Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Release Date: July 16, 2013
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…
I didn’t enjoy this book but I cannot bring myself to give it a 1 star rating. Jennifer Echols always has these great ideas but she goes off in directions that I, as a reader do NOT want her to go in.
I really liked the idea of this book but I felt as though the author could have headed in a whole other direction with this that would have made this book a lot more enjoyable for me.
I think the thing that annoyed me most about this book was the main character. I hate how she has no pride. She is a teenager but all she can do is be self-deprecating. She is always looking down on herself. I don’t have a particularly high self-esteem but I don’t think I could view myself in the same light as she views herself in. She is always blaming herself for what happened yet I don’t think that would have been the appropriate response. She is a teenager (I mean she was 17 when this happened) and teenagers tend to be pretty angsty, she should have been more angry. We don’t see ANY anger on her side and here all I felt throughout the book was anger. She claims to be bitter yet she goes on about how her SISTER won’t talk to her and calls her every night hoping she will pick up.
She goes through the whole ‘rebelling’ phase yet she is still confined by what her parents expect her to do. She just seemed completely unrealistic to me.
This brings me to the next thing that bothered me, her parents. I hated her parents with the intensity of a thousand suns. They were awful. I cannot imagine any parent that would treat their child like that. I understand neglect but abandoning her, I don’t understand that. They chose one daughter over the other and told the other to give up her dreams which THEY implanted into her. The irony is not lost on me. On top of that they also threatened to take away her college tuition if she did anything to mess things up for her sister. That just really pissed me off. What parents (in a fairly normal family) would want to take everything away from their child? Unless of course they want their kid to have absolutely no respect for them, which of course isn’t Bailey’s reaction to her parents destroying her life, what she does is accept everything they throw at her and whine about it. They apparently hate her for something that happened a year ago (although I don’t know what other reaction they expected her to have, plus it was an accident) yet I think the situation should have been reversed, with her hating their guts and giving them all the grief she could.
What is worse is that this wasn’t the ‘bad’ parent-child relationship; Sam’s dad was pretty bad as well. The author attempts to put a good spin on him later in the book but it just seemed false to me after seeing how much Sam despised his father.
What is up with bad parents in YA these days? Let me tell you, bad parents do NOT make a character more relatable, most parents are pretty cool. They do not try to sabotage their kids’ lives.
The only ‘good’ parent-child relationship was the one between Sam and his mother but since that wasn’t really explored I don’t have much to say about it.
Now about this sister I’ve mentioned a couple of times. She got a deal with a recording company while her older sister didn’t. The two used to be a duo and did everything together, so I do view Julie as ‘evil’. In my opinion, if she loved her sister she wouldn’t have signed the deal. It’s as simple as that. They’ve done everything together so why should she get the chance to complete her dreams while her sister doesn’t? Isn’t that kind of selfish of her? The author attempts to put a good spin on Julie in the end where she states that her reason for not answering her sister’s calls was a way to help her. Uh yeah sure. Not buying that. Julie=evil. End of story. (I am sure other people will disagree but you know.. it’s my opinion.. muhahaha)
This brings me to Sam and Bailey’s relationship. There were insta-love vibes all over the place and on the 4th day of knowing him, Bailey claimed to be in love with him. Unfortunately I was actually relieved about this one, after reading Hidden I was so glad she didn’t fall in love within a day of knowing him.
Sam is a complicated character, I don’t hate him but I would have definitely loved him had he not been a love interest.
He does some things that put him into the ‘asshole’ category but they don’t make me hate him because they just show that he is ambitious. Also he did indirectly say he would do anything to get to where he wants to be.
What I didn’t like about the things he did was Bailey’s reaction to them. Instead of feeling anger towards him like she should have, she felt guilty. On top of that, when she found out he manipulated her, she still wanted him. I barely saw a smidge of anger. In the end she was the one trying to fix things between them when he should have been the one groveling. Groveling aside, I still don’t even understand how Sam came around.
This book had so much potential and when I started this book I had been hoping that she wouldn’t have put up against everything her parents were doing to her. What I wanted was for this book to be about a girl who makes it to the top the hard way, meeting people who aren’t wonderful (like Sam) and having to put up with them so that she could achieve her goal.
In the end she does make one good decision when she decides to not put up with her parents’ shit but the way she stands up for herself is not what I wanted.
I am sure many people will enjoy this book but it seems like it just wasn’t for me.