Review: DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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.
I haven’t yet decided what I think of this book entirely, and this is the first review I’ve read so as always you’ve given me much to think about. The thing that sounds amazing though is the way the author has given the different band members their own POV and that they all have their own versions of what happened to the band. That’s such an interesting way to do things.
verushka recently posted…#5Books: Book recs and #LoveOzYA
The interview format really impressed me because the author fleshed out each voice so realistically.
I’m so looking forward to this! Great review ❤
I hope you love it when you read it. 🙂
Wow! Your review absolutely hooked me, Suzanne. Definitely putting this on my library wishlist.
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café recently posted…For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
I hope you love it as much as I did!
Cannot wait to read this, Suzanne! So glad you loved it😁
Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…THE MUNICIPALISTS by Seth Fried – Review
I can’t wait to read your review for it, Tammy!
It’s so great that you loved this book! I haven’t read anything by this author, but I heard about this one because it was one of the Book of the Month Club picks. I thought about choosing it, but I wasn’t sure it would be up my alley – now I wish I had! Definitely going to have to pick up a copy of this one. So glad that you liked it!
Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings recently posted…Blog Tour: Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill – Spotlight and Giveaway!
Thanks! This is my third TJR book and so far I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve read.
I’ve been meaning to read this author for such a long time, but I DEFINITELY plan to read this one. I love books about music.
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Gluten Free Me
She’s becoming a favorite of mine. I still have more of her books that I need to read but have loved everything I’ve read so far.
Wow..five stars. I was worried about the format, but I will be added this 🙂
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer recently posted…Slow Ride by Lori Foster
Yay, I hope you love it. TJR really impressed me with the way she handled the format.
I still haven’t read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid but boy, Twitter has been ablaze with this book during the week with everyone excited about the release. It’s been infectious. I absolutely love the sound of this one. Rock and roll at the peak of popularity, the sex the drugs. I really need to grab a copy of this one ASAP. Loving the vintage cover as well. So glad you enjoyed this one Suzanne, wonderful review!
Kelly recently posted…LET QUEENDOM REIGN!
There’s definitely a lot of hype for it on social media. I think it’s going to be a book that lives up to the hype for most people too, which is always nice.
You mentioning the making of the album reminds me why I loved Bohemian Rhapsody so much Suzanne! I found the creating process fascinating too
Sophie recently posted…Some mythology anyone? Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins. Review. When you realize you could have so much worse as mother in law!
I haven’t seen that movie yet, but now you have me wanting to watch it because the process really is fascinating to me.
I love how TJR keeps reinventing herself! Can’t wait for this one!
She is fast becoming a favorite author of mine. I really need to go back and read some of her earlier books now.
I really wanted them to be real too! I guess we’ll hear their music soon enough with the Netflix series! Wonderful review, Suzanne! It’s on my favorites list too!
Oh wow, you just made my morning. I had no idea there was going to be a Netflix series!
I love reading about characters battling inner demons. And I love when an author can make me care and root for characters even when they do some crappy things along the way. That’s so cool how it goes so in depth about making an album! I love your “dislike” lol. Great review!
Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Thanks! It was certainly one of the more unique books I’ve read lately.
This looks so different and fun. I really need to try her books. I know, I’m a bit slow heh.
Lily recently posted…Sophia Rose Review: There Will Be Sun by Dana Reinhardt
I just started reading her books last year so I’m not too far ahead of you, lol.
I wanted to wait and read this until after I’d written my review (in case I was subconsciously influenced by something I read) so I’m a bit late in replying. I can’t decide if Daisy actually tops Evelyn Hugo for me but I do know they were both 5 star reads! I love the way TJR was able to make each character come alive and feel so real, even without any first person narratives. The format worked so perfectly for the story. And finding out who the author/interviewer was… wow, it just brought everything full circle. Loved it!
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…WWW Wednesday #45 | March 20, 2019
Yes to everything you said. I really loved the interviewer reveal too. That part just made me smile.