Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: JESSE'S GIRL by Miranda Kenneally

by Miranda Kenneally
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Xpresso Book Tours via Netgalley
Purchase Amazon / B&N

from Goodreads

Practice 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?

My Thoughts

I’m a sucker for books about music and musicians. Female musicians. Male musicians. Faux musicians. Famous musicians. Up and coming musicians. I don’t know if this is because of the music fangirl in me or the former high school choir girl turned concert in the car girl, but I'm drawn to them. When I found out that Miranda Kenneally’s new book was about a want to be rock star, adding it to my reading list was a no brainer. I was going to read it, for sure.

The title, Jesse's Girl, in itself inspires all of these 80's connotations so when we find out that Maya loves singing 80's covers and dresses like a punk chick, you can't help but love her. But it's Maya with all of her all of her ambition and self-professed awkwardness that makes her charming. It takes a while to warm up to Jesse. He's guarded, leary, and a bit jaded. There is a moment when a fan yells to Jesse, “Oh My God, I love ketchup too”. While funny, those are the types of mundane connections people try to have with him. So it's reasonable to accept that he isn't immediately forthcoming toward Maya. Slowly, but surely we get to know Jesse and then your heart melts for him.

The Ferris Bueller like shadow day that Maya and Jesse had together makes for a great way for them to get to know each other and for the reader to know the characters. Readers go on the adventures with Maya and Jesse in the city and out in the country, as teens just being teens, but in a way that seems exciting. And readers get to experience the beginnings of a true connection, not a ketchup connection, between Maya and Jesse. They opened themselves up to criticism and to judgment and allowed the other person to see the “real” them - insecurites and all.

Favorite Quotes

“I do not like closing my eyes and crooning to a cow in a pasture.” - This quote cracks me up because I totally did this one summer day while visiting my grandparents. I was about 10 years old and was singing to the cows in the field. They all started gathering around on the other side of the fence and listened to my concert in the country.

“A relationship where there’s love and happiness, but also the freedom to fight and say what’s really on your mind. And most importantly, trust.” - Maya's shares her hopes for a relationship similar to Sam and Jordan's.

“She said I should never waste my time pining for a boy, because the boy I’m meant to be with will want me so bad, I won’t have to pine at all.” - Advice to Maya from her mother. Oh how I wished someone would have said this to me in middle school and high school. It would've saved me so much heartache.

Kenneally has a way of creating characters and putting them in situations with thoughtful and entertaining dialogue that engages me and keeps me coming back to her books. Almost every time I finish reading one of her books, it makes me want to go back immediately and reread her other books. I’ve enjoyed reading her Hundred Oaks series as an adult, but I sure do wish that I had them to read when I was a teenager.

Jesse's Girl is a fun read and you don't have to be a lover of music or stories about musicians to get to embrace the heart of the book. It's all about taking chances, overcoming fears and embarrassments, and being vulnerable and letting people into your life because you never know what might just come your way. I loved it!

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from XPresso Book Tours via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. I have purchased a finished copy for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.



  1. Great review, Joli! I love this series and I can't wait to sink my teeth into this one! I haven't been disappointed by a Miranda book yet! :) Glad you liked it!


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