Dirty Little Secret

First Lines: On Tuesday I was in a band with Elvis.

One good thing about going to different libraries in the same system (as mine is large enough to do) is that the libraries have different books.  Jennifer Echols is virtually nonexistent at my local library.  So I was stoked to find this at a bigger library.

Bailey used to be a good girl, playing fiddle in a bluegrass/country band with her sister Julie.  But after the record execs swooped in to take Julie and left Bailey behind, Bailey’s been rebelling.  What’s worse is that the record execs tell Bailey that she can’t play anymore or it might ruin Julie’s career.  What’s Bailey to do?  Fiddle is her life.  Fed up with her antics, her parents ship her to her grandpa’s house in Nashville, where she gets a job playing in washed-up tribute groups in the mall.  That’s where Bailey meets Sam, the charming guitar player who also has his own band.  And Bailey is just the person his band needs to make it big.  But is Bailey ready to risk everything to try to reach her dreams again?

First of all, I was incredibly excited about this because it was about country music, which is what I have listened to faithfully since I was little.  I am so thrilled that I knew many of the landmarks, songs, singers, and events (like the CMA Festival) that this story mentioned.  So country is what brought me to the story.

And I stayed for Bailey.  I quickly started liking her, even though she’s a little abrasive and definitely has an attitude.  But I couldn’t blame her for the attitude after seeing how her family treated her.  Once Julie got her record deal, Bailey was dropped like a hot rock, no longer within her parents’ realm of awareness.  I felt really bad for her and I kept reading because I wanted to see her win at something.

I liked that this book seemed to have a sense of humor about the negative side of the music business.  I’ve always heard that an artist has to pay their dues to make it big, playing in bars and such.  But Bailey’s paying her dues in really bad tribute bands that set up by Bath and Body Works.  Which was so sad it was funny, really.  It was cringe-worthy while still being touching.

I really liked the way the band was portrayed.  Every character had their own distinct personality and they stuck to it.  Sam, for example, has a bad habit of saying innuendos without realizing how they sound.  That was funny and actually endearing because Sam was usually so clueless about it.

The one thing I had an issue with was the timeline of the story.  It was just too quick.  For everything, but especially the romance.  The story takes place over the course of a week, two tops.  It was too fast to be believable, at least for me.  I really liked the story, but whenever I considered the timeline, I started feeling a little funny about it all.

Overall, though, I thought it was a very cute story about family, love, and dreams.  The characters were great and there was a good deal of humor as well.

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