Dirty Little Secret — Jennifer Echols

Out July 16, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Bailey wasn’t always the black sheep of her family. She and her sister Julie used to travel the bluegrass circuit together. Julie would play guitar and Bailey played fiddled. That all changed when Julie got a recording deal…and Bailey didn’t. Bailey got sent to live with her grandfather for the summer before college. She wasn’t supposed to play anymore because she might embarrass Julie and mess up her recording deal. However, her grandfather got her a job singing at the mall. There she meets Sam who invites her to play in his band. Does she dare try to get back into the industry that has already kicked her to the curb? Bailey has to decide what she is willing to risk to achieve her own happiness.

Dirty Little Secret was one of the books I picked up and got signed (YAY!) at TLA. I was optimistic about reading it, but a bit hesitant too because I’ve never been a fan of country music. I was worried the story wouldn’t resonate with me and therefore fall flat. I did not need to be worried. I really enjoyed Dirty Little Secret. Not liking country music did not hinder my liking this book. In fact, I think it made me like the book more because it was a unique setting.

Even though I enjoyed the book, I do have some reservations about it. It was very fairytale. Bailey gets everything in the end and there’s hope for even more success to come. At times that is all I want from a book. Sometimes you really just need a book with a happy ending where everything works out. In Dirty Little Secret there was some hardship along the way, particularly between Bailey and Sam. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something made the book not feel ‘real’. Bailey was a believable as a character. She had real heartache and dealt with it by lashing out, which is something I can understand. She also struggled with her relationship with Sam and his manipulation about the band. Sam also had depth to his character. He had family problems and that pushed him to want to be a success musically. Usually good characterization is all I need to really get behind a book, but in this case it didn’t work. I think the problem was in their relationship. I didn’t really feel the chemistry between the two main characters. It was hard to believe that they could overcome some of the obstacles in their own personalities and be together. Dirty Little Secret was still a good book, but that’s all it was.

**I read an advanced readers copy of this book.

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