Fri, July 12, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols Review

Dirty Little Secret book cover

Dirty Little Secret book cover

Dirty Little Secret
By Jennifer Echols
Publication date: July 16, 2013
MTV Books, 288 pages
Source: Publisher

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…

— Goodreads.com description

Jennifer Echols books are so highly enjoyable to me. Dirty Little Secret was entertaining, as her books always are, but I have to admit it didn’t fall among my Favoritest Echols Books Ever. (Endless Summer, Such a Rush, Going Too Far. You should read them. Seriously, I love Going Too Far so much I just got distracted and just googled “johnafter.” Okay. Anna. Focus.)

Anyway, the big concern for me with Dirty Little Secret was that I didn’t like how Bailey and Sam treated one another. And not that I think I have to love every character’s decisions to like a book, but it just prevented me from getting swept up on the story.

That being said: The musical element was amazing. If you love books with a musical twist, you’re going to love this. It was fun to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at an up-and-coming band. I loved that Bailey played the fiddle — I’m a sucker for fiddle music. And I loved that it was set in Nashville, where two of my BFFs live. It made me ache to visit them again!

Music fans, check it out. Echols fans, you’ll like this one but probably won’t rank it first among her works. Non-Echols fans, I’d definitely recommend starting with one of the other books I mentioned and working your way here.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: family, jennifer echols, music, romance
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11 Comments

  1. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said:

    This was my first Echols book and it wasn’t what I was hoping it would be. Like you I loved the music plot but didn’t like the relationship between Sam and Bailey. It just really bothered me. I’m kind of glad to see I’m not alone on this one.
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  2. Faye @ A Daydreamer’s Thoughts said:

    I haven’t read anything but Jennifer Echols but I will now make sure that this isn’t the first one I try. Thanks for this review Anna, and I am sorry you didn’t manage to love it as much as her others. Maybe her next one will make you fall in love again :D
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  3. Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) said:

    I’ve read mixed reviews on this one … I’ve never read a Jennifer Echols book BUT I do love music books, so I might give it a go! Especially since it’s in my review pile. :) Great review, Anna!
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  4. Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide said:

    Yes! The music element was so, so amazing. I wished I was there at the concerts and bars and shows. I’m not a fan of country music, but this kind of made me want to go to Nashville!
    I can agree with that — I didn’t like the way Bailey and Sam treated each other a lot, but somehow it didn’t quite bother me like it did for so many other people. I’m not sure why… I think I just let myself fall into the story and although I didn’t like how Sam handled things towards the end, I guess in a way I could see where he was coming from (even though I didn’t approve!)
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  5. Alexa Y. said:

    It’s the musical element that’s really drawing my attention with this one, particularly since it’s country music! I’m a newly minted country music fan, so that’ll be fun to explore.
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  6. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader said:

    While I wasn’t particularly impressed with the first Jennifer Echols book I read (Such A Rush) I had every intention of reading this Dirty Little Secret until the reviews began poring in. To put it frankly, Sam sounds absolutely disgusting in his behaviour toward Bailey and I find the premise of separating two sisters in order to further one’s music career more than a little absurd. It’s really a shame too, as I ordinarily love books that centre around the music scene and was initially excited about this book when I first heard of it. Unfortunately, far too many people whose opinions I trust have told me to steer clear of it, and I have every intention of doing just that. Life is too short to read books I’m uninterested in or think will upset me.
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  7. Ginger @ GReads! said:

    Agreed. I wasn’t head over heels in love with this one, either. But I still enjoyed it. Because come on. It’s Jennifer Echols! I had issues with Sam. He just never redeemed himself in my eyes.

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  8. Tara said:

    Agreed times 10. Loved the musical element but the romance fell flat for me. I’m reading Endless Summer next and I can’t wait!
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  9. Ellice said:

    Oh man, I love John After too. And Grayson Hall. Jennifer Echols can definitely create sexy book boyfriends :) I can’t wait for this one!

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  10. brianna said:

    This sounds good and I’ll get to it eventually, I’m sure, but I’m going to check out the others you mentioned first.
    brianna recently posted..have an awesome weekend!My Profile

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  11. Estelle said:

    Still so torn on this one. I am so sad it doesn’t rank with the best of the best in Echols land because I so wanted it to. Definitely a library book for me in the near future (I hope). I think we just need more books about Nashville!
    Estelle recently posted..Sweet Summertime Reads | Oh, the Places We Would Go (in NY + TX)…My Profile

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