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The Notorious Pagan Jones

Review

The Notorious Pagan Jones

After driving drunk one night and accidentally killing her father and sister, Pagan Jones thought her life as a famous actress was over.  She had no family left, as her mother had committed suicide years earlier, and her boyfriend, famous singer Nicky Raven, won’t return any of her calls.  Now she’s stuck at the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls with nothing to do but reflect on her troubled past as an actress and alcoholic.  However, Pagan is offered a second chance at life when her agent and a mysterious young man named Devin Black offer her a role in a new comedy.  Pagan, eager for a chance at redemption, takes the role and is released from the Lighthouse Reformatory.  Soon she is on a plane to West Berlin and preparing for her new movie.
 
Unfortunately, Pagan’s second chance has a rocky start.  Berlin is severely divided between East and West, and tensions are growing every day.  Plus, she must live with a court-appointed guardian, which ends up being Devin Black.  Devin’s cute, but his mysterious nature and questionable past make Pagan suspicious.  When Devin begins to push her towards her handsome co-star, Thomas, Pagan begins to wonder even more what his role in her life is.  Plus, her co-workers question whether or not she will be able to handle her part in the movie without slipping back into her drinking habit.  What’s more, Pagan isn’t so sure she won’t --- especially since it seems like she’s being used as more than just an actress on a new movie.
 
[Author Nina Berry’s] vivid imagery and fun cast of characters are a testament to her storytelling abilities. 
 
Cute, funny and adventurous, THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES is a fun, fast-paced novel that readers will greatly enjoy.  Author Nina Berry draws readers into the contrasting worlds of Hollywood and Berlin during the 1960s.  Her vivid imagery and fun cast of characters are a testament to her storytelling abilities.  The best part of the book, however, is the storyline.  I loved the idea of mixing the glamour of Hollywood and the adventure of spying into one novel.  There were parts of the book that made me feel I was in a beautiful dress, dancing the night away with handsome actors and actresses; there were other parts that made me feel as though I was on a secret mission myself, hiding in the shadows alongside the notorious Pagan Jones.  The combination of the two feelings created a fun, exciting read that will appeal to a wide audience.  Several surprise plot twists will also keep the audience invested and on their toes.  I wish the book’s plot would have picked up a little more in the beginning, but other than that, it was a wholly entertaining read. 
 
The characters were also quite fun and will keep readers interested. Pagan Jones is a fun character and someone that many will be able to relate to.  Despite her shortcomings, Pagan is a strong individual who cares deeply about those around her.  As the novel progressed, she really began to develop as a character, showing her compassion and desire to overcome her addiction.  Devin Black was also an interesting character, and one I personally didn’t think we see enough of in this book.  He has a questionable past that is only touched on a few times, and he remains aloof for most of the novel.  However, in the parts that readers do see the real Devin, he is a charismatic, thoughtful individual who truly does care about Pagan and her future.  As the novel ends with several unanswered questions about Pagan and Devin, hopefully there will be a sequel to THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES coming out soon.

Reviewed by Cheyenne C., Teen Board Member on June 29, 2015

The Notorious Pagan Jones
by Nina Berry

  • Publication Date: May 31, 2016
  • Genres: Romance, Youth Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  • ISBN-10: 0373211902
  • ISBN-13: 9780373211906