Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols Book Review

July 12, 2013 4 stars, ARC, Contemporary, Contest, Cybils Reviews, Music, Romance, Young Adult 7

Dirty Little SecretBook: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols, MTV Books, On Sale July 16, 2013

Book Info: YA Contemporary Romance, HC 288 pg, received for review from the publisher

Rating:  4 / 5 Stars

More Info:  Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon

This book is so cute, y’all! Jennifer Echols is back with a new summer contemporary romance, and this one has a country western flavor. I’m a big fan of the TV series Nashville, as well as music-themed YA, so I was excited to see what Echols would do with a country music theme. In the book, the main character compares her relationship woes to a country song and that’s a pretty fair description of Dirty Little Secret. There’s lots of drama, music, and heart in this one. My favorite Echols book is still Such a Rush, but all the same Dirty Little Secret put a smile on my face.

In Dirty Little Secret, Bailey is a talented fiddle player, and one half of a sister duo. That pairing goes up in smoke when Bailey’s sister Julie gets her own record deal, and that’s seemingly it for Bailey’s career. She goes to live with her grandfather in Nashville, and plays fiddle at the mall in tribute bands featuring Elvis, Dolly Parton, and Johnny Cash. That’s where she meets Sam, and dares to hope for another chance to make it in the country music circuit.

The music scenes and Nashville setting made the book a standout for me. Bailey lives and breathes music and puts her all into writing songs, performing on stage, and even working at the mall in her Dolly Parton band getup. Bailey has perfect pitch and I thought it was so interesting how it was a blessing but a curse for her. It really bothers her when musicians are off-key!

Sam the love interest is quite the charmer, even though you’re never really sure if you can trust him. He’s so ambitious I couldn’t tell if his motives were true.

From the ARC:

He was the devil in disguise, the handsome but low-down, no-good sneaky guy from a thousand country songstresses’ revenge plots.

If you are familiar with the show Nashville, Sam is kind of a cross between Avery and Gunnar. His scenes with Bailey crackle with chemistry, and Echols does write fantastic kissing scenes for them.

The drama with Bailey’s parents, sister, and the record label, was a little far-fetched for me. I couldn’t understand why Bailey couldn’t do her own thing with music, and why her parents couldn’t support both of the sisters in their musical aspirations.

I’d pick up Dirty Little Secret for the great Nashville music vibe and the romance. There are also some great colorful characters, and dramatic tension to keep you turning pages. It left me hankering for more country music themed books.

7 Responses to “Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols Book Review”

  1. bookgoonie

    This book hadn’t been receiving much love from others. Glad to see that you enjoyed it. I’m hoping that the fiddle passion will rub off on my kid. I hate that she has a decent amount of talent, but has no passion to practice.

  2. Brittany

    I’m not a country person but I agree, I loved the music and country aspect of this book!!! I loved how in depth the music side of it was, especially talking about Bailey’s perfect pitch and detail about chords and whatnot.
    I know a lot of people were upset about the ending, but really… I actually didn’t mind that much. I think I just went with where the story was going and I was so wrapped up in the book that I found a lot of it enjoyable. I tried to see things from Sam’s perspective and so I could appreciate where he was coming from (for the most part).

  3. Sunny

    I’m not really a country person, BUT this is making me interesting and I love the unique aspect of it :) Great review, you make me want to read it even more!

  4. Jen (Pop! Goes The Reader)

    Sadly, this is the first positive review I’ve read for this novel. Although I wasn’t particularly impressed with the first Jennifer Echols novel I read, Such A Rush, I had been interested in reading this book until the bad reviews began poring in in droves. It’s a shame too, as I typically love novels set in the music scene and I thought this one sounded quite cute. After everything I’ve heard of Sam and Sam and Bailey’s relationship, however, I fear this is simply not the book for me. He sounds dreadful and I’m not sure I could make it through this book without popping a blood vessel. I think I’ll steer clear of Dirty Little Secret for now, but might try my hand at one of Echols’ older, more popular novels as they seem like a safer bet.

  5. Candice

    I thought there were some pretty wide holes in this one, but I honestly didn’t let those things bother me because I totally loved this one! The setting was by far my favorite part – I felt like I was actually IN Nashville! I didn’t enjoy Sam and Bailey’s relationship, mostly because I felt like it was super rushed (this book took place over like a week!), but felt like it had a certain spark that made me forget just how rushed it was! Glad you enjoyed this one! Hopefully we can find some more country music books that are just as good!