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Early Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

June 24, 2013
Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publication: MTV Books | July 16, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Goodreads | Purchase
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…
Review:

     As much as the Jennifer Echols fangirl in me was prepared to uplift her books after the disaster that was Levitating Las Vegas, I don't think I can go on with that speech. Dirty Little Secret was not my favorite read by the author. Granted that it's a decent, fun read with a lot of country reference in it which was refreshing, I don't like how certain elements in the story ended up ruining the book for me. For example, the love interest, Sam. Even after finishing the story, I'm not really sure what his intentions were towards Bailey. Did he really love her? Or was he with her because she added a great value to his band and didn't want her to leave? Plus, Sam was not a nice person and I certainly did not swoon over him. The other thing was the ending, but I'll get to that later. 

     Bailey and her sister Julie have always been a team. While Julie sings and plays guitar, Bailey fiddles and add the extra oomph to the song. When they are discovered by a record company that only wants Julie, Bailey's parents send her into hiding and she ends up becoming the dirty little secret. Throughout the story I felt so bad for Bailey and the way her parents treated her for no reason. Just because one of their daughter gets discovered doesn't meant they get to shun the other one. The whole scenario was so unfair for Bailey, but I loved that she never gave up her music. She practiced her fiddling everyday and when she's sent off to live with her grandfather for summer, she gets a job at the mall in an impersonator music group (I don't know what to call them officially). That's where she meets Sam, a charming boy with a great voice, and when he asks her to join his band for a gig, she takes a wild step against her parents rules and says yes. 

     Bailey is one of those people that you can't help but love. She's not perfect in any way, she did lash out when her parents stopping caring about her; she cut her hair, changed her look completely and started acting out as a wild child, but inside she was very pure and a little hurt from the indifference. Between all that mess, she never disrespected her parents or did anything to harm Julie reputation. But I didn't get how easily she forgave them at the end. They were horrible towards her since the beginning; for God's sake, she wasn't even invited to any of Julie's concert or CMA performance! In the end when Bailey is suddenly needed because Julie is having some stage fright, I just wanted her to say: Fuck all of you, I'm in a good place, I'm great fiddle player and I'll do what I want! The ending completely ruined the book for me. It was ridiculous and I can't see that happening in real life. Major problems resolved within few paragraphs! Are you kidding me? No.No.NO!

     If you can overlook the ending and Sam's character, then Dirty Little Secret is a very good book. Plus, if you're from the south and love country music, then this might be the perfect summer read for you. That's another thing I couldn't relate to, a lot of the country references went above my head and even Bailey's mall job was kind of hard for me to picture. Performing as celebrity impersonators, I've never seen that. But all in all, I would say that Dirty Little Secret was a fun read. Highly recommended to fans of light contemporary and music lovers. I would still recommend new fans of Jennifer Echols to read Going to Far and Such a Rush first because they're just that good. 


A Copy was provided by MTV Books for an honest review via Edelweiss. (Thank You!)
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20 comments:

  1. I posted a review of this today, too. I'm with you, I thought it was cute enough, but didn't love it. Her parents were serious douche-bags and I didn't understand how her sister could have gone along with the shunning. I didn't have as big of a problem with Sam, but agree that he was far from perfect. Great review!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

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    1. True! Her parents were horrible! I didn't mention them too much because then the review would've been rating. But what made me so mad was how easily Bailey forgive them in the end. Seriously?!? I never would have done that! I get why her sister acted that way because Julie was a minor and her parents controlled her actions. She atleast tried in the end.
      Thanks!

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  2. This book was okay for me.. I didn't like Sam OR Bailey -__- Sam wasn't a nice person and I don't like how he's really manipulative.. Baily is too weak, I think. She should've stood up for herself more.. Good thing this was at least okay for you too :)

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

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    1. Sam was very manipulative, I really didn't get him. He was very double sided, one moment he wanted Bailey because he loved her but then he wanted nothing to do with her because she wouldn't contact her sister agent/whatever. Confusing much! In the beginning I was fine with Bailey, but in the end I wish she would've stood up and put her needs first. That brought the book down for me. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who found it average :)

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  3. I've only read her Going Too Far book but I do have this on my TBR. I'm not too into country music so I'm wondering if that will bother me a bit then. Thanks for your insight! :)

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    1. It was hard for me to get the country references, so I don't know. Maybe it would effect a little.

