Hi guys! Today I’m excited to be part of the Jesse’s Girl international Blog Tour! I’ve got a review and giveaway going for this adorable summer book, the sixth installment in Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series. Read on to check out my thoughts!
Jesse’s Girl (Hundred Oaks #6)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (Raincoast Books in Canada)
Source/Format: eARC provided by publisher on Netgalley
Publication date: July 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository | iTunes | Google BooksPractice Makes Perfect.
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.
But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
Jesse’s Girl was one of those books that was a good, fun summer read for me. Light, contemporary fluff – but a good one at that.
Maya Henry has always been an outsider to her football-obsessed family and town. She’s an eighties-obsessed punk rocker who plays guitar and sings. A student at Hundred Oaks High, her dream is to make it big with her band. Unfortunately, her band drops her when they decide to only play heavy metal. She’s down in the dumps when her high school has a Career Shadowing Day, and she’s placed with Jesse Scott, Nashville’s biggest teen idol and country singer. Jesse is obnoxious and guarded, but throughout the day, he and Maya find the foundation of a friendship – and possibly more.
This is my third Kenneally book, so I’ve come to expect the adorable relationships and banter, sex positivity, and great family dynamics that are present in this Hundred Oaks installment. I liked that Maya and Jesse are completely opposite in a lot of ways: she has a supportive, loving family, while Jesse is estranged from his parents because they are religious people who don’t support his secular life. Maya is an eighties punk girl, while Jesse is a full-flare country singer. And yet, their support for each other and passion for music brings them together and makes this relationship work.
Their initial day together is an awesome fantasy date, chock full of crazy adventures, delicious food, and hate-turns-to-love that makes me swoon. It totally made me want to hit up Nashville.
Honestly, after that, though, the rest of the book (about half of it) felt a bit like a letdown. My main issue with Jesse’s Girl is that I felt that it lacked a theme or a real conflict. While the characters and romance were cute, there wasn’t a lot that drove the plot along other than classic tropes of Dream Big, Work Hard, and Being a Rock Star’s Girlfriend, and the conflict seemed a bit light.
It’s a credit to Kenneally’s plotting and pacing, however, that I never felt like the book was entirely predictable. The way Kenneally moves things in the book feels so true to life for a teenager. Maya wants to be singer and guitarist, but she doesn’t really know how to get there. I think that’s pretty honest for a high schooler.
Overall, the family dynamics, the unpredictable plotting, and the swoony, sexy romance kept this a very enjoyable read for me.
Book Theme Song:
I couldn’t not choose a cheesy eighties rock song for Maya to sing for Jesse, and I can totally see Jesse doing an acoustic/country version of this for Maya.
The Final Word:
While not my favourite Kenneally book, Jesse’s Girl continues her trend of writing smart, sexy contemporary romances with a lot of realism and truth. I enjoyed this fast, addictive read, and I’m looking forward to seeing Maya and Jesse in some of the other Hundred Oaks books.
About the Author
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.