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Historical YA Fiction Audiobook Review: The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry

The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry (Pagan Jones #1)


Audiocopy courtesy of Audible US

Synopsis from Goodreads
Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family. Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt—not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.

But all of that is about to change. Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days. If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast—and she has to agree to a court-appointed "guardian," the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth, too sophisticated to be some studio flack.

The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her—there's definitely something fishy going on. But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones. What could go wrong?

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository | Audible US/UK

8.5/10

* * *
The Notorious Pagan Jones was absolutely delightful! I don't know what I liked the most: Miss Jones' sarcastic drawl, the slang, the various accents brought to life by a skillful narrator, or the cloak and dagger circumstances which led to the building of Berlin wall



Pagan Jones is a talented Hollywood starlet whose name was tarnished by a huge scandal. On her sixteenth birthday she got roaring drunk and drove her car off the cliff taking life of her father and younger sister. Now she is spending her days at a reform school dreaming of escape until  Universal Studios representative puts an irresistible offer on the table: Pagan agrees to replace an actress in a comedy which starts filming in three days in West Berlin, and she will be released on parole under the supervision of the court appointed guardian.


This is Pagan's chance to come back, but she is paranoid and suspicious of her so-called guardian. Mysterious, suave Devin Black is barely twenty himself, and he has a hidden agenda.


Not only Pagan is delightfully quick witted, gifted as an actress and sarcastic as hell, she has a taste for danger, which in the atmosphere of conspiracies, spies and old secrets serves her well. Instead of a pawn in men's games, she becomes a lead player and saves the day with fantastic flourish.

At the same time, Pagan doesn't feel like a cartoonish character. She is afraid and under an enormous amount of pressure to perform. She is a recovering alcoholic and suffers from flashbacks to her crash. She has ups and downs, and feels very real.


Secondary characters of Devin Black, Thomas and even Nicky Raven (Pagan's ex-flame) are multidimensional and only add to the rich flavour of this story.

Overall, I was enormously entertained and am looking forward to more books from Nina Berry. Recommended to all the fans of Ally Carter.


* * *
 Замечательная аудиокнига! Пэйган с её тягучим акцентом, слэнгом, характерным для Америки 60-х гг., и сама рассказчика, искусно передающая различные акценты эту историю значительно приукрасили.

Сам сюжет мне был очень интересен, т.к. я ни только не знакома с Голливудом этой эпохи, я не помню при каких обстоятельствах была воздвигнута Берлинская стена.

Пэйган - многослойный, интересный персонаж. В свои 16 лет она известная голливудская старлетка, бывший алкоголик и сидит в тюрьме для малолетних за то, что под воздействием алкоголя разбила свою машину, в которой в то время находились её отец и младшая сестра. Пэйган выжила, а они погибли.

 Её мрачное будущее меняется когда её посещает представитель Юниверсал Студиос и предлагает  роль в фильме знаменитого режиссёра Бенни Уэкслера, снимающего в западном Берлине. Актриса, которую ей придётся заменить оставила фильм, когда до съёмки оставалось 3 дня, и продюсеры решили предложить роль Пэйган. Взамен она будет выпущена из тюрьмы под присмотром опекуна, назначенного судом.

Пэйган понимает, что жизнь даёт ей второй шанс, однако к контракту относится подозрительно, особенно когда узнаёт, что её опекуном назначен таинственный Дэвин Блэк, которому ещё нет и двадцати. Однако контракт она подписывает и погружается в мир  секретов, шпионов и заговоров, что оказывается идеальной окружающей средой для нашей героини, которой нужен адреналин, чтобы вновь почувствовать себя живой.

Второстепенные персонажи тоже прекрасны, что Дэвин, что Томас (актёр из восточного Берлина, играющий любовника Пэйган в фильме, и даже Никки Рэйвен - бывший парамур мисс Джоунс.

Рекомендую всем фанатам Алли Картер, т.к. книга эта очень увлекательная и атмосферная.

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