Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Pub Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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?
I am all about books dealing with politics or Washington DC since I live so close, so when I heard about Diplomatic Immunity I knew I had to check it out. I’m always a sucker for foreign exchange student situations too (I think it’s the accents). I started this immediately for ARC August, but I’m sad to report that this book fell way short.
One of the few things I liked about this book was the story itself. A girl who sees what the kids with diplomatic immunity do behind closed doors? Heck yeah, sign me up! Some parts were interesting–the parties, Rafael’s family–but some other parts felt a little unrealistic. While the story was okay, the characters inside the story were practically unbearable.
Piper, the main character, was sort of an asshole. She was annoying and rash, and honestly, most of the problems in this book could have been solved if she just told Rafael THE DAMN TRUTH! And as for Rafael, he had his moments, but he was also annoying and boring at times. I felt more sympathetic for him because of how he treated his brother with autism (Piper’s brother also has autism, but I felt like Raf’s actions were more sincere). The characters weren’t really well-developed, but they weren’t horribly flat, either. I just wanted more (and I wanted them to be a little less infuriating).
The romance between Piper and Rafael was less than satisfying, to say the least. They had ZERO chemistry. It was like a used match trying to make a wet log catch on fire. You know I can get behind any romance, but I just could not get behind this one. The whole reason I read this book was for the hot and steamy romance, and while it was sort of steamy at times, it didnt’ affect me because I disliked the two main characters.
The writing itself was okay, I felt pretty neutral about it. I’ve thought about trying Brodi Ashton’s other books–her paranormal/fantasy series–but after Diplomatic Immunity, I’m more than a little hesitant to try her other books.
Overall, Diplomatic Immunity was really disappointing. While the story held a lot of potential, the annoying main characters and lack of chemistry in their romance left me feel lackluster. I’m not sure I’d recommend this to anyone, even contemporary lovers. This book just was not my cup of tea.