Monday, February 26, 2024

Book Review: Take Two, Birdie Maxwell

Birdie Robinson thought she’d gotten everything she wanted out of life: fame, adoration, and an A-list Hollywood career. But after an on-set feud goes viral, she leaves L.A. for the one place where no one would think to find her: her hometown. She’s startled to stumble upon a love letter from a former boyfriend asking for a second chance. And there’s just one issue: the letter was unsigned and she’s not sure which ex sent it. Still, a public reunion with an ex-boyfriend could turn the wave of public opinion back in her favor. Life imitating art. What could go wrong? 
Elliot O’Brien, star reporter, knows that life isn’t an actual rom-com. Case in point, he’s spent two decades repressing his long-simmering feelings for his twin sister’s best friend, Birdie. But with his journalism career cratering and Birdie back in their hometown at the same time he is, he realizes that chronicling her search for her long-ago ex may be his opportunity to right some wrongs.
As they hit the road in an ancient RV, Birdie and Elliot retrace her romantic history for clues to who wrote the letter and come face to face with their own romantic missteps, all while grappling with whether happy endings are found only on the big screen—or whether their own happier ever after could be closer than they both ever imagined. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Allyson Bales:

“Sweet dreams are made of cheese”



“Why would sweet dreams be made of cheese?”

“Because cheese is delicious!”

Allison Winn Scotch really introduced me to romance in May of 2012 when I read The One That I Want and got to meet Tilly.  Ever since I always chomp at the bit to get my hands on her new releases.  I love her characters, her settings, her plots, and always find myself clutching my heart and laughing out loud at her stories.  I have to say that Take Two, Birdie Maxwell is my favorite book she has ever written!

This book made me want to make a mix tape of eighties ballads, grab a bag of Doritos, and call my best friend!  There are vibes of the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, but in reverse and themes of sisterhood, chasing your dreams, and finding true and honest love, not just for someone else, but for yourself too.  I love the way the story is told in dual POV and also has snippets of newspaper articles.  There are so many layers to this amazing read and I really could not wait to see what happened to Birdie.  

Birdie is definitely up there as one of my favorite main characters of all time.  She is honest and incredibly stubborn, quirky, and a celebrity you are rooting for.  I love that one of the lines in the book is, “No one puts Birdie in a  corner,” and that is the truth!  Despite the unfortunate position she finds herself in, Birdie is still willing to put herself out there for America to see and is still trying.  I love perseverance in a character and one that so many can relate to.  I also love that the readers get a glimpse into what it is like being a celebrity and living out their lives with so much judgment.   

With cancel culture being very much in the forefront these days it was nice to see that explored in the story and how the characters handle it.  I also really loved how Eliott gets involved and the exploration of his character.  Elliot is a writer who is completely and utterly married to his work.  He really avoids long term relationships and commitment of any kind because then he never gets hurt, but what kind of life is that?  Honestly I think more and more people are doing that in the age of online dating and the inability to feel like people are really giving others a fair shot.  Why bother putting yourself out there when you can get hurt so easily.  I love Elliot’s character and the way he is with Birdie.  I also really love Elliot’s sister, who is also Birdie’s best friend Mona.  She is such a fun and insightful character! 

This story really touched my heart and made me laugh.  I missed the characters when I wasn’t reading and I think you will too.  Also, who can I talk to about this being adapted into a movie because that would be so fun and DEFINITELY needs to happen!   I highly recommend this story and all of Allison’s backlist as well!

Melissa Amster:

I really enjoyed Take Two, Birdie Maxwell. It's a fun story that makes me glad I am not a celebrity. I loved the dual perspectives and the journey that Birdie and Elliot took throughout the novel. I found myself cringing at times and grinning a lot. I also loved the flashbacks to their high school days. 

I really liked the feel of adventure in this novel. So many different challenges came up for Birdie and Elliot and sometimes they ended up being on the run from paparazzi. There were also some misunderstandings that led to more bumps in the road. Both characters were entertaining and I enjoyed their banter. 

This novel made me think about how I handled some past relationships and what I maybe should have done better, but the past is in the past. I'm just glad I never received a letter like the one Birdie got, which led her on this wild goose chase in the first place. I was also frustrated that everyone believed the director over Birdie so easily, especially in the era of #MeToo. I don't blame her for speaking up either, even though it came at such a high cost to her career. And as I said before, I am glad I am not a celebrity because I wouldn't want people in my business like that all the time. This was emphasized even more when I recently watched The Princess Diaries for the first time in many years.

Overall, this is a charming story to add to your TBR in early March!

Movie casting suggestions:
Elliot: Skylar Astin

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Allison Winn Scotch:

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