Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Review | “Daisy Jones & The Six”: the Rise and Fall of Fame

March 14, 2019 Bonnie 2019, Adult, Book Reviews 4 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | “Daisy Jones & The Six”: the Rise and Fall of FameDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Ballantine Books on March 5, 2019
Pages: 368
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Audible
Goodreads

Also by this author: Forever, Interrupted

three-stars

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Daisy: Just how honest do we have to get here? I know I told you I’d tell you everything but how much “everything” do you really want to know?

Daisy Jones & The Six was one of the biggest rock bands of the 70s but following the end of their first tour, the band broke up without ever revealing why. In this documentary-style novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid brings to life a fictional band while revealing their rapid rise to fame and an even faster descent.

Does anyone remember VH1’s Behind the Music? Back in the day when the internet wasn’t nearly as impressive and your favorite bands definitely weren’t on social media, music fans had Behind the Music. These documentaries featured interviews with the band, friends/family, managers, and anyone else that had an interesting story to tell about the band. Daisy Jones & The Six reads exactly like an episode set in the 70s replete with band drama and rampant drug abuse. The story effectively strips away the veneer that gets built up around celebrities, exposing their vulnerability and weaknesses, and revealing them as being no different than anyone else. The songs they write were the soundtrack to their drama-filled lives, forcing them to experience it all again and again with each new performance. The entire novel is essentially one massive interview, with each individual giving their perspective on what occurred which didn’t always coincide with someone else’s account but considering all the drug use and the many decades that have passed, I suppose that’s understandable.

While I found the style of the story to be a nice change of pace, unfortunately, the style managed to undermine the story as a whole. The emphasis on the importance of their song-writing and the feelings that the verses cultivated was something I wanted to be able to feel through reading about it, but it didn’t translate well on page. There was a definite lack of connection and I simply never found a reason to be invested in the lives of these individuals. Their story was an unending loop of song-writing, performing, drama, and partying yet you know it’s all building up to something big and my curiosity had me flying through this novel. I realized when the big reveal came that a greater investment in the characters was vital to feeling anything other than letdown when it actually came. Still an interesting novel for anyone looking for a glimpse into the craziness of music in the 70s.

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Early Review – Forever, Interrupted: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

June 20, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2013 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Forever, Interrupted: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins ReidForever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Washington Square Press on July 9th 2013
Pages: 352
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Netgalley, the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Daisy Jones & The Six

two-stars

"Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime."

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.

‘When you love someone so much that you’ve stuck around through all the interesting things that have happened to them and you have nothing left to say, when you know the course of their day before they even tell you, when you lie next to them and hold their hand even though they haven’t said one interesting thing in days, that’s a love I want. It’s the love I was on target for.’

Elsie and Ben: madly in love and only recently married. Forever, Interrupted opens with a short view of their life together and how apparent their love is before that picture perfect view is shattered completely leaving Elsie all alone. Dealing with the aftermath proves even more difficult than normal as Elsie is stuck explaining herself to a family that never knew of her existence.

The story switches between the present situation and mixes in the story of when Elsie and Ben first met. We’re already aware that there is an end in sight to their relationship, but getting a look back at when they met and how they fell in love was heartbreaking yet necessary.

Obviously I need to explain the reasoning for the fact that I’m (currently) the ONLY one to have rated this book any less than 3 stars. So here it is.

Ben and Elsie’s courtship was quick and extremely spontaneous. I suppose that even though I personally have never had a perfect first date I shouldn’t assume that they don’t exist. But their first date was EXTREMELY perfect. And a quite a bit insta-love-ish. I ended up being a bit forgiving of that when they were able to think logically, take a step back, and realize things might be moving too fast.

“I think you and I are just…Yes, we are moving quickly but we’re moving at a pace that feels natural for both of us.”

They were logical about it and both had intense feelings for one another so it managed to work somewhat for me. It was obvious that they truly loved each other eventually but the way it began (and the thoughts of ‘I-love-yous’ after like TWO DAYS) was severely unrealistic for me (as was Ben because he acted like no man that I’ve ever met.)

I also had a huge issue with the whole reasoning behind why Ben never told his mother about Elsie. View Spoiler »

And lastly: View Spoiler »

While I admit I’m a total Grinch and it takes a lot to get me to cry (I didn’t cry, for the record) I still found this to be quite a grievous story. What really struck me hardest was Elsie’s parents reaction (and several other people she encountered). They were immediately dismissive of his death since she knew him for only a few months and was married to him even shorter than that. They understood she’s going through some pain of course, but they dismissed the fact that she could even consider herself a ‘widow’. People can be so terribly dismissive and judgmental of others feelings and yet have no idea what you could possibly be going through. Even her best friend was like that:

“…at some point someone needs to remind you that you lost something you only had for six months. Six months. And I’m not saying this isn’t hard, but it’s not like you’re ninety and you lost your life partner here.”

It was heartbreaking to witness people’s unwillingness to simply be there for someone without judgment.

Forever, Interrupted is a story about grief and about learning to overcome it and reassemble the pieces of your shattered life. While I wasn’t the hugest fan of this novel, the ending was partially redeeming and managed to paint a very accurate portrait of grief and its indelible effects on you.

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