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Magan: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

young adult book review of dirty little secrets by jennifer echolsDirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: MTV Books
Pages: 288
Target audience: Mature Young Adult
Keywords: country music, Nashville, family drama, hot guitar player
Format read: ARC received from the publisher. (Thank you!)

Summary: After a year of breaking all her parent’s rules, Bailey is living with her grandfather. Though she’s not allowed to play her fiddle or even consider joining a band, her grandfather helps her get a job playing in a tribute band… where she meets the mysterious Sam.

If your interest is even slightly piqued by any of the below, I strongly suggest you purchase Jennifer Echols’ newest upcoming release, Dirty Little Secret. Just look at all that’s in store for you…

♥ Steamy scenes.
♥ Hot love interest.
♥ Strong-willed main character.
♥ A little bit of country music in the great city of Nashville, TN.
♥ A big helping of family drama.

After Bailey’s younger sister is signed to a mega-record label, her parents focus all their attention on making Julie’s career a success. This means removing Bailey from the music scene (even though the sisters used to be a duo, playing shows together all the time) so no one catches wind of the ripped-apart-sisters-storyline that could ruin Julie’s career before it’s begun. Bailey, over the course of a year, morphs into a girl that’s only an inkling of who she used to be. She chops her long, blonde locks into an asymmetrical cut and dyes her hair black; she begins dressing sexier and edgier than ever before. Bailey wants to be badass.

When her sister leaves to go on tour, Bailey is asked to move in with her grandfather. Though she’s been forbidden to play her fiddle or participate in any shows, her grandfather pulls some strings and lands her a job where she plays in tribute bands at the mall. Some days she plays with Elvis Presley, others with Dolly Parton. The day she plays with the Johnny Cash band, she’s challenged by the guitar-playing-boy who pushes her to play harder and better. The boy named Sam who she thinks she’s met before. The boy who invites her to play with his band… and for some reason, even though Bailey should, she just can’t turn down.

Oh, holy smokes, you guys. Bailey and Sam’s connection was on fire. These two, from the moment they met, were flirty and sarcastic. It did take me a minute to accept how quickly their relationship developed, but I’d consider that a minor bump in the road. (And I was only concerned because WHOA BUDDY was there a steamy, steamy scene pretty early on and I felt so protective of Bailey.) Sam’s charismatic and quite a charmer, but he also has a story that made me cock my head to the side and squint my eyes at the pages because I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure him out.

Sam’s suspicious storyline, plus Bailey’s family drama that was slowly unfolding, and the way these two seemed to magnetically be connected completely absorbed me. Another minor hesitation was that when the climax of the story arrived, I felt like Echols could have explored the resolution a little bit more. It felt a little like, “OH CRAP! THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GO DOWN.” … *fade to black* … All is better now. I fully believe Echols has the ability to dive into those tough situations and provide an example of how these messy moments can be resolved, but it just didn’t happen here as much as I wanted.

Despite my hesitancy with areas of the story, I believe Jennifer did a lovely job with the Bailey and Sam’s story. And heck, she even got me listening to country music. (I would have said pre-Dirty Little Secret that this was darn near impossible.)

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Be sure to check out the playlist for Dirty Little Secret on Jennifer’s website too!

June 25, 2013 - 11:42 am

Jamie - I’ve been wondering about this one! I think I need to pick this one up soon because it sounds great PLUS I’m feeling like I need something to fill the Nashville shaped hole in my heart. I LOVE THAT SHOW.

June 24, 2013 - 4:16 pm

Wendy - I really want to read this one! I’m actually a country fan. =) I think I’d love this.

June 20, 2013 - 2:10 pm

tabithasbookblog - I have to read this one! I’ve recently been reading all things Jennifer Echols, so naturally this has just been moved up on my TBR! I’m really interested in finding out what drove the two sisters apart and what Sam may or may not be hiding!

Great review!

June 19, 2013 - 9:38 pm

Taylor @ Reading is the Thing - Jennifer Echols superfan here! I’m so excited to read Dirty Little Secret! I saw a so/so review of it the other day and got scared, so I’m really glad you liked it so much. Fantastic review Megan!

-Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

June 19, 2013 - 9:11 pm

Nicole - ♥ Steamy scenes. CHECK
♥ Hot love interest. CHECK
♥ Strong-willed main character. CHECK
♥ A little bit of country music in the great city of Nashville, TN. CHECK
♥ A big helping of family drama. CHECK

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 So excited for this one! We are on the blog tour so I will be reading it soon! YAY! Thanks for sharing!!

Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

June 19, 2013 - 5:16 pm

Molli - I didn’t like this one at all, as far as the characters, family dynamic, and romance. AT ALL. I DID love seeing how big of an influence music was (YAY country music!), and I did enjoy the writing style. But despite liking Sam, I didn’t think he and Bailey were healthy together at all. Blech! But this is a really honest and fair review, which is of the good. 🙂

June 19, 2013 - 4:04 pm

Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader - Okay, it’s official: I need this book in my possession ASAP. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the previous Echols novel I read, Such A Rush, this one sounds like it was tailor made for me. This was a great review! It really increased my anticipation about this release. (Although I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not!) 😉

June 19, 2013 - 3:14 pm

Alexa Y. - I am currently in the middle of a country music phase myself, as the music seems to pair so well with all the sunshine and beautiful weather. DIRTY LITTLE SECRET sounds like an amazing Echols book! I think I’ll definitely enjoy it, so I’ll have to look into procuring a copy as soon as I can.

June 19, 2013 - 11:44 am

Rachel - So basically I want to read this book for every reason you listed above. I love me some family drama and country music. And Sam and Bailey’s relationship sounds HOT which is totally great. I would also like to know this suspicious storyline of his.

June 19, 2013 - 11:04 am

Ginger @ GReads! - I had a hard time figuring Sam out, too. And to be honest, I wasn’t 100% on board with him even at the end. Things just didn’t.. settle well with me. But! This is an Echols book! And you KNOW my love for this woman, so of course I was pleased with the story overall.

June 19, 2013 - 10:32 am

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA - While I felt some of your reservations… I decided to shrug them off and say “whatever” because this book was SO good! I loved the scene, the music… While country music is definitely not my taste, I think I would’ve enjoyed the kind they played! And wow, that steamy scene… I got protective of Bailey too but wow. Great review!

June 19, 2013 - 10:10 am

Basma - I’m really looking forward to this! I clicked onto this after Jennifer Echols tweeted about – so it was obviously amazing.
Dirty Little Secret just seems like a book I’d love to read. Your review’s made me even more excited to read it.
Thanks! 🙂
Basma @ My Bookish Thoughts

June 19, 2013 - 8:44 am

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - WOOOOO!!!
I’m about 75 pages in so far? I’m reading it exclusively at work so it’s taking a looooong time but now I MAY ignore work to read some more today haha. I’m really enjoying it so far and I love the type of drama that is going down. Super curious and I LOVE Sam.
I’m REALLY loving the music aspect too. I’m not a country girl AT ALL but I love being able to relate to the music side of it (even though I’m not nearly as technical… whatever, I count a semester of music theory as basic knowledge haha. I’m stretching it, I know), but nevertheless, I’m making a connection there and I like it!
Great review! You got me all jazzed up for it again 🙂

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