Monday, 19 August 2013
Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Released: July 16th, 2013
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.