Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Review: Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little SecretAuthor: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: MTV Books/Gallery Books

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

I was being given the chance to do the one thing I wanted most in the world. Play. The chance was presented to me by a guy so gorgeous, he turned my skin to fire when he touched me. And joining a band was the one thing I was most forbidden to do, the thing that would ruin my future forever.

A guy should not be this handsome when a girl wanted desperately to keep her boots on the ground.

Now I knew what Ms. Lottie had meant when she said he was a heartbreaker. And he hadn’t spoken one word to me yet.

What set my heart racing was the way his chocolate eyes followed me as I passed him in the doorway, my bare forearm brushing against his. He gave me the smallest smile, soft-looking lips contrasting with the older look he was trying to pull off. The term handsome devil came up in country songs a lot. Now I understood why.

Bailey has recently been down on her luck. She has just graduated high school and got herself in trouble in the process. In order to not ruin her sister’s chances of making it big in the Nashville limelight, Bailey’s parents have demanded that she spend the summer with her grandfather, and out of trouble. With the threat that they will no longer pay for her tuition and room and board at Vanderbilt, Bailey must make it her mission to lay low and not cause any more disruptions. But when she meets Sam Hardiman she is not sure if this will be possible, especially after he gets her a gig playing with his band. The only downside is that she will be playing in a bar – a bar where if her parents found out, she would never see the light of day again. Is Sam worth the trouble? Is being able to play even worth forfeiting her college education? Read on and find out!

Being a southern girl myself, and not living too far from Nashville, I really enjoyed the setting of this book and the love of country music. Bailey’s appreciation for music was wonderful and ever since the Dixie Chicks became famous when I was younger, I have been obsessed with fiddle players! Bailey’s life is about as close to a real eighteen-year-olds as you can get. She finds herself in trouble, and it had to do with the fact that she let herself get in too deep with the wrong guy. Bailey is not a perfect character, but that is the beauty of her. She is learning her way in life and right now she is paving over her mistakes. Bailey was a good-hearted character with good intentions. Her voice helped make this story enjoyable.

I did have a few issues with this book. It has nothing to do with Echols’s writing; I just didn’t enjoy some of the characters and their actions towards Bailey. Bailey’s parents being the first ones. They were completely critical of Bailey and tried to manipulate her. Bailey did do things that her parents didn’t like, but when I found out what kind of trouble Bailey had gotten herself into, I was utterly shocked that her parents took it to such extremes, when the accident wasn’t even Bailey’s fault. Yes, Bailey was wrong for making poor decisions, but treating her like the black sheep in the family was not the answer. I also hated the fact that they didn’t want her to ruin her younger sister’s chance at making it big! I know, how freakin’ crazy is that? Secondly, I liked Sam but he was a typical teenage boy. I think he took advantage of Bailey at times, and I was mad at Bailey for letting him.

There were real young adult issues in this book, and Echols hit those nails right on the head. They were wonderfully explored, and Echols sure can read the minds of most eighteen-year-olds I know!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at MTV Books in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. Bailey's parents were TERRIBLE! I felt so sorry for her. I agree with you about the setting - it was a big reason why I liked this book.

    Kate @ Ex Libris