Jesse’s Girl – Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: 1st July 2015
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?
I almost forgot I’d requested this book on NetGalley, so when that little email came through that I had been approved I was surprised. I was more surprised than I normally am when I’m approved for books. What I didn’t realise at the time of requesting is that this was another Hundred Oaks novel. That was probably stupid of me, I knew Miranda Kenneally wrote those books, but the premise seems so different to some of the other books that I was surprised. Luckily for me, these books can be read in any order, and I’m glad I didn’t realise because it meant I want into the book blind, and that’s sometimes better.
Sometimes a book can start slow and leave you wondering if anything is going to happen to grip you, this was not one of those books. I loved how you were just thrown straight into this book, you were told about shadow day and new immediately Maya was to shadow a famous country singer. There was none of the usual introduction and set up for the story, it got rid of that and you just knew what was happening. Maya and Jesse met almost immediately and then the story could begin. That was great, and really appreciated because I sometimes hate the unnecessary build up for a meeting. It did feel like the first part of the story was a bit rushed though. It was like they met and then you spent half the book on the day they spent together. And then the second half rushed through a story to create some drama. Luckily for Kenneally I like drama, but I did hope for a bit more balance in the book.
Also, I do feel like their connection was rushed. I get that there was only a day to establish their connection, and in Jesse’s world, time is a precious thing and that as a teenager everything is instant and all or nothing, but it still felt rushed. I don’t know, that could be me though.
Enough complaining, I did love it. I enjoyed Maya’s passion for music and her willingness to learn even at the beginning, taking advantage of every opportunity given to her, even if she didn’t exactly want to. She was headstrong and driven and that was admirable. There was none of that timidity in her that is too often seen in protagonists, this unwillingness to admit they have talent, she recognised she had some skill and showed a strength of will in trying to pursue her dream, even thought she was uncertain if she truly possessed the potential to go all the way. She recognised that if you don’t try you don’t get. She didn’t listen to others when they were negative about something but continued to do what she thought best.
Most importantly it was absolutely amazing to see Jordan and Sam Again. I’ve only read the first book Catching Jordan, so to see them again further on in their life was amazing, and they were just as adorable as they were in the first book.
It was a mixed books for me, as with every book there were flaws, but I did enjoy it. It was a light easy read with a bit of teenage drama made more dramatic by one half of the couple being a teenage celebrity. It also had a girl who knew when to fight for her dreams, which was great when too frequently girls end up sacrificing things for the male in the story. It’s also an enjoyable read because it’s a fun story. It’s farfetched and ridiculous but the characters are great, and you can’t fault it for the crazy good family dynamic here. I would recommend it for a quick a easy read in summer.
Has anyone else read this, or any of the other Hundred Oaks books? What do you think of these contemporary YA reads, should I check out the others?