I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
Narrator: Alecia Whitaker
Series: Wildflower #1
Published by Hachette Audio on 2014-07-01
Genres: Family, General, Girls & Women, Music, New Experience, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hrs. 40 mins.
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Also by this author: The Road to You
The best songs come from broken hearts.Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennessee, to Nowhere, Oklahoma. But one fateful night, when Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own.Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music-video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, the rest of her life falls into chaos as tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice.
One of my favorite guilty pleasure shows is Nashville, and it kind of got me interested in the country music scene. So, when I saw Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker was about an up-an-coming singer-songwriter, a la Taylor Swift, I had to give it a chance. Since Nashville is on summer hiatus it’s a good time to check out Wildflower for that country music scene fix. Wildflower is a kindler, gentler look at stardom though, and focuses on a young ingénue who gets her first big break. Wildflower is the first book in a trilogy so don’t expect this country-themed Cinderella story to tie up all the loose ends, y’all.
Bird Barrett is a singer-songwriter who plays fiddle with her family’s bluegrass band. One night Bird takes over on lead vocals and a big record label discovers her, and even asks her to sing at Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café. Her life changes overnight when she records a hit song. The song “Notice Me” is about Adam, a musician friend she’s had a crush on for ages. Will he notice her now?
The Barrett family band started playing music together as a way to bond after their youngest child’s death. The family includes the doting parents and Bird’s two older brothers and they are a very tight unit. With Bird now singled out as the star, it changes the family dynamic. Family and spirituality are a focus of the book, and the Barrett family has Bird’s back even though there is some jealousy.
Bird’s introduction to fame is not too bumpy; though trying to please publicists, fans, record label execs, music video directors and interviewers takes some getting used to. Bird’s new friends help keep her grounded though.
Like Taylor Swift, Bird Barrett uses her crush Adam as her muse. Since Bird’s career is on fire she doesn’t get the chance to see him as much as she’d like, and Bird is frustrated that fame and distance are coming between them. On the positive side, heartache does make for good songwriting fodder. There’s a scene like this in Bird’s music video:
I listened to the Wildflower audiobook, performed by the book’s author Alecia Whitaker. It makes me uneasy when authors perform their own books. On the plus side, they know the material inside and out so who better to bring the book to life? But on the other hand, why not leave the narrating duties to the professionals? Whitaker does a fine job though, and gives a bubbly and energetic performance. Whitaker captures Bird’s wide-eyed innocence and even does some singing when the book calls for it. She has a good range of voices in her repertoire to represent the different types of characters in Wildflower and uses Southern and New York accents. I’d continue to listen to this series in audio format.
Take a listen:
Wildflower is a fun and fast read with a lot of heart. This is a good series for country music fans, and readers who enjoy clean stories with a friendship and family theme. Looking forward to finding out what happens next!