ARC Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Dirty Little Secret
by: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: MTV Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review
Page Count: 288 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars
After having a not so great first start with a Jennifer Echols book (Levitating Las Vegas) I am pleased to say I enjoyed this one a lot more. However, I definitely had my hang ups with this book. And unfortunately one of the biggest ones came in the form of the love interest, Sam. I'll get to that later.
First of all, I really enjoyed the storyline. The book did start on the slower side and I felt myself really pushing through the beginning of the book. However, it did end up picking up and I found myself enjoying reading about the performing aspect of the book. Living in Music City myself, I loved reading about their gigs and watching how they would do less than desirable ones just for the chance to be noticed. I see so many performers downtown who long to make it big just like they do and know how even the smallest opportunity could be the big one.
Which brings us to the characters. I really liked Bailey, our main character. She has a lot of spunk and I really liked that about her. She is in a really crummy predicament and I really felt for her. Her parents have basically abandoned her to focus on the career of her younger sister, Julie, who was offered a record contract. That's not the bad part though. Julie and Bailey used to play and perform together. But the record contractors didn't want Bailey. So now, to avoid the fans and press getting wind of Julie's talented fiddler sister, Bailey is not allowed to perform or draw attention to herself in any way. However, Bailey doesn't take it laying down. What do teenagers do when told NOT to do something? They rebel, of course! Bailey hacks off her blond hair, dyes it black, layers on the make up and hangs out with the wrong crowd. After a recent incident, Julie is no longer speaking to Bailey because she is afraid her older sister will ruin her perfect image. Bailey is living with her grandfather who has managed to swipe her a gig fiddling doing the mall circuit.
It's through this that Bailey meets Sam. The good-looking guitar playing son of 'Johnny Cash', the two are instantly impressed with each others' musical talents. Sam is in a band with two friends and after hearing Bailey fiddle wants her to come perform with them. Bailey, of course is hesitant, because she knows she can't do anything to jeopardize her sister's career. (Yeah, her parents threatened to not pay for her schooling if she screwed up.) At first, I really liked Sam. He was cute, charming, and I was definitely rooting for a relationship with him and Bailey. And then as the book goes on, I found myself really distrusting Sam's intentions towards her and then my distrust turned into overall disgust. First of all, I think they moved wayyyy too fast. I mean, I'm definitely not a prude or anything, but the whole thing just seemed to happen too quick. Again, I believe in instantly being attracted to someone, but professions of love after such a short amount of time? And the way it came about? I was not a fan. Sam was just too wishy-washy for me. One minute he'd act like Bailey was special and he did care about her, but the next you have to wonder- was it just a ploy to get her to stay in the band? After Charlotte, their drummer and one of Sam's many exes, tells Bailey that he's spouting the same crap he did to her to get her to join the band, you really have to wonder about his motives. But then he'll do something really sweet and will really make you think: maybe she's different. However, Sam says and does some things that are pretty unforgiveable in my book. I won't spoil it and say what, but after that, Sam was lost to me. Even at the end, I couldn't overlook his words and actions. If I had been Bailey, and I had received that ultimatum after what had just occurred between us, I would not have been so quick to forgive.
I gave this one 3 stars because as I said I really did enjoy the storyline and the musical aspect of this book. However, when I can't stand my love interest because he acts like a straight up douche, it's pretty hard for me to love a book. If you're a fan of country music, like a musical backdrop, and can deal with a love interest like Sam- then go ahead and give this one a shot.