Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

July 09, 2013

It's not the first time a young-adult book from Jennifer Echols surprises me, and this one did just that. I initially thought because of the synopsis it would be a plain book with nothing special to it, but I was so wrong! This book is about new beginnings and forgiveness, accepting love and learning how to give it back. It's soulful and real.
"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."
Bailey wasn't always the rebel child she is now, drinking, coloring her blonde hair black and using provocative clothes to annoy her family. She used to be the perfect child, playing fiddle with her younger sister and having the time of her life but the moment when the music scouts discovered them and only wanted Julie in the spotlight, it was Bailey's breaking point. The worse? Her parents were the ones that went along with it, putting her aside for her sister's career.
Now, prohibited to have any kind of contact with the show business, she will do all she can to obey that rule but when a boy comes with his passion for music Bailey knows it won't be long before  he makes her defy all rules.

Bailey, outcasted by her parents, is now living with her granddad, "working in his guitar shop" when her parents ask and then playing in Mall gigs every day playing her heart through her fiddle and using stupid costumes and useless wigs. She knows this is her only chance at playing for someone else other than herself so she accepts and masters at it.

I have mixed feeling towards Bailey, because i couldn't really understand her point of view in the fact that her life was being constricted due to her sister. I felt that she should have been more revolted or at least should have expressed her feelings to her parents and said how much it had hurt what they been doing. I get that she tried to express it by being a rebel but if that didn't work than she should have given up on what her parents tried to move on by herself. Screw her sister's career because Julie certainly did not cared enough for Bailey to stick up for her. But on the good side she did have a side I loved! I adored her careless attitude and the passion she played the fiddled with was astounding and also her lyrics? They expressed herself and I think she could not have been more a authentic character without them. She was persistent and loyal to her family until the end which i admired (mainly because i did not agreed and would not do the same). And I absolutely loved her style! Cowboy boots with cat-eyed glasses? Awesome! Asymmetrical hairstyle and dyed black hair? Kick ass!

"Your parents put you and your sister on the bluegrass circuit and tried to get you a deal. They got one for your sister , and they kind of gave up on you."
No, that wasn't right. I clarified it for him. "They totally gave up on me" 
Then when she meets a guitar player named Sam that wears his heart on his sleeve and his music is his world, she is smitten. He makes her join his band and together with four more people they make magic with their instruments, and his fame of being a heartbreaker is about to get real when Bailey's heart is in the line. Soon both start to realize they are way over each other trucks with each other, because the chemistry is there but their beliefs are not always the same. They challenge each other and know exactly what point to press to lead one another over the edge and that tension between them while trying to play a concert is about to get tricky to synchronize.
In Sam I'd met my match
I felt Sam in the start was lost and didn't knew how to handle the "labels" he had earned. But mainly he was the strongest of them all throughout the book, managing an alcoholic father while struggling to take his band to stardom  it's not easy. But he did so with passion and a dedication you don't see every day! His character was smartly conceived because i sort of loved him in the first part of the book, then hated him in the middle part and now I love Him more than ever due to the last part. See? Mixed feelings... Loads of them. But goods ones! OMG he was a heartbreaker, already! Damm if a guitar player doesn't get us all drooling, but a guitar player with a charming personality? Girls, get ready to hand over your hearts!
He was the devil in disguise, the handsome but low-down, no-good sneaky guy from a thousand country songstresses' revenge plots.
When Sam's band starts to grow and get serious, Bailey knows it's just a matter of time before she has to stand up to her old problems very soon. Because she is a new Bailey and this new part of herself in not going to give up on her dreams or her bandmates over someone else's stupidity. She is willing to make peace with her family and finally forgive and forget with Sam.

Ace and Charlotte are so much fun in my opinion because the added the perfect trio anyone could ask for. Sam dated Charlotte while Ace liked her, now Charlotte is single and has feeling towards Ace but he's afraid she still likes Sam and on and on and on we go... It was funny to see them realize and be open to love and see them crack open those hard heads of them and go fight for what they want.  They were awesome and honestly this book would mean far less without them.

I am crazy about this book, it's seriousness mixed with playfulness it's quite new and refreshing to see. The characters were out of this world of how real and thoughtful they were. Most of the time I felt like i was seeing a movie instead of reading a book, that's how good Jennifer Echols writes because she drags us into this world and does not lets us leave until the last page! And mixing this with awesome country musics ( my kind of music), cowboy hats and awesome accents made this book something to look out for!

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