Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 16th, 2013
MTV Books, 273 Pages
Source: eARC from Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!)
Sub-genre: Contemporary/Realistic Fiction
Age Group: Mature Young Adult (16+ for sexual content)
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…
Having only read one Jennifer Echols book before (Such a Rush), I wasn’t sure what to expect from Dirty Little Secret. I will admit that the beginning definitely had me interested, but as I progressed in the book, I found the main character, Bailey, to be annoying and the love interest, Sam, to be overly ambitious to the point of irritation (how many people are you willing to step on to make it to the top?!).
Bailey’s voice was definitely unique and I understood her situation but my goodness, how childish can a girl act? She felt overly whiny and reminded me of a spoiled child throwing a quiet tantrum in the corner. Did her parents do the right thing? No, but be mature! Sam, on the other hand, annoyed me because he was willing to throw away any and all relationships and step on anyone and everyone in order to “make it” in Nashville. Use people much?
The plot was a little slow in the beginning but it picked up after that. But the most distracting thing was probably the in-depth music talk that I could NOT understand. It was just a little too advanced for me – some might say that it adds credibility to the book but I just felt leftout. There are other YA books about music and bands that have jargon without getting so technical that I’m totally lost – Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker or Exile by Kevin Emerson.
The message of “Go after your heart’s desire” is a good one, especially for teens but I’d like to add this: please don’t take the Sam approach and be willing to stand on top of others just to get to the top.
I’m definitely in the minority of readers seeing as how many of my friends enjoyed this one. So, if you like steamy + romance + music you should give Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols a try.