First Lines: “Bird!” Jacob whispers urgently over the music.
This was on my to-read list for a long time before I finally snagged it from a Scholastic book order. (Ah, it’s almost that season again! Can’t wait!) So as this summer has been winding down for me, I’ve been trying to also work through the ever-growing stack of books I’ve bought but wanted to read before I took them to school. This was high on that list.
For nearly half of her life, Bird Barrett has been on the road with her family’s bluegrass band, singing backup and playing fiddle. And she loves it, spending time with her brothers and her parents. So it’s a huge surprise when one night, filling in as lead singer for her ill father, Bird gets noticed by a scout and offers Bird the chance to have the spotlight for herself. Soon, Bird is living the dream in songwriting session, music video shoots, and recording sessions. Her first song is a hit and suddenly fans and paparazzi are everywhere. She’s even caught the eye of her long-time crush, Adam Dean. But with the quick rise of Bird’s star, other parts of her life start falling apart. Can Bird keep her priorities in order while still being the star she never dreamed she could be?
I was drawn to this book for its country angle. I love country music. I grew up on all the same songs and artists Bird mentions in this book–Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood. So it was really cool for me to read about a girl with the same musical influences as me. I feel like that rarely happens because country gets a bad reputation.
This story is essentially the story of Taylor Swift, but with some differences. (You’ll see the similarities in a moment.) Bird, a tall blonde bombshell, is a killer songwriter who writes a lot of autobiographical songs about boys she likes and struggles in her life. (Now you see it?) From the moment her first song takes off, she’s become basically an overnight sensation.
I adored Bird. She’s an awkward owl, but her heart’s in the right place. She adores her family and loves playing with them, but she’s also totally enjoying her moment in the spotlight. Like you would expect from a 16 year old, she makes mistakes and sometimes mopes, whines, and gets caught up in the moment. I have a feeling that if I were in her shoes, I would be making a lot of the same mistakes right along with her and I have almost 10 years on her. But I really liked her personality and her drive.
I also really liked her family too. Bird is the little sis, so her older brothers act like any normal brothers would–protective teasing lovable jerks. And her parents are the right mix of supportive and grounded. It was really sweet how close they all were.
But what I truly loved was the portrayal of the music industry. Some of it was a little magical, some of it seedy and shady. We got to see all of that–the good and the bad–and how Bird deals with those challenges and perks.
I thought it was a cute book. Very cool look at what it takes to be a star with a few truly touching moments. I’m excited to see what happens in the next book, when Bird goes on tour for the first time.