Book Review: Sparrow by L.J Shen



Troy Brennan

Every Southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart-throb with steel-blue eyes. “The Fixer” who can make or break you in this city.

Oh, and my new husband.

Sparrow Raynes 

That’s me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life.
But then he caged me.
Kidnapped me.
And killed every chance I had to run away from the place where we grew up.
Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings.

I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he’ll ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.



First thoughts when I saw the book cover, ‘I think this book is about a bird, a sparrow. I think it has something dystopian.’ Big mistake! It’s very far from dystopian. It’s actually a romance book! A complicated romance book!


At first I was so confuse because the first chapter talks about their wedding. It was like



Though I still continue reading. The first parts, Troy and Sparrow were treating each other like strangers. They were with each other’s throats when they banter. Though it shows just how brave and snarky Sparrow is, it also shows just how hard-to-get and how independent she is. She’s the epitome of stubbornness. You can’t boss her around. She’s somehow the kind of heroine I’m looking for in a book of romance. She didn’t try cheating on Troy even though she’s a bit attractive to his best friend, Brock. She didn’t give in that easily to her sexual attraction towards Troy. And she kissed Troy just to prove that she’s not afraid of him even though she really is scared. She is my kind of character. How I wish there are a lot of woman character just like her in most romance books. The kind who don’t swoon easily to the hero. And the kind who still get close to someone as bad as Troy even though being scared. She sure follows her instincts well.


Troy Brennan, I didn’t get the perfect picture of him in my head. Aside from the description that he killed two people, and he’s called as The Fixer, and he’s ruthless and an asshole, I didn’t have any. I couldn’t picture him clearly. Though I know he’s handsome. (Because there are no ugly hero in any book ever existed.)


And Brock. He’s easy to imagine because he’s the usual third party in every book I’ve read. He appears in the book from time to time. Enough to see him as just someone who’s hitting on Sparrow even though Brock has a wife and Sparrow is Troy’s wife.


The story, for me, focuses on how snarky Sparrow is. How she talks back to Troy despite hearing a lot of rumors about him being bad and merciless. I understand because the book is named about her. Though while I was reading the book, I’m looking for the villain. For someone who will give them a problem to solve. I didn’t find any. Because surely Troy Brennan is not the villain, he’s the hero. And I got the same feeling of instinct while reading the book as I was watching the movie Frozen. And from that, I knew who the villain was. But the revelation of who it was was kind of abrupt. There was no hint as to who the real enemy is but when it was revealed it was, like, revealed abruptly. When I was still reading the book and got until the middle part, it was slow and it’s taking its pace. But when it was on the near-end part, it was all happening so fast.


When everything settled down, I didn’t understand Sparrow’s decision. It’s like she just decided to break up with Troy, even though she doesn’t really want to end things with them, because it would the right decision for a sane person to end things with the person who did what Troy did to Sparrow. But I don’t agree with her. Sparrow is not a sane person when she’s with Troy Brennan. That’s a fact right there. And when she decide that she want to leave Troy for what he did, I think it wasn’t really her who decided it. It was the other part of her. Because deep down she knew she will always come back to Troy.


After reading this book, I realized something. Love is really powerful. Even someone who’s as bad as Troy Brennan breaks when in love. And people surely say a lot of cheesy things when they are in love and Troy is not an exception.


They are a perfect couple, Troy and Sparrow. Troy is violent and merciless but he’s thoughtful and weak when it comes to Sparrow. That’s real love.





About the Author…



L.J. Shen is a former entertainment and music journalist, a recovering hipster, a hopeless romantic and a reformed Riot grrrl. She speaks three languages – four, if you include sarcasm. She writes everything from dark to comedy, as long as there’s enough love and romance involved. Shen lives in Northern California with her son, husband, cat and collection of designer shoes.

L.J. wants to be Tina Fey when she grows up. Keep your fingers crossed for her.

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