ARC Book Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

Posted September 11, 2016 by Debby in Reviews / 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Book Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi AshtonDiplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
Published by Balzer + Bray on September 6th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

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?

1 Stars

How… did we end up… here. After loving Brodi’s Everneath series and her latest co-writing adventures in My Lady Jane… Between all of that, I figured this was an author that couldn’t possibly lose my love. But I guess there are still some surprises to be had in the world. Diplomatic Immunity just wasn’t good.

So this is a story of the uber-privileged kids in Washington D.C. Piper winds up at their school on a special scholarship and hopes that it’ll be able to get her a win in a journalism competition that would get her a college scholarship. Considering her family’s financial struggles, it’s a dire need, and Piper has long had an affinity and love for journalism, so she ends up wanting to do an exposé of the lives of these privileged kids of rich guys and diplomats. Well, what could possibly go wrong with that idea?


First things first: Piper is hopeless as a journalist. I mean, an exposé of these lives is a pretty good story. But before she even starts, she already gets too attached to the people – mostly Raf, the super charming and literally “exotic” son of a Spanish diplomat. Honestly, he’s kind of a douche. But from the first page, basically, it’s obvious they’re going to be a thing. She still throughout the whole story thinks that she can write a story about him, exposing secrets he only tells her, and that he would never find out slash be totally cool with it. She doesn’t know shit about gathering good sources, writing fairly and representing both sides… for a hardcore journalism piece it sure sounds a lot more like tabloid gossip. And as the world’s biggest fan of The Newsroom I basically take personal offense to it.

Piper’s voice is incredibly annoying. She does this thing where she has an internal monologue about something or other and then suddenly says the next line of her thoughts out loud. This honestly happens five or more times. NOBODY DOES THAT. IT’S SO STUPID. IT’S NOT CUTE OR FUNNY. IT’S PATHETIC. And as a journalist, it’s horrible. Because she almost blurts out what she’s working on or how she’s trying to get information out of people. She can’t lie, or at least tell convincing cover stories. I wanted to bash my head against a wall because honestly.


The romance is god-awful. Seriously, I see zero appeal in Raf, and it was a pretty big NOTP for me from the first encounter. Obviously this is because they simultaneously lie to each other and reveal too much at other times. It’s just dumb. And dramatic. And not at all swoony. And Piper gets so dumb when it comes to him. She waffles back and forth about the article based on how they interacted with each other on that particular day. And then she drools all over him with such brilliant commentary as the following…

“I briefly imagined scrubbing clothes clean on his washboard abs, and I was going to mention the idea, but I still had just enough wits about me to keep the thought to myself.” ARC of Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton


I honestly wanted to barf. Multiple times.

“I wanted to savor every tidbit with Rafael. It was like a good book, one I’d been waiting for and anticipating, and once I’d gotten it in my hands, I couldn’t bear to read one single page because that would be one fewer page I would get to read.

My dad knocked on my door and poked his head in. “Breakfast, Pipe,” he said, and then, looking at my face, he frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want to turn his pages!”

“Whose pages?”

“Never mind. Sorry. I’m fine.”

Because Raf was a person. Not a book. He didn’t have a beginning and an end. It wasn’t like I had a set amount of minutes with him, and every minute spent together was a minute gone that I wouldn’t get back.

No. We had infinite minutes. And I was going to savor every one.” ARC of Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

However, maybe the most disappointing thing of all is that from reading the premise, you basically already know 100% how this story is going to go. And it goes exactly the way you think. It’s actually astonishing that Piper still thinks her story wouldn’t obviously be by her when it contains information only she knows and photos only she was there to take. She’s actually surprised by peoples’ reactions to the story.

“I was pretty sure successful reporters weren’t supposed to lose every single friend afterward.” ARC of Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
Bitch, what did you think was going to happen???

Against all the odds, the romance of course manages to survive, but it seals it with a quote so disgusting that I don’t even understand who exactly was supposed to find it romantic.

“I ran to him and he picked me up and kissed my face all over and I kissed his face off. Clean off.” ARC of Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

Summing Up:

This book is a disaster. I normally try to reserve judgment and claim that a book is just “not for me” but may in fact work for somebody else. But on this rare occasion I feel like I can say that qualitatively, this book just isn’t good. I don’t know who would actually like it. Just… no. Diplomatic Immunity, I’m sorry. But it’s not me, it’s you.

GIF it to me straight!

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3 responses to “ARC Book Review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton

  1. So glad to hear someone else I “know” didn’t like it. I, too, was annoyed as hell w Piper’s “journalistic skills.” Her surprise overy pissing people off when it published was a get-a-clue-girl moment. And I never felt the sparks btwn her and Raf. I was so disappointed!

  2. I DNFed this one and I already read your review on GR, but I’m back to say HOW. HOW IS IT SO BAD? I quit shortly after the introduction of the “exotic” Spanish hero and her falling in a fucking bush and just WUT. How did this book get published and how is it not better and just sadness all around basically.
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