Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3194
The Notorious Pagan Jones
(Updated: July 16, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Cold War was filled with fear, endless duck and cover drills(as if that would save you if a bomb hit), paranoia, and propaganda on both sides. I still remember when the Berlin War came down in 1989. I was surprised as I never thought that would happen in my life time!

THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES is set in 1961 at the height of the Cold War. Add to this a fallen from grace actress who is charged with manslaughter after she drives her sports car off a cliff on Mulholland Drive with her sister and father by her side. Her father and sister die in the horrific accident while Pagan is set to Reformatory school. Then a chance comes her way that if she agrees to it, she will be released. Her chance is to star in a comedy set in Berlin. Everything goes well at first and then one mystery after another are thrown her way. Pagan learns that she must draw on her acting skills in order to make sense of it all. But who better than the notorious Pagan Jones?

What worked: I loved the tabloid feel that gives us Pagan Jones, a teen Annette Funicello-like actress who is not the dumb 'blond' many take her for. Readers are able to see the truth behind the media portrayal of Pagan, especially after her fall from being America's sweetheart . Pagan is tough and struggles for meaning after she blames herself for the deaths of her father and sister. Not even her so-called boyfriend, music star Nicky Raven, returns any calls and basically deserts her to her Reformatory school fate.

The real story though comes once Pagan is in Berlin and on the movie set. Her character kind of reminded me of those Disney teen stars that struggle with the image producers show the world and what's really inside of them. Pagan in this case has an issue with alcohol and impulsiveness.

Once on set, Pagan tries to seize on her chance for redemption after all she'd been through. Plus, she might be able to find the truth behind the secrets of her own Germany born mother. She has a photo with a name that she wants to find the truth about as she feels this will answer many questions she has regarding her mother.

There's a lot happening in Berlin including a cute German actor who takes an interest in Pagan. Add to that her court appointed guardian Devon who is sophisticated, stand-offish, and very cute. There's some chemistry brewing between these two. Devon is swoon worthy if only he didn't have his own secrets. Pagan is determined to find them.

I really loved Pagan. She's feisty and up to a challenge. She relies on her acting skills and also some tricks of the trade that she learned in Reformatory school with some of her encounters! If anyone could tackle Soviet military, Cold War antics, and cute guys? It's Pagan.

Think 60s Beach Party meets Cold War Berlin with suspense, excitement, & mysteries. Throw in espionage and a fated wall that will divide a city. Hints of romance too that make this the perfect summer time read!
Good Points
1. Very engaging historical thriller set in Cold War Berlin
2. Think 60s Beach Party meets Cold War Berlin with suspense, excitement, & mysteries.
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