ARC Review: Diplomatic Immunity

Diplomatic ImmunityDiplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: September 6, 2016

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?

I was excited to read this because it is a Brodi Ashton book, and while I loved her writing, I was kind of disappointed overall. The story of a journalist who falls in love with the object of her investigation, Diplomatic Immunity is, in a word, predictable. And sometimes that isn’t a bad thing, but with this book, it was. Piper dreams of being a famous journalist, and is like a bloodhound for the Next Big Story, but her approach to journalism comes just shy of being a tabloid. Like her teacher tells her, she just takes a story and goes out spinning it further and further. So, her expose, which is more of a resentment project, becomes this big secret she carries when she eventually falls in love with Raf, one of the kids with Diplomatic Immunity, whose lives she resents.

For starters, the events in the book are so predictable that I wasn’t surprised anywhere in the book. You have the cliched bad boy, the meet-cute, the hot-and-cold courtship, the probable girlfriend, the Thing That is Common Between Them, Truth Comes Out and Big Dramatic Reunion. Honestly, the only saving grace of the book is that the writing is still good, and that Piper is a humorous protagonist to read through. Her oft created headlines over mundane things in her life definitely had me laughing, like the one about how Twinking Eyes Are Real. But otherwise, the story didn’t have anything new to offer and for a person like me, who is already sort of tired of conventional contemporary romance, this wouldn’t do. I guess for those who are a fan of the genre, and like cute love stoires – this would be a good book, but not for me.

Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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