into every scene. Whether on a stage, or on the streets of Oxford - it really felt like I was there.

This novel is so much more than just romance and wit. It is about redemption, personal growth, finding your voice, and believing in yourself. It was an exceptional read and I can't wait to see what else Susanna Hoffs has up her sleeve!

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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I loved the details of the life of a famous "it" girl from years ago. Susanna Hoffs, herself a renowned musician, tells a romantic and gritty story of what life is like when you are out of the limelight.

Jane Start and her agent, Pippa, are good friends with wonderful experiences between them over the years. Even in the present, Pippa continues working on getting Jane back to the top of the musical heap of stardom. Jane's chance meeting with a guy named Tom Hardy takes the story in different directions - love and the continuing quest to find work.

This was a glimpse at the hard-knock life of artists who give their lives for their art. I enjoyed it very much!

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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A rock n' roll rom-com by the lead singer of The Bangles. Our main character is a one-hot wonder pop star, Jane Start, who has had writer's block and stage fright for the last ten years. Her one big hit was written by a Prince-like character and she'd lived in its shadow for a decade. The best part of this book I the behind-the-scenes, only a real rock star could write observations about performing, the music biz, touring and the personalities along the way. Plus, Hoffs'' prose are trust and underwritten in the best way. The "writer's block' storyline gets tedious and the romance is a bit f a mystery. . But a cheery little rock romance. This one is 3.5 stars for me.

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It's been awhile since I've read a solid 'Women's Fiction'. The last one might've been The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo. Not to say that there's a lot of parallel between the two, but I always enjoy a good book/movie with a 'strong female lead' as Netflix would have categorize it.

This Bird Has Flown follows a musician who has been struggling after 'early/earlier fame', at the beginning of the book, she thought she had hit rock bottom, doing gigs that were ridiculous and she had just been dumped by a cheating boyfriend, who had totally moved on with a new and younger (?) woman.... kind of at a what more can go wrong now kind of spot and not really in a space where optimism of 'only way is up' is there, at all.

I had started the book without reading too much into its synopsis and for whatever reason, was completely thrown off/ surprised by the 'chance meeting' between Jane (the female lead) and Tom (the male lead). Without getting too deep into it and give any spoilers... Jane had somehow fallen directly into Tom's orbit and from that point on, while sorting through her relationship with him, came to 'find herself' and I guess....courage(?) to achieve her full potential.

The story is fully engaging, it dabbles with A LOT of musical references, I think each and every chapter is named after a song(?)/or famous lyrics. I've read other 'musical-books' before and always had been a bit annoyed with how the musical reference being forced into the storyline as if that will give the book a proper identity. BUT! What sets This Bird Has Flown apart, was that those references were ... properly placed, woven into the storyline kind of ... seamlessly and actually add to all the feel of the storytelling that was happening in front of your eyes. I'm not a good at 'musical knowledge' and definitely do not pick me as a teammate in any 'name that tune' games, but, this book makes me want to actually dig into those songs, go find myself a record player (find the lyrics so I know exactly what the words are) and perhaps have them play in the background WHILE reading the book. I mean, if you happened to have the songs handy at your fingertips, I'd bet it would be hard for you not to go play the songs after each chapter you've gone through and like...REALLY 'feel' all the feels.

The story itself left me a bit unsettled, I don't think I agree with Jane's decisions (like... nearly none of them), BUT it is a fascinating read. I am a dumb dumb and didn't realized Susanna Hoffs (from the Bangles) was the author until AFTER I finished (when I was reading the acknowledgements?). It makes total sense, I'm impressed by the writing and the imaginative storyline.

This is a pretty amazing debut novel, and clearly Susanna Hoffs is no slouch, so it's not surprising it is THAT GOOD. Go get yourself a copy of this, cuddle up with a blanket and warm up your record player... it's gonna be time well spent.

Thank you NetGalley and Little Brown & Co. for the advance digital copy.

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I liked this... at first.

It's a very easy-to-read chick lit romance with a compelling narrator and a few good laughs. But I got to the point where I was wondering exactly how many rounds of editing the book had had. It often repeated the same things like we needed to be constantly reminded, and I grew tired of Jane's quirky humour. I feel that needed toning down some. Still, not a bad romantic debut from Hoffs. I might check out any future books.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review.

So let's get this out of the way....This Bird Has Flown is written by *that* Susanna Hoffs. Yep, that one. Do her songwriting talents translate to a fun Chick Lit-ish story? You bet they do.

This Bird Has Flown is about Jane Start a one-hot wonder who is in a bit of a rut both professionally and personally. The story starts out with her working a gig at a bachelor party in Vegas and it's probably everything you can imagine in terms of cheese and sinking about as low as you can go for a paycheck. Having recently found out her boyfriend was cheating on her and now living at home, Jane is desperate to make some money any way she can. Her manager/best friend offers to fly her over to London to stay for a few weeks, so she can figure out her next moves. On the plane, she is seated next Tom not THAT Tom Hardy, but a lit professor from Oxford *swoon*. From there the story goes on and on with much hijinks and everything you would expect from a chick lit type story.

