After reading – and enjoying – Malibu Rising , I finally took the plunge and read the book everyone’s talking about: Daisy Jones & The Six. I’m a massive music fan (as avid readers of my Music Mondays and First Play Friday posts will know by now) so the premise already appealed to me but, as I really got into it, I realised that this book is about so much more.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they 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.
Another band getting noticed is The Six, 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 the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend…
Initially, I wasn’t wowed by this book. Of course, I’m easily led, so — thanks to the great mass of people posting pictures of this book on social media and reviews on their websites — I couldn’t help but pick it up. When I first picked it up to read, I couldn’t. I’m so used to fiction littered with dialogue and plot in its traditional form and structure that the way this was structured threw me off, so I put it down and — until recently — I didn’t pick it up.
I’m not one to abandon a TBR, and won’t DNF a book unless I really feel like I’ll never gel with it, so I picked it up again. Long story short, I’m glad I persevered.
In this book, Jenkins Reid chronicles the rise and fall of Daisy Jones & The Six through a series of interesting and insightful interviews with an unnamed interviewer (until the final few pages). It might have taken me a while initially but, second time around, I fell hook line and sinker for this book. Much like her latest, the way Reid crafts her characters is magnificent. Even with this different format, you get a good amount of insight into the characters, which enables you to feel every emotion possible over the course of the narrative.
The majority of characters are extremely well developed, though of course it is Daisy Jones and the band members who are given the most airtime. I don’t know if I’m controversial in saying this, but I much preferred reading about Billy and Camila and the other couple in the book than I did about Daisy. I completely understand why she was how she was but I still didn’t really gel with her character as much as others.
It’s mad how, even without the traditional format, this flowed so well. I’m sure many people will agree with me when I say this was fiction that reads like non-fiction and, in spite of the part of me that knew the answer, I did find myself Googling “are Daisy Jones & the Six a real band?” a fair few times whilst reading. Though there were moments my attention waned a little bit, and there were predictable bits weaved in to this unpredictable way of writing, I was captivated by the story that unfolded.
Not every book can be perfect, not even one you see plastered all over social media several years after its release, so here’s where the book fell a bit flat for me. It was basically the story of Billy and Daisy which, unfortunately, meant that characters I wished would’ve got more airtime (Karen, Graham and Simone, for example) didn’t. Also, this is just personal preference, but I skimmed through the bits with song lyrics and the songs at the end because I didn’t really feel like they added much to the story (a lot of the book is basically justifying who the songs are about). My final gripe was the so called “twist” or “reveal” at the end. It was a cool, sweet touch but I wasn’t majorly surprised and I wouldn’t have minded if the person asking questions wasn’t connected somehow.
Regardless, I think Daisy Jones & The Six is worth the hype. Whilst there were bits that irked me a little bit, I loved the romance, friendship and rock ‘n’ roll at the core of this. Jenkins Reid again excels at creating characters that frustrate, fascinate and feel just as flawed as we are.
You can buy this book here.