Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
I was being given the chance to do the one thing I wanted most in the world. The chance was presented to me by a guy so gorgeous, he turned my skin to fire when he touched me. And joining a band was the one thing I was most forbidden to do, the thing that would ruin my future forever.

There are too many secrets in eighteen-year-old Bailey’s life. Not just the obvious one: that she told her grandfather she was going on a date, and instead is playing fiddle in a Nashville bar. There’s all the stuff that makes it worse. Like how her younger sister Julie was offered a recording contract, and her family is terrified that Bailey is going to mess the deal up. Like the way that Bailey has been acting out. Like the way they’re all mad at her, even Julie.

Bailey’s parents don’t want her playing any gigs at all, but when they leave her with her grandfather in Nashville for the summer so they can tour with Julie, he lands her a music job that’s beneath the radar, playing old country songs in cheesy costumes at a local mall. That’s where she meets Sam...

Sam’s got big plans that don’t include playing back-up while his alcoholic dad scratches out a living as a Johnny Cash sound-alike. He intends to take his high school garage band to the big time, and as soon as he hears Bailey play, he knows she’s just what he wants. That really ticks off Charlotte, the drummer for the band and Sam’s ex-girlfriend, while bass guitarist Ace just wants to keep everyone happy.

Bailey isn’t at all sure where she stands with this boy who has a lust for music and life, and who may or may not have a lust for her. Something tells her that with Sam, there could always be a catch. And yet, suddenly, her life is no longer about what might have been, and a whole lot about where she will choose to go.

Jennifer Echols is hands down one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her books always manage to have the kind of characters I can't help but root for as well as a lot of heart. Therefore, when Dirty Little Secret ended up in my hands, I was beyond excited. I loved how unique the plot sounded. Plus the cover is awesome (I need a pair of boots like that ASAP). Thankfully, Dirty Little Secret was fantastic, because not only did the characters contain a ton of spunk and likability, but the music scene was so much fun to jump into.

Dirty Little Secret starts the story of Bailey, a girl who's screwed up in some pretty major ways in the past year due to her sister's record deal and her own lack of one. From the start of the book, I was captured by Bailey's voice. Here was a girl who had her dreams cut down right before her face, so to say that she was broken and lost would be a serious understatement. However, because of this and her need to then rebel, I found her easy to relate to, and I'm sure many others will feel the same. Plus Jennifer made her trials and tribulations over her possibility of starting up with music again as well as moving on from what she had once known jump right off the page and come to life. I couldn't help but root for Bailey to succeed, and more importantly, realize that she was just were she need to be. The other characters in this were just as likable as well as relatable. My favorite, though, would have had to been Sam, Bailey's love interest and savior in some ways. He was so sweet and adorable. I loved how he constantly said inappropriate things accidentally, as not only did it make me like him even more but it also made me laugh out loud. What I liked the most about him, though, was seeing his relationship with Bailey develop over the course of the book. They both screwed up more times then one, but still they really managed to also bring the good out in one another. There other band mates (Charlotte and Ace) were also incredibly fun to read about, and in some ways, I hope that Jennifer decides to write a book about them, because it would be so much fun to read!

The plot in this was another high point. Books dealing with the music scene are not very prevalent in YA, so I was curious to see how Jennifer would go about making it part of the book. Luckily, I ended up really enjoying this aspect of the book. It was interesting to see Bailey and the band at different gigs as well as Bailey's experiences with tribute bands. It was also interesting just how into music Bailey and Sam were, especially when it came to their conversations about the music biz. Their romance was another aspect I enjoyed reading about. Some may say it developed quickly, but I think it worked based on a variety of reasons. Lastly, the setting of Nashville was awesome! Loved all the different really made everything come even more alive, in my opinion.

In all, Dirty Little Secret is yet anther fantastic effort by Echols. Emotion packed, romantic, and musical, Dirty Little Secret is the perfect read for contemporary fans as well as musicians.

Grade: A+

Dirty Little Secret (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: ARC provided by author 


  1. This book is on my wishlist, but I haven't really read any reviews for it. I'm so glad to see that you enjoyed it. I've been meaning to read something by Echols for a while now. Thanks for the great review. :D


  2. I'm glad you liked this one so much! I love Echols but have been a little disappointed in her last couple of novels, so hopefully this one will be different.


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