Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Simon and Schuster (July 16, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

My Thoughts and Review:
I feel in love with Echols' writing after reading her 2011 release, Love Story and pretty much bought everything she has ever written because of it so, of course, it was no real surprise that when I saw this one I knew I had to read it too. 

I love the way Echols' writes about real problems and issues that teens are facing today, even if the situations (in this case) aren't exactly the same, they are still very much relate able. She never sugar coats anything and sometimes gets down to the nitty gritty when she has to and isn't afraid to do it.

Her latest novel is not exception. I really liked how real and lost  Bailey was. She was hurt and a little torn down but she still went after what she wanted, even when she wasn't a hundred percent sure what that should be. I felt horrible for her, for the way her parents treated her and even though there was a resolution to this story, I still felt that her parents should have done better. Should have been better. I couldn't imagine doing what they did to any of my children. Regardless of the circumstances. 

At any rate, Bailey was a strong and determined girl even if she was a little lost and confused at times. I really admired how strong she could be in light of everything that happened to her.

Sam. Oh Sam. I still don't know whether to love you or hate you. You had so many good qualities and so many that put you in the a$$hat family that I was loving you one minute and wanted to smack you the next but when it was all said and done, you were exactly what Bailey needed when she needed it and she was what you needed as well, no matter how long it took you to realize that and to open up to it. 

Once again, Echols writes a beautiful story about the pains of growing up in a world not so perfect with a family very much flawed and the main character coming out the stronger because of it. 

She will forever stay on my autobuy list for this very reason. She always give me exactly what I need when I need it in a good heartfelt read and I love her for that.

*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review*


  1. Hmmmm. Sam can be an asshat huh? Is it weird that knowing that makes me want to read this one more? Sometimes those super frustrating boys just work for me. In fiction only though:) I have yet to read a Jennifer Echols story, so I'm excited to give her a try! Fantastic review:)

  2. Oh you have to at least try one of her books Jenny!

  3. I love Jennifer Echols and I have a review copy of this which I'm even more pumped to read now that I've read your review. I'm with Jenny, the asshatedness oddly makes me want to read about Sam more. :-) Wonderful review!

  4. I love when a character makes you want to hug them one minute and smack them the next! Great review! I have not tried this author. Does she only write YA contemporaries?

  5. thanks Jenny, I hope you like it too!

    Kim, I think she does, at least I have only ever read one of her YA or NA books before. She had one titled Levitating Las Vegas but I think it is NA but it might be adult. I can't remember now!

  6. oh wow sounds very deep and gritty. It is always exciting to find authors we fall in love with their writing. Beautiful review Ali! The characters sound real and the book sounds emotionally investing!

  7. An asshat... Well I am eager to meet both Sam and Bailey. I am readin this in July and looking forward to finally trying, Echols. I know gasp!

  8. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

  9. I have this one to read also. I like Jennifer Echols' books a lot to. Great review. I am really looking forward to reading it.