Overall it was a great story, but I must confess it needed some tightening up. It felt like there was a lot of repetitiveness to the story and it probably could've been a 100 less pages and still told the story that needed telling.

Would I still recommend it? Of course, it's a story about finding love with an English professor type on a plane ride from Vegas to London, how could I not?

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I was excited to read about Jane's comeback story but I felt like there was a lot of filler in the middle, with her worrying over Tom's ex and not really doing anything. I liked Pippa and their friendship.

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Music. Fate. Redemption. Love.

Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song—written by world-famous superstar Jonesy—but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since. Now she's living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom.

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Although it seemed to drag in a few places, Hoff’s debut was a fun read. Musician Jane meets Oxford professor Tom on a flight to London and sparks fly. She impulsively moves in with him and a sweet relationship ensues. But alas, the road is anything but smooth. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown, and Company for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange for my honest opinions.. I went back and forth on this book because I really enjoyed the plot, but ultimately decided it just wasn't quite for me. I found myself re-reading sentences a few times because I was forgetting either what was happening or what had just been said. The way Jane spoke about the elusive Jonsey drove me insane. I ended up not finishing this one, but just because it wasn't for me doesn't mean that I don't think other people might enjoy it!

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4.5 stars, rated up

Okay, I’ll admit that for the first 5%, I totally had Friday I’m in Love running in my head.
Then I just really got into this story.

This Bird Has Flown was delightful from start to finish. I loved Tom Hardy (Oxford professor Tom Hardy, that is, and Christ, what bookish classics-loving woman hasn’t fantasized about an Oxford professor, who just happens to teach the romantics 😍) I loved Jane, who was so vividly real. Susanna Hoffs has written a debut novel with warmth, humor (I cringe laughed out loud during a certain scene with Tom’s housekeeper), beauty, and, l imagine, love for these fictional characters (I’m absolutely including secondary characters as well) who just jump off the page, so realistic and evolving are they. I utterly adored this novel.

I am already looking forward to reading what Ms. Hoffs writes next.

I truly enjoyed my reading of this and definitely recommend.

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Some of you may know Susanna Hoffs from the Bangles. That's what drew me to this book, as well as the premise. Early 30s has been pop singer/one hit wonder meets cute an Oxford professor and hits it off.

I had a lot of problems with this book. First of all, have you seen the Steve Buscemi meme? "How do you do, my fellow kids?" That kept popping in my head as I read this book. Susanna Hoffs is not in her early 30s and that's ok. I'm not in my early 30s either! But Jane Smart, her heroine is, yet all the cultural references she's popping off are probably flying over the heads of someone who is actually 30. Sure, you could play it off that since she was a musician, she would know all these old songs, but Tiger Beat? Who even reads that anymore? Is Tiger Beat still a thing?
Things move quickly between Jane and the Professor but never really develop. There's the mysterious ex-girlfriends that Jane doesn't want to know about but she does. There's the enigmatic Jonesy, who is partially responsible for her one hit wonder (she covered one of his lesser known songs). But in the end, I really didn't care about any of the characters and it was a big yawn.
Sorry, just not for me.

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Susanna Hoffs' This Bird Has Flown has a cute title and cover art and is a quick and light romance read. The plot felt similar to several books I've read before (older woman down on her luck, returns home to live with parents, falls in love; woman is despondent when boyfriend cheats on her with a younger woman, two female colleagues are also besties, etc.), and the author uses many cliche phrases (Ex. In Chapter One, "Fake it till you make it."), which is off putting. The characters are one-dimensional and are not well-developed, which flatlines the romance. I would not recommend this book to readers who enjoy a meet-cute romance.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance reader copy for the purpose of providing an unbiased review.

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I’m whistling “Walk like an Egyptian” and performing the song’s famous moves right now! As I’m preparing myself to embrace the upcoming hazy shade of winter and keep listening more Bangles songs, I have to admit Susanna Hoffs is not only brilliant singer, guitarist and songwriter, she’s also promising book writer. ( so normal, she’s Capricorn: she can achieve anything she puts her mind into! )

First of all: I cannot make a choice which man is the best? The actor Tom Hardy or Hoffs’ fictional professor Tom Hardy! Hoffs knows how to create a book boyfriend make all those female readers drool!

But it would be unfair if I didn’t mention about the main character: I loved Jane a lot! I loved her quirkiness, her struggles, her suffer for creating something from scratch, something unique and extraordinary, her insecurities, her sarcastic mind!

I guffawed and sighed so many times during my read. It entertained me and emotionally destroyed me! I definitely recommend you to read it! The characterization is amazing. It’s unputdownable addiction! You shouldn’t miss this feel good reading!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

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