Also by this author: One True Loves, Carrie Soto Is Back
Published by Ballantine Books on March 5, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
DAISY JONES & THE SIX Review
I just recently started reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels. After enjoying her popular book One True Loves and absolutely falling in love with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of her latest, Daisy Jones & the Six, especially after learning that it’s about the rise and fall of a rock band in the 1970s. I’ve been a huge rock music fan all my life so I felt like this book really had my name written all over it.
The characters drew me in right away, every single one of them really, but especially Billy and Daisy, who are both just so incredibly compelling because of the inner demons they are both battling. Daisy is an ‘It’ girl on the rise. She’s gorgeous, almost ethereal, and she has a penchant for living like a wild child, drinking and doing drugs whenever the mood hits. She has adopted this party girl lifestyle after years of being neglected by her parents. It’s her way of never having to be alone. Deep down though, Daisy really just wants to focus on her music. Daisy has a gift for singing and songwriting, and her dream is to write and perform her own songs.
Billy Dunne is the lead singer of the Six, a rock band whose star is rising just as fast as Daisy’s. He is fighting similar demons, but is trying to get his act together because his girlfriend had just informed him she’s pregnant and he knows his baby deserves better than a drunken, drug-addicted father. As Billy and Daisy battled their demons, they weren’t always the most likeable characters and sometimes they did awful things, but I still found myself wholeheartedly cheering them on and hoping they could conquer their demons.
The other members of the band and the friends and family members who were interviewed were also very well developed. Daisy and Billy were the standouts for sure, but every single character in the book felt real as did all of the intricacies of their professional and personal relationships. The love-hate relationships, the thrill of the band’s success, coupled with the jealousy of some of the band members who felt they were being shoved into the background by Billy and Daisy, the subsequent tension as those feelings continued to fester – all of it just felt so authentic and I found myself emotionally invested in all of the characters because they were like a family, albeit a sometimes dysfunctional one.
One of my favorite parts of the book is how much attention Taylor Jenkins Reid devotes to the actual making of the Daisy Jones & the Six album. She leaves no detail unexplored and it felt like I truly was watching an album being crafted from start to finish. We get to see song writing sessions between Daisy and Billy, the rest of the band working on musical arrangements to fit Daisy and Billy’s lyrics, the actual mixing of the album, and even a photoshoot for the album cover. As a music lover, I flew through these pages, completely infatuated by the whole process, especially those song writing sessions. Billy and Daisy are both so strong-willed that the sessions often started with a lot of head-butting before something would finally click with them.
Finally, I loved the way the band’s story is presented. The premise is that they’re being interviewed years after the band has broken up, with each of them giving their perspective on what happened on their rise to the top and their subsequent break up. The closest comparison I can make is that it reminded me of VH1’s Behind the Music, a television program that takes an intimate look into the personal lives of some of the most influential musicians of our time. I loved the way the story unfolds because every band member tends to have their own version of what took place so the “truth” of what happened is definitely shaped by who happened to be telling the story at any given moment. I know I keep mentioning the word authentic, but it fits here as well. Taylor Jenkins Reid writes this format so well and infuses these characters with such life and such passion about what happens during their time in the band that I felt like I was reading an interview that had actually taken place. It didn’t feel like fiction at all. I even stopped reading at one point to Google the band and make sure they really were fictional because everything just felt that real.
My only issue is that I wish Daisy Jones & the Six was a real band because the whole time I was reading, I really wanted to hear their music. The songs Billy and Daisy were writing just sounded that good! Seriously though, no issues whatsoever.
I honestly didn’t think there was anyway Taylor Jenkins Reid could possibly top her phenomenal last novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but she really outdoes herself with Daisy Jones & the Six. The characters, the intimacy and complexity of the relationships, the story telling, the authenticity of this band’s journey, really just everything about this book is about as close to perfection as it gets for me. It’s only March and I can already tell you this book is going on my Best of 2019 list at the end of the year. It’s just that good. I think music fans in particular will love Daisy Jones & the Six, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to everyone else who just loves a well-crafted story.
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.