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  4. I think I had similar sort of problems with this book that you had with it Aman, my rating was a three too. I think this book did fall really flat with me in a few places, also one character didn't really stand out for me either, despite there being a lot to choose from. The ending did also feel really rushed too, I hate it when things are resolved way too easily, I would rather prefer it when things are left hanging! Another lovely review Aman!

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  5. Seems like the ending was a bit rushed. I have yet to read a book by Jennifer but I have heard that they're pretty good. Thanks for recommending where to start lol. I like the sound of this one, but I don't know how I'd feel about this family of Sam's. Funny, because I just finished Fallen Crest Famimly by Tijan and the MC Sam has one of the worst families as well. Eh, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it that much, but at least you didn't hate it:)

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  6. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews of this one. I love Echols as well, so I'm definitely going to read it, but I'm not sure if I'll buy it. Great review!

    -Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

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  7. Honestly this is what I was afraid of! I really liked the first Jennifer Echols' books but someway in the process it all started to annoy me for some reason. I noticed things that I didn't notice before. I think I'll skip this one. Great review :)

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  8. Well, I'm not well versed about the whole country side concept of the US, but I find it difficult to imagine too. Aman! I really wanted to read this book and was hopeing you'd like since you didn't like Levitating Las Vegas. Everyone has such wonderful stuff to say about Jennifer Echols and I've only read Such A Rush by the author which was so good! Anyways, I really don't know if I should read this one now. Bailey sounds awesome even though Sam just seems average. Awesome review. :)

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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  9. Hmm I haven't read anything by Echols but I did buy Such A Rush a few weeks ago so I am happy to see that that is where you think people should start with her work. It sounds like the love interest would drive me crazy in this too, how can you fall for a guy if you don't really know what his intentions are?

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  10. Glad there was things that you enjoyed and it had its good moments even if it wasn't your favorite

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  11. Oh rushed endings can really ruin books for me too, especially when they are completely unbelievable. It's a shame that this one had to end so poorly, but I'm glad you thought it was a fun read overall. I've still yet to read something by this author, though I think I might start somewhere else and put this on hold for a bit. Great review, Aman!

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  12. Hmmm. I haven't read anything by Jennifer Echols but I'm thinking this is not the book of hers to start with! Sam doesn't sound overly swoon worthy at all, and I'm with you on major problems being resolved quickly and easily - that's always a huge letdown. There's all this build up and then all of a sudden there's a pretty bow on the story and it's over? No thank you:) Plus, I'm a big of a grudge holder, I know this about myself, so if I was Bailey forgiveness would not have been given to them so easily! O.o

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  13. Oh no! I've never read any of Jennifer Echols' books, but I just got this from Netgalley. This doesn't sound like the one to start with. I might need to squeeze (did I spell that right? lol) one of her other books in my TBR list first... Thanks for the review, Aman! :)

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  14. Hmmm. I love Jennifer Echols and I was really looking forward to this one. BUT a strong, believable love interest in her heavily romance books is very important to me. I do NOT enjoy the uncomfortable feeling of never knowing whether the guy is really into the girl. I may also have trouble with some of that end. Now I'm going to have to rethink whether to read this one. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  15. I love Jennifer Echols! I am from the south and this one does sound like a good summer read. The relationship between Bailey and Julie sounds very interesting, I like reading about familial relationships! Great review!

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  16. Great review, doll! I started reading this one a couple weeks ago and put it down after a few chapters. I didn't have it and I woudln't say I "DNFed" it, more like i put it off for now. It didn't grab my interest at all and I just didn't feel it. Since then though I've been seeing reviews that are more or less like this one. It doesn't seem to be Echols strongest read for sure and I don't know how I'd like Sam either the way people have been describing him - your not alone in your opinion of their romance. I did just buy Such a Rush though (it was a 5$ hardcover!) so I'm glad that one still gets recommended. It does sound like a plot I'd like more than this one, too.

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  17. I don't know that I'll be picking this up. I loved Going Too Far, Forget You and Such a Rush, but I've had issues with Love Story and The One That I Want frustrated me to no end! Sounds like this was another miss for Echols. Sorry you didn't like this more, Aman. Great honest review. :)

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