Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication: MTV Books | July 16, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA
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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.Review:
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…
As much as the Jennifer Echols fangirl in me was prepared to uplift her books after the disaster that was Levitating Las Vegas, I don't think I can go on with that speech. Dirty Little Secret was not my favorite read by the author. Granted that it's a decent, fun read with a lot of country reference in it which was refreshing, I don't like how certain elements in the story ended up ruining the book for me. For example, the love interest, Sam. Even after finishing the story, I'm not really sure what his intentions were towards Bailey. Did he really love her? Or was he with her because she added a great value to his band and didn't want her to leave? Plus, Sam was not a nice person and I certainly did not swoon over him. The other thing was the ending, but I'll get to that later.
Bailey and her sister Julie have always been a team. While Julie sings and plays guitar, Bailey fiddles and add the extra oomph to the song. When they are discovered by a record company that only wants Julie, Bailey's parents send her into hiding and she ends up becoming the dirty little secret. Throughout the story I felt so bad for Bailey and the way her parents treated her for no reason. Just because one of their daughter gets discovered doesn't meant they get to shun the other one. The whole scenario was so unfair for Bailey, but I loved that she never gave up her music. She practiced her fiddling everyday and when she's sent off to live with her grandfather for summer, she gets a job at the mall in an impersonator music group (I don't know what to call them officially). That's where she meets Sam, a charming boy with a great voice, and when he asks her to join his band for a gig, she takes a wild step against her parents rules and says yes.
Bailey is one of those people that you can't help but love. She's not perfect in any way, she did lash out when her parents stopping caring about her; she cut her hair, changed her look completely and started acting out as a wild child, but inside she was very pure and a little hurt from the indifference. Between all that mess, she never disrespected her parents or did anything to harm Julie reputation. But I didn't get how easily she forgave them at the end. They were horrible towards her since the beginning; for God's sake, she wasn't even invited to any of Julie's concert or CMA performance! In the end when Bailey is suddenly needed because Julie is having some stage fright, I just wanted her to say: Fuck all of you, I'm in a good place, I'm great fiddle player and I'll do what I want! The ending completely ruined the book for me. It was ridiculous and I can't see that happening in real life. Major problems resolved within few paragraphs! Are you kidding me? No.No.NO!
If you can overlook the ending and Sam's character, then Dirty Little Secret is a very good book. Plus, if you're from the south and love country music, then this might be the perfect summer read for you. That's another thing I couldn't relate to, a lot of the country references went above my head and even Bailey's mall job was kind of hard for me to picture. Performing as celebrity impersonators, I've never seen that. But all in all, I would say that Dirty Little Secret was a fun read. Highly recommended to fans of light contemporary and music lovers. I would still recommend new fans of Jennifer Echols to read Going to Far and Such a Rush first because they're just that good.