2017 was a great reading year for me. It was the year I discovered books like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. That novel was beautifully written and is now a part of my permanent library so I can enjoy re-reads. When I learned that the author had a new book coming out this spring, I was thrilled. I was also thrilled when I got a prime spot on the library waiting list and received the book just a week or so after its release date (just one more reason to love my local library!)
Perhaps I was too excited and my expectations for this book were too high. All the hype I’d been reading about this book may have also played a role in that. At any rate, I had very high hopes going into Daisy Jones, and while the story was intriguing, I ended up disappointed overall.
I’m sure I’m going to step on some toes with this review since the bookish community is just raving about this book. Trust me – I wanted to rave about it too! I really, really wanted another character like Evelyn Hugo who would draw me right into her story. But Daisy Jones just…didn’t.
I will say that the story is intriguing. Daisy Jones is a ‘70s pop star who teams up with a rock band, The Six. The newly formed Daisy Jones and the Six goes on to produce a hit record…and then breaks up. So what exactly caused one of the world’s biggest bands to split up? That’s what Taylor Jenkins Reid tries to uncover in her story. Intriguing, right? I thought so too.
My issue with this book wasn’t the story. It was the format. Daisy Jones reads like a transcript of an interview. That’s right, this book is ALL dialogue. It is the main characters telling their stories in interview format, which amounts to a whole lot of telling and not much showing. It’s just one person’s interview after another. It’s basically like reading an episode of Behind the Music (I’m probably dating myself with the reference, but it was a really great VH1 show).
Apparently, lots of readers loved this format and had no problem getting into the story. But for me, it was a miss. I would have so loved to read a detailed account of Daisy’s story, but instead I got everyone’s story from his or her own point of view. This kept me from really attaching to any of the characters. As much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t get drawn into this story.
**For anyone who hasn’t read the book yet, there are some minor spoilers ahead. It’s nothing that would ruin the book for you, but it does offer a glimpse into some of the characters and their struggles.**
As for the characters in this book, well, I didn’t like Daisy Jones at all. She came across as selfish and generally unlikable. I felt like the author wanted readers to sympathize with her, but I just couldn’t. She is on drugs throughout the whole story, so how am I even supposed to believe these detailed accounts of her life when she was drugged up the whole time? I also didn’t like Billy’s character. Again, I think I was meant to sympathize with him but really I sympathized with his wife.
The only characters I really liked were Graham and Karen, and I would have enjoyed them even more if I could have gotten a more detailed account of their relationship. I wish the author would have slowed the story down and allowed me to really be there in my mind instead of reading various interviews, often with conflicting stories about the same event.
So overall, it was a miss for me. But I’ve read plenty of reviews from readers who just loved it. So if you enjoy that kind of first person account of a story, give it a read and see what you think.