Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Publisher: MTV Books
Format: Hardcover
Released: July 16th, 2013
Rating: 4/10

Amazon summary:

I was being given the chance to do the one thing I wanted most in the world. 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. Bailey’s parents don’t want her playing any gigs at all, but when they leave her with her grandfather in Nashville for the summer so they can tour with Julie, he lands her a music job that’s beneath the radar, playing old country songs in cheesy costumes at a local mall. That’s where she meets Sam...


I have a strange relationship with Jennifer Echols' books; some I absolutely adore and some I just don't like at all. Dirty Little Secret unfortunately falls into the latter category, and it was really hard work for me to even get in to, let alone finish. I'm pretty disappointed as it was one of my most anticipated 2013 reads, but I have to be honest and sadly it didn't work for me.

I struggled reading this book at first, so much so that I left it partly read for a few weeks and came back to it. I hardly ever do that but, when I do, I know a book isn't working for me. I never particularly liked any of the characters, not like I did with, for example, everyone from Echols' previous YA book Such a Rush. I found it very hard to care about Bailey and Sam, even though they were were well written as always and fully fleshed out. To me their whole relationship felt rushed, and I was shocked to be reminded that they'd only known each other for a week. I think that's unusual for Jennifer Echols characters and could well be the root of the problem.

I did however like the setting and overall story, cantered around family and the Nashville country music scene. I'm a big fan of the Nashville TV show and was happy to hear more about some landmark music locations featured in Dirty Little Secret - I felt like Rayna could come out on stage at any minute! Now that would have been cool. Music is one of my biggest interests but I've never known much about the country genre. I do now, though!

I can't fault Jennifer Echols' writing or attention to detail; she always researches so much for her books and ensures they're about something new, but Dirty Little Secret is sadly not one of her best. I really couldn't wait to get to the end and finish it, which is a bad sign for me. I almost gave up on it but I persevered and finished it because this author is one of my YA favourites. I'll be looking forward to her next book and just hope I'll like it more. And for anyone reading this who's new to the world of Jennifer Echols, I'd suggest starting with Such a Rush or The Boys Next Door. You won't be disappointed.


Dina @ All The Stacks said...

I read this book a few months ago and agree that it was not my favorite. My main issue is that Sam was kind of unlikeable and the ending was just kind of off. This being my first Jennifer Echols, I do plan on trying some of her other books.

Becky Scott said...

I was so hoping you'd enjoy this. Then I would have bought a copy. I will have to get Such a Rush instead. It's strange how sometimes her characters are really believable and then other times, they just aren't. Love the honest, fair review.

quinnsbooknook said...

I have a love-hate relationship with Jennifer Echols' books. My favorite of hers is Major Crush. It was fun, and hilarious and I loved the MCs. But then I read Love Story, and it's still one of my LEAST FAVORITE BOOKS EVER.

I have also read The One That I Want, which I liked, but wasn't in love with. And I sort of gave up after that. But so many people love her books, that I feel like I'm not giving her enough chance.

prophecygirl said...

Becky, her books are definitely very hit and miss. There are some brilliant ones though which I hope you manage to get hold of. I was apprehensive before I read Such a Rush (because I didn't like her previous book) but it was so good.

prophecygirl said...

Dina, don't let this one put you off! There are much better Echols books out there :)

prophecygirl said...

I haven't read Major Crush yet (though I have a copy) and didn't bother with TOTIW as I heard such bad reviews.

Love Story... meh. Also not her best. Let's hope we all love her next book!

caroline.taylor078 said...

I have read Gone Too Far by her and absolutely loved it but then I got Forget You and wasn't overly impressed and that is all I have read by Jennifer, shame you didn't enjoy this one.