May 5, 2014

Review of Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Release Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: MTV Books
Page Count: 273
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA/Contemporary
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…

*A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review* 

I found out about Dirty Little Secret when Jennifer Echols offered review copies on Twitter, I was a bit hesitant since I don't usually read books like Dirty Little Secret but I still signed up. I wasn't sure about it as I started reading its first pages but after a few chapters I was completely hooked!

Dirty Little Secret had a mixture of all kinds of elements that made it addicting, including a good plot and romance. The book was very focused on music as that is the main problem (and answer) for the main character. The main character (Bailey) is the sister of a rising star who has been slated to make an album by a music company. For many years Bailey and her sister sang and performed together until her sister got a contract but Bailey didn't. After that she entered a kind of downward spiral, she cut off her hair and tried to rebel by getting drunk and attending parties. After several accidents and urging by the music company she was banned from pursuing her own music career in case it damaged her sisters. However, her grandfather gets her a music job in the mall during the summer and it is there that she meets Sam. The two grow a strong relationship and Bailey joins Sam's bands, this brings a host of new problems and obstacles for Bailey. I won't go further than that since I don't want to spoil what happens in the book. Throughout the whole book, while kind of straightforward the plot and events are highly enjoyable and worth being read.

The plot was really interesting (although some people might not think so if they read similar books like this all the time, this was my first time so it was really interesting) and the characters emotional and real. Bailey carried a lot of emotional baggage from the start of the book to the end of it. Being banned from the one thing she enjoys the most, music, caused her to commit some unwise acts that were not completely her fault. Her parents were very selfish (not really her dad, I liked him) and didn't focus on her happiness that much. This caused her to attend all those parties and get into accidents, not because she was being foolish and stupid. Sam also had to deal with a lot of problems and emotions, like his father being a drunk and his girlfriend dying. When he meets Bailey they have some problems at first but are ultimately good for each other. I really felt like they helped each other out and lent strength to each other. The last two of the main characters are Ace and Charlotte, I mostly liked Ace but Charlotte really annoyed me at times. She messed with Bailey and Sam until the end of the book and only stopped when Bailey left their band. Ace was like the rock of the band, he was the dependable person who knew when things went too far (he stopped Charlotte several times when her insults went too far). He and Charlotte had a crush on each other but didn't act on it until the very end of the book. While some of these characters annoyed me, the characters of Dirty Little Secret were still very written and easily related to.

When I had to stop reading Dirty Little Secret while halfway finished to go to school it was agonizing to wait 8+ hours to get back to it. It ended very nicely and satisfyingly but I really hope there will be a sequel, I would love to read more about the characters. This book is perfect for people who like music, instruments, and a good amount of romance. I highly recommend you look into this amazing YA novel as soon as possible.

5/5 - Amazing book


  1. I received this from the author as well and am currently about halfway through it and really enjoying it, too! Lovely review!