{ARC REVIEW} Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

{ARC REVIEW} Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi AshtonDiplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: e-ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Goodreads

Aspiring reporter Piper Baird decides to write a scathing exposé on the overprivileged students at an elite Washington, DC, school, only for her life to change when she begins to fall for the story's main subject, in this new realistic contemporary romance from Brodi Ashton, the author of the Everneath trilogy.

Raucous parties, privileged attitudes, underage drinking, and diplomatic immunity...it’s all part of student life on Embassy Row.

Piper Baird has always dreamed of becoming a journalist. So when she scores a scholarship to exclusive Chiswick Academy in Washington, DC, she knows it’s her big opportunity. Chiswick offers the country’s most competitive prize for teen journalists—the Bennington scholarship—and winning will ensure her acceptance to one of the best schools in the country.

Piper isn’t at Chiswick for two days before she witnesses the intense competition in the journalism program—and the extreme privilege of the young and wealthy elite who attend her school. And Piper knows access to these untouchable students just might give her the edge she’ll need to blow the lid off life at the school in a scathing and unforgettable exposé worthy of the Bennington.

The key to the whole story lies with Rafael Amador, the son of the Spanish ambassador—and the boy at the center of the most explosive secrets and scandals on Embassy Row. Rafael is big trouble—and when he drops into her bedroom window one night, asking for help, it’s Piper’s chance to get the full scoop. But as they spend time together, Piper discovers that despite his dark streak, Rafael is smart, kind, funny, and gorgeous—and she might have real feelings for him. How can she break the story of a lifetime if it could destroy the boy she just might love?

Quick Thoughts and Rating: Actual rating of 3.5 stars! This book had the potential to be something truly spectacular, but some parts of the story had me craving more while others kept me truly entertained. I think I probably would’ve only given this three stars, but Piper’s inner monologue and lack of filter totally bumped it up a notch.

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 Review: Diplomatic Immunity had all the makings for a truly memorable, stellar book had everything been executed flawlessly. For the most part, I enjoyed this book. Piper’s character–her personality, her inner monologue, and her actual dialogue–jumped off the page with little effort and I was taken with her from very early on in the story. There were times that I wanted to thump her in the forehead like a loving, exasperated best friend and other times that I just wanted to be around her for the endless laughter she brought out of me. Seriously, this girl is a hoot and I can’t count the number of times my husband rolled his eyes at me because I was cackling. Point being, if my rating was based off how exceptionally Ashton captured this one character, it’d be a solid 5 stars, no doubt. (Please note: I can definitely see why others would dislike her character, though.) But, unfortunately, that’s not the case and her character had to contend with others as well as a romance and a semi-predictable plot that didn’t have the amount of substance I think I had been anticipating.

First, I’ll tackle the other characters. These ranged anywhere from our MC’s family and friends to classmates and more. Aside from our heroine, I didn’t feel that connected to many other characters, especially when I noticed quite a few had the potential to be so much more. I would’ve loved to get a little more depth from them besides the introductory traits we were given as soon as we read about them in the book. In my opinion, I felt like the author had more than enough opportunity to dig a little deeper into their character, and maybe the book would’ve been all the better because of it. For instance, the families alone provided the chance to strengthen the secondary cast. Both our heroine and hero have siblings, brother’s even, that fall somewhere on the spectrum. I loved those hidden gems of moments we got to share with them and even further that it was a commonality that allowed Pip and Raf to bond on another level, but I would’ve appreciated more development there. We don’t get much beyond a few chats, a brief mentioning of the tools that each boy used to cope with the world around them, and a small mention from Raf and Piper about how much they each loved their sibling and how misinformed the world was about them. Why not take the opportunity to showcase more about each boy and actually inform the world about autism awareness? Additionally, I felt like for the parents to be somewhat of a steady presence in the story, and a controlling factor in Raf’s case, we don’t really learn much about them either other than their social standing and the couple of brief interactions they have with our couple. I think I would’ve appreciated a little more attention on these things because I feel like ultimately it would have helped me understand the characters better, and inevitably, I believe it would’ve allowed me to connect with them more.

As for the romance, don’t get me wrong, once we got to that point where they were flirting with love interest territory, it was absolutely adorable. That said, the lead up to it was tense at times and had me just as confused as Piper with the cat and mouse game Raf was playing at. Then, we barely got to live in the ball of cuteness and fluff that was them as a couple before it was ripped right away. So, as I was biding my time and watching the percentage on my kindle dwindle away, we finally got to the reconciliation that was, yes, ridiculously cute, but it came to an abrupt end immediately after. Once again, I feel like I wasn’t given enough time to enjoy their togetherness. All in all, I can create the world in my head on my own because their unfolding future together is painted with a pretty broad brush and I can be satisfied with that, but I won’t lie and say that I wouldn’t have loved another chapter of them being sweet and doing couple-y things or an brief epilogue showing them kicking college’s ass together.

As for the plot, it felt very one-note because a majority of it focused on Piper’s dream of winning the Bennington scholarship and all the waffling she did over whether to use Raf as her golden ticket or let that dream die because she was developing feelings for him. I knew immediately that her choice to draft the exposé would lead to the predictable “breakup moment” and that made it difficult to concentrate on the middle parts of the story. I mean, it’s the car wreck you can see coming from a mile away and so all there is to do is wait for the collision. I don’t really see too many other ways this story could have developed other than to completely change the plot so I’m not exactly faulting the author for the way she carried it out, I’m just saying the predictability of it all made me a little less than enthused to turn the page.

For what it’s worth, I would have to say that I really liked this book overall despite thinking it had the possibility of being something much better given the idea of diplomatic immunity to work with. It was cute, laugh-out-loud worthy in many instances, and I read it all in one sitting, so that has to stand for something.

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 Teaser Quote: There were some pretty cute quotes in this book. I’ll leave you with one that made my heart flutter a smidgen in my chest.

     I brought his hand up to my lips, kissed his knuckles and his thumb, and said, “Rafael Amador, I . . .really like you.
     He smiled.
     “Pipper Baird, you send me to the moon.”
– quote taken from the eARC of Diplomatic Immunity at 87%

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Book Rating Breakdown
Cover
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Characters
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Plot
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Pacing
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Swoons
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Cute, Fuzzies, Flutters
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

 Rec It? More likely yes than no. Generally, I think more people will like this than dislike it. Actually, I think more people will even enjoy it more than I did. Had some minor things been tweaked and a little more time been spent showing the characters actually in a relationship, perhaps I would’ve even loved it more, too.

♥ A very special thanks to Balzer+Bray and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

*Disclaimer: An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

christina2227
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christina2227

Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥
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Posted August 26, 2016 by christina2227 in ARC, Awesome Heriones, Brooding bad boy, Contemporary, Holy Angst Batman, Literal LOL Moments, Reviews, Romance, Stand Alone, Young Adult / 1 Comment

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