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
But what sucks is that Bailey’s parents agree to that and end Bailey’s music career. What kind of parents do that? It made no sense to me. They really messed up and I don’t think I would have been able to forgive them.
I really liked Bailey. I could feel her pain, sadness and anger. She is as real as you and me, she has flaws, she gets jealous about her sister’s success, she is bitter at times and she still craves her parents approval, even after all they have done. She is so talented and I really wish we could have read one of her songs. I liked that in the end, she stood by her sister. That made me respect her more.
He is always honest to Bailey, about his passion for music and his drive to make his band get a music deal, no matter at what cost. Yes, that’s his flaw. His ambition makes him selfish and a jerk but I couldn’t hate him for it. It made me want to punch him but not hate him. Confusing, huh? Let’s just say he is a complex character that you can’t fully understand. He is just so real and unapologetic about the way he is. I liked that about him also his double meaning lines were cute.
“Deana Carter sings about it. Lady Antebellum sings about it. Eric Church. Gosh, not just country artists. Katy Perry. Everybody has a song about it because everybody’s been through it. You find that person at eighteen and you lose yourself. And the tragedy is, it’s the person who’s completely opposed to everything you’ve ever wanted. You bond with that person, and that person breaks your heart. I’m that tragedy for you, and you’re mine.”
It has a rocky start but once you get into it there is no looking back. It’s different than typical YA books you might have read. Jennifer Echols is an amazing writer. She creates such complex, flawed, layered and real characters. I totally loved the writing.
“If you’re putting that energy into performance,” he said, “you’re also getting it back out again, right? You’re giving so you can receive.” He spread his arms wide. “If you were writing songs with it, you’d be holed up in your room in the middle of the night, scribbling them in a notebook and feeling self-important. You’d think you were getting it out, but really you’d be keeping it inside and quiet. You’d take what upset you and turn it into art, and now it would fester, because you think other people ought to share your outrage at what happened to you.”