- Series: Pagan Jones (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (May 26, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373211430
- ISBN-13: 978-0373211432
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,200,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Notorious Pagan Jones Hardcover – May 26, 2015
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Intertwined with historical events surrounding the formation of the Berlin Wall in 1961, this novel traces the recovery of former film sweetheart Pagan Jones. After Pagan drunkenly kills her family in a car accident, she is sentenced to juvenile detention—a rather light sentence compared to the tortuous guilt weighing on her. When the opportunity to star in a Berlin-based film presents itself, Pagan takes the chance and gets out of juvie borne on the arm of her court-appointed guardian, Devin Black. What the teen starlet slowly realizes is that her part in this film is merely superficial; her real objective is to help Devin infiltrate the East German government—the role of a lifetime. Danger, dancing, and daring capers fill the pages of Pagan's adventure and her climb back to stardom. Fans of Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity (Disney-Hyperion, 2012) and Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray (Philomel, 2011) will not be disappointed with the author's latest. VERDICT Fast-paced and furious, this work will be a certain hit with those who love historical fiction, Hollywood, and stories of redemption.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX
"In 1961, a troubled but immensely clever starlet is roped into dangerous Cold War intrigue. In a divided Berlin, Pagan runs the risk of being swamped by geopolitical danger from Communist East Germans--and the ongoing temptation of alcohol. Her prodigious competence at everything she attempts, from acting to espionage, would make her unbelievable if Berry did not temper it so well with her struggles with addiction. Scary in all the right places, with a strong setup for the sequel." - Kirkus Reviews
"Berry's (the Otherkin series) noirish writing blends the blinding spotlight of Hollywood, the sexy world of espionage, and a smattering of real-life events and figures to create a fast-paced spy thriller. Pagan is realistically flawed and complex ("Who was she tonight? Actress or drunk? A movie star, or a villain?"), using her skills on the stage to manipulate men, gain state secrets, and make a daring escape from the divided city." - Publisher's Weekly
"Pagan Jones, though, is nobody's pawn. This is a well-plotted balance of Hollywood glitter and international political conspiracies during the Cold War, and the historical backdrop is meticulously set. Pagan is a smart, charismatic heroine given depth by her struggles with alcoholism..." - Booklist
"With a hint of Hollywood glam, mystery, and a time period unique to the YA genre, Berry treats readers to a can't-miss story. She finds a winner in Pagan, a Marilyn Monroe-like teen actress with a tale that will appeal to younger and older fans alike." - RT Book Reviews
Top customer reviews
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In a tightly woven, easy read, Author Nina Berry, takes her readers on a thrilling ride through tense times in Germany – the summer of 1961 – and leaves us wanting more from her sassy, older-than-her-years heroine, Pagan Jones.
For all her glamorous lifestyle, movie-speak, and au-couture wardrobe, embattled starlet, Pagan Jones is a multi-dimensional heroine, struggling to deal with issues we can all identify with: loss of loved ones, addiction, and the balance between personal and professional life. Berry weaves in a love quadrangle, and several intriguing mysteries, and by the end of the book, we want to follow Pagan Jones right off the pages, and onto the next one!
Keep them coming, Nina Berry! The Notorious Pagan Jones is a winner!
I originally went back and forth with this book before deciding to take a chance on it. Nina paints an exquisite scene of Berlin in the 1960s, a country torn and divided by war, attempting to re-build. The initial start of the book leave you with more questions than answers, who is Pagan Jones, why is she suddenly free, who is Devin Black, why did Nicky never visit her? The story continuously leave you wanting to hear more, learn more, and attempt to put the pieces together.
Then that ending, it was crazy, action packed, as all the mysteries are finally solved and some leaving you puzzled and questioning, wanting more. Pagan learns about her family history, but there are more questions then answer. The mysterious Devin Black and Pagan part ways but with the foreshadowing that they will see each other again. This book is Nancy Drew meets James Bonds, with a dash of Mad Men and Gossip Girl, definitely unique and completely different for the Young Adult market!
Handsome Devin Black seems barely old enough to be a studio executive, and he has secrets of his own. They find they are attracted to each other, but won't admit it, and each know they would be smart not to act on it. Throw in some Cold War politics and newspaper headlines, and you have a history/romance that mingles political intrigue with budding desire. The end notes mention Pagan is next headed to Buenes Aires. No mention if Devin will go with her! The author's end notes document solid historical research, and perhaps teachers will find a way to include this book on high school "Suggested Outside Reading" lists for social studies or history classes,
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: review copy from the publisher
Pagan is an excellent protagonist who manages to feel so real she steps off the pages as you read. She has a depth to her that is rare in the YA genre. All of the characters in the novel have a distinct flavour and are fleshed out in detail beyond their looks - you truly get a glimpse into their lives, backstory and personality. Nothing in the writing of characters felt forced or unrealistic, they seemed to flow in a natural way as they responded to the events around them.
As someone who has experience in the acting industry, I was impressed with the way the industry was represented. I also liked the context of the novel which provided something a little different and interesting to the tale. I loved how Pagan Jones managed to combine so many different ideas, from addiction, to Hollywood, the Stasi and personal development, into a thrilling tale. I cant wait to read the next book!