Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Maturity Level: 5
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Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
There were so many things about Daisy Jones & the Six that took me by surprise that maybe shouldn’t have? Like the drugs. I knew that rock and roll artists in the 70s were in to drugs, but either I wasn’t aware just how bad it was, or Jenkins Reid really played it up. I’m thinking probably I didn’t realize how bad it was. This whole book was so much grittier and darker than I expected, which again, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked. My naivete will never cease to amaze, I’m afraid.
I was also completely taken by surprise that this book is equally about Billy Dunne and Daisy Jones. I guess just because of the title I figured Daisy was the protagonist, which I imagine would royally piss Billy off. But the story is equally about both of them. Their individual lives, how their lives collided ever so briefly.
Also, I expected them to … be in a relationship? Is that just too cliche? But that’s just not at all what they book is about. They definitely have chemistry, but their relationship was (mostly) professional. Sorry, I don’t think that’s a spoiler.
The format was also … odd. I knew it was told as transcripts of interviews, and I had heard people saying it was strange. I found that imaging I was listening to a radio show helped. But the longer I read the more used to it I got. It’s not my preferred format, but it worked.
Jenkens Reid is a great writer, and it was amazing how she was able to create so many great visuals through only spoken word. Like the album cover, and the characters, I could so clearly SEE them. It was amazing.
Reading this book was like watching a train wreck about to happen. You could see all of the terrible things that were about to happen, but you were just powerless to stop it. And you could just NOT. LOOK. AWAY.
But then …
I don’t know, I guess it just ended up being not that bad. Kind of a let-down of a train wreck, if I’m being honest. I expected it to be so much worse. Does it make me a terrible person for being disappointed it wasn’t worse? I wanted my heart ripped out and stomped on, but it just, wasn’t.
I loved the ending though. That’s all I’ll say about that.
I highly recommend this book to fans of rock and roll. If you’re not a 70s rock fan you might not enjoy this book quite as much. I can not wait to see what Amazon does with it, because I think this would definitely work better for screen. The whole time I was so desperate to look up pictures and music, I can’t wait to finally see and hear it all.