Guess who just finished their Book of The Month Club March book! I’ll give you a hint, it’s me. And let me tell you, as someone who adores both books and music, I was really looking forward to Jenkins Reid’s latest work!
But first some ~CoNtEx.* I have a hard time picking books in a bookstore. Having tons of options and wanting all of them but knowing I’m running out of bookshelf space is rough. Book of the Month makes it easier because it has limited options! But it’s also actually harder because there’s like all this pressure of picking only one? And because they’re new releases, often there isn’t enough info to help me pick!
But I saw Reese Witherspoon put this one on her list and I’ve heard a lot about Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo so I picked it!
I loveeeeeeee rock music. Love love love it. Particularly stadium rock; Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Yardbirds, Van Halen. I’ve seen Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert 4 times. I also love drama. So when I learned more what this was about, I had to read it immediately.
It’s the 1970’s. LA’s Sunset Strip is in its hay day, and little Daisy Jones is exactly the kinda girl who loves the club scene. Her absent minded, artist parents passed on their good looks and artistic flair than left her to her own devices. Which means she sneaks into clubs at like, age 13, wearing nothing but short shorts and a tank top, hooks up with rock stars, and takes all the drugs she can get her hands on.
On the other side of the nation, Billy Dunne is the talented and charismatic lead singer of The Six. Made up of him, his brother, and four other band members, they are on the rise and going fast. Playing lots of shows, getting lots of attention.
Essentially, they both get signed to the same record label, they do one song together, it’s a hit and then they join forces. They skyrocket to success and then after one incredible album, it all comes crumbling down. Told a la interview style, it’s a wild tale that seems both impossible and totally intriguing.
I don’t want to give alllll the things away but I do want to touch on a couple of things.
I love that Jenkins Reid talked about how amazing the album was, the music and the singing, but it didn’t actually exist. We couldn’t listen to it. Same with the stunning perfect album artwork that’s described. If Jenkins Reid describes how beautiful they both are but we can’t see/hear them for ourselves, we can’t argue with the statement or disagree. We just fill in what we image the perfect album to be, and go along with it.
I liked the style of the writing, all the interview bits and largely without the narrator’s interruption. The blurbs that kept the timeline moving without getting weighed down by the details and boring parts. I liked that it felt like a real interview, human memory is fickle, and people’s accounts contradicted each others at times.
What I did not like, were the rock star cliches. Geez they were rough. Not the mid 70’s, cocaine, rocker stuff. I believed that. It was the other ones, the cliches surrounding the people. The one guy in the band who wished he had more creative control and resents the lead singer. The younger brother living in his lead singer brother’s shadow. The relationship that’s put to the test because of the new blue eyed singer. The band manager. Then the end was also soooooo cliche. Sorry Jenkins Reid. Not terrible or anything, but after all the supposed hype about the band and their crazy break up, I was like really.
BUT! I still liked it. I still recommend you read it!
Speaking of music, here are some concerts I’ve been to in the last month-ish:
So if you need me, I’ll be living my best life and trying on some flare jeans.