I am going to give y’all one guess what day it is…
That’s right, we’re almost halfway done with the week (technically not half way yet, since it’s still the morning) and I couldn’t be more ready for Friyay! So as I’ve made it abundantly clear, I’ve been in a pretty extreme reading slump for the last month or so. Everything I started I just immediately wasn’t interested in. It’s been terrible my dudes, truly terrible. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to want to read, it’s just that nothing was striking my fancy. So tickle me pink when Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new book that I pre-ordered 86 years ago shows up on my front porch. I sent a hallelujah on up to the book gods and this baby couldn’t have come soon enough. So, without further ado a review for Daisy Jones & The Six!
Taylor Jenkins Reid has found her niche and let me just say, GAH DAYUM girl can you get it freakin’ done. Having read and absolutely adored The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last year I couldn’t get my hands on Reid’s next historical fiction novel soon enough. I tried to get an ARC of it, but alas the book gods did not bless me. However, that’s not to say I’m too disappointed about it though because now this beauty gets a front row seat on my book shelf. While I’m not quite as enthusiastic with Daisy Jones as I was with Evelyn Hugo, I absolutely adored this book.
I remember seeing Daisy on the dance floor one night at the Whiskey. Everybody saw her. Your eye went right to her. If the rest of the world was silver, Daisy was gold.
Daisy Jones isn’t just beautiful, she’s stunning. She’s not just stunning either, she’s also broken and lost. If Daisy Jones is in the room, the whole room knows it, their eyes travel to her and they can’t move away. There’s something about her that doesn’t just light up a room, it sucks all the air out of it so your forced to notice her. Growing up with distant parents who hardly notice whether or not she’s home, or doing drugs out on the strip, she might be born to privilege but she’s raised by rock ‘n roll.
Billy Dunne and his brother Graham have musical talent, great lyrics and the right stage presence to make people take notice. They form a band called The Six, and with a dictatorship like control Billy’s hard work and talented band members shoot to mediocre, middle of the charts fame. This affords them money and some notoriety. As Billy gets lost in the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” lifestyle of the late 60s and early 70s he loses not just himself but he misses out on some of his life’s most important moments. Choosing instead drugs over family.
I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.
As Billy and Daisy’s stories run tangentially to one another we learn that as Billy is finding himself, as he’s getting sober and learning what is really important in his life Daisy is doing just the opposite. She’s falling deeper and deeper into a scene that isn’t going to do her any favors. Daisy doesn’t just have beauty or that “it” factor either, she’s got a voice that wont quit. That entrances everyone who hears her sing. Her voice is full of pain and aching, it longs to be heard and everyone wants to listen.
As Daisy and Billy’s stories collapse upon one another, rock ‘n roll history is made when Daisy Jones joins The Six. What follows is the story of their sky rocket to fame and their ultimate demise. A story about love and loss, the struggles of fame and fortune and about finding out not only who you are, but who you truly want to be. What ever happened to Daisy Jones & The Six? Why did they cancel the second leg of their tour right after they released their number one record that had screaming fans selling out every stop?
I used to think soul mates were two of the same… I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything. But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.
Daisy Jones & The Six is told as an oral history of the humble beginnings of The Six and Daisy Jones, following their individual lives, their eventual collaboration and ultimate downfall. It’s told through interviews with various members of the band, the crew and the loved ones surrounding Billy and Daisy. I’ll be honest, I didn’t particularly love the interview style of telling this story. Since it’s something I’m not particularly familiar with it was a little bit harder for me to get into. It’s written in a very conversational manner which makes the characters both more and less accessible than if it were written in a more traditional way.
This was a little slower for me to get into as well. At first, I thought it was my book slump that had me not really connecting with the characters but after finishing it, I don’t think that’s the case. Because everything is told in an interview format, first hand from each of the characters the development isn’t quite as strong as I wanted it to be. There was a depth lacking to each of the characters because it was a retelling of events, instead of truly understanding the characters various mindsets, we’re given their memories of the events. It was a really interesting take and I think made the story very realistic, it very much felt like Daisy Jones & The Six were a real band.
That voice…. [pauses] That was the beginning of a bad time. When I was not myself. Actually, no. I don’t like putting it that way – you’re never not yourself. You’re always you. It’s just, sometimes, who you are… who you are is a shitty person.
What I absolutely adore about Reid’s writing and story telling, is that every time I’m reading one of her books and I get to the end, I realize I’ve learned some lessons I didn’t even know I needed. I’ve been given advice I didn’t know I was asking for and I’ve learned a new perspective that I didn’t even realize was being given to me as I was reading. Reid’s stories are obviously female forward, there’s a lot of female empowerment in both Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones but it isn’t heavy handed and it isn’t just the ladies who are dealing out life lessons in spades. Each character is learning about themselves, learning how to be authentic to who they are and we, as the reader learn along with them.
Daisy Jones & The Six doesn’t hand out thrills or twists – it’s giving you the story of a band, their members histories, their rise to fame and their downfall. Reid shows in this book that you don’t have to have cheap thrills, jump scares or twists to really deliver a poignant and compelling story. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think at the halfway mark, I felt unsure of how I was going to feel. I know I’m always saying “compare and despair” but it was nearly impossible for me not to draw lines between Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones. However, when I got to the end and I’m sitting alone in tears wondering how Reid has gone and done it again I realized that while these are both stories about strong women overcoming adversity, being unapologetic for being themselves that these stories are not only beautiful but also unique in their own ways.
Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until it hits something.
While I didn’t feel quite as connected to these characters as I have in other reads and I wish they’d been a tad bit more developed I absolutely adored this book. It was incredibly crafted and Reid consistently blows me out of the water with her writing. There’s an endless number of quotable lines that make me feel strong and inspired. I felt invested in Daisy Jones & The Six, in their story, their triumphs and their failures and I’m incredibly happy to have read this book. Reid is an auto-purchase for me now and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Long Story Short:
Suggested For: Anyone who loved Evelyn Hugo, fans of historical fiction, fans of the 60s and 70s, fans of rock ‘n roll
Music Mood: Piece Of My Heart by Janis Joplin
Have you read Daisy Jones & The Six? If so, what did you think? Have you read any books with interesting formatting choices, like an interview – how do you feel about them? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!