Book Review: Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little Secret CoverBook: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Published July 2013 by Gallery Books|225 pages

Where I Got It: from the Nook store

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

You can find Dirty Little Secret on goodreads & Jennifer Echols on twitter, facebook & her website

Goodreads Summary: 

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

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…

What I Thought:

After reading (and loving) Such A Rush last year, I knew I had to start reading Jennifer Echols’ other books, so I started off with Dirty Little Secret.  I did like it, but I didn’t completely fall in love with it.

On paper, it seems like the kind of book I would love.  It’s set in Nashville and focuses on country music, and is about a girl trying to deal with being pushed to the background while her sister’s music career takes off.  I totally understand why Bailey acted the way she did, given her sister got a record deal, and all of a sudden, it was like she never existed.

There is a certain simplicity in this story, and there’s something very quiet about it too, which I really like. But there’s also a part of me that wishes it were a little bit louder.  I love that Bailey and Sam are following their dreams, and that Bailey decides that she is going to follow hers, no matter what, and even when it something that the people around you don’t want for you.

I did like that it’s set in Nashville and focuses on country music, because I love country music.  I was actually reminded of the t.v. show Nashville, and there’s something about going for your musical dreams in both shows that are really similar.

Back to Bailey and Sam: they are interesting on their own, but I didn’t really like them together- I just felt no spark or chemistry between them.

I love the relationship that Bailey seems to have with her grandpa, but I really wish we got to see a little of what her life was like before Julie got her record deal.  I felt like I didn’t have enough context for how bad things were between Bailey and her parents, and even Julie and Bailey before they seemed to work it out.  I think things would have made a lot more sense if I had that history.

Let’s Rate It:

I liked Dirty Little Secret, mostly because it’s set in Nashville and is about country music!  It didn’t have the emotional impact that Such A Rush did, but it was still a fun and slightly dramatic read.  Dirty Little Secret gets 3 stars.

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