I’m going to start saying that this is one of my favorite books of all times. What this book made me learn and feel will always stick with me, so this is a very special review for me.
One of the goals I had for the current year was to start listening to audiobooks. I’ve always heard amazing things about this book in the audiobook version, so that plus the fact that I had already read and absolutely loved this book in the past made me decide to pick this as my first audiobook ever.
I think it’s the perfect chance to sit down and share with the world what I think of Daisy Jones & The Six, since I didn’t have a platform to do it the first time I read it. I like my blog to include both positive and negative reviews, but I believe that it’s essential to put out my thoughts on those books that absolutely took my breath away. And here we are. Without further ado and after this loooong introduction, here’s my review.
Title: Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release date: March 5th, 2019
Page count: 355
Genre: Historical Fiction
Trigger warnings: Abortion, alcohol abuse, anxiety, cheating, depression, drug use/abuse, eating disorder, profanity, self-harm
Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Indiebound
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
As you already may know, Daisy Jones and the Six tells the story of… well, Daisy Jones and the Six (Billy, Graham, Karen, Pete, Eddie and Warren), who joined forces in the 70s and became one of the world’s biggest rock bands *unfortunately just in fiction*. Entirely told in interview format, the characters tell us everything about their rise, prime and abrupt ending in the middle of their most successful tour.
“The truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle”
The heart of this book lies in the way the author decided to write it. At first I wasn’t very fond of the interview format, because I thought it may take some dynamism from the story, but I couldn’t been more wrong. Since everyone has the chance of telling the story in their own words, there are omissions, evasiveness and even straight up lies. That makes the characters definitely more human and relatable, because who hasn’t said a lie or evade certain topics in their lives? Jenkins Reid used the interview format to her favor and it worked perfectly, giving us multiple sides of the same story and most times leaving it up to our interpretation.
“It’s like some of us are chasing after our nightmares the way other people chase dreams.”
The setting was one of my favorite things. Not exactly the location (they are on tour during almost the entirety of the book so no location stands out), but the time period it was set (1965 to 1979). I had never read about that time period and it was amazing getting to know more about the 70s and its music, and just how things were back then. Most books set in the past give you the feeling of time moving slower back in those days, but this is the opposite. We’re talking about rock stars that lived every day as if it was the last one, their lives out of control, and you really get invested in that.
Speaking about rock stars, the author did a fabulous job creating them and their art. This band is unpredictable, wild, creative and a great team, despite their ups and downs. The song lyrics in the book are so good that I don’t need to hear them to know I love them, and for them to resonate with me. I cannot stress enough how much I admire Taylor Jenkins Reid for not only creating an amazing story, but also an amazing entire album of song lyrics that fit the characters’ lives perfectly, as if they indeed wrote them. That said, this is a full experience inside the mind of two rock stars.
“And no matter where we are, no matter what time of day it is, the world is dark and we are two blinking lights. Flashing at the same time. Neither one of us flashing alone.”
Daisy was a character that I loved from the beginning. Free, broken, wild, feminist, unquestionably an icon and rock star. I loved how unpredictable and carefree she was, just like sand escaping through your fingers. Many people wanted to be like her (Billy’s daughter Julia, for example) and I understand why. She seemed untouchable, and never got intimidated by anything. But she was also falling, losing grip of herself and despite how good-hearted she was, she was a very lonely character and had many inner struggles.
Billy was a very realistic character. I hated how he felt the leader of the band and dismissed the other members’ opinions and feelings, his ego was huge and I loved how Daisy changed the rules of the game once she joined the band. But aside that he was a very loving man, dedicated to his wife Camila and their daughters, and the way he always had the best intentions with them though he messed up many times made him very human and relatable.
“You can’t control another person. It doesn’t matter how much you love them. You can’t love someone back to health and you can’t hate someone back to health and no matter how right you are about something, it doesn’t mean they will change their mind.”
Both of these characters struggle with addiction throughout the book. It was very emotional to read how this had a toll not only on them, but on their loved ones. The author made an excellent job describing that experience from both sides (the one who’s battling the addiction and the one who has to watch them go through that). It hit very close to home for me and made me feel heard, understood. It doesn’t only apply to the kind of struggle that Billy and Daisy face, but also to the simple fact of feeling helpless as you see someone you love destroy themselves. The raw way this book addresses this topics is very much needed in a world that tends to sugarcoat this kind of situations.
Billy and Daisy’s history together was unlike any other I’ve ever read. I had never seen two characters connect in the way they did, and their story was so full of yearning. Everything is told in such a subtle way that sometimes words aren’t even needed, and it was just so freaking real. This book makes you face the hard truth that not all love stories can happen, that some come in the wrong time and place, and that doesn’t make it hurt any less when you can’t have what you want. And more than that; is a comparison between what you want and what you need in life.
Moving on, there’s a full cast that I adored. The stories of all the members of the band were developed very well and you get to know each one. The side story of Karen (and her spoilery love interest) was amazing, and I loved to see her breaking the mold of what was expected of women back in the 70s. Camila also has a special mention here because she and Billy had such a cute and strong relationship, and I loved to read about her character and how grounded and witty she was.
“And, baby, when you think of me I hope it ruins rock ‘n’ roll”
Rereading this in the audiobook version was definitely a great choice. It has a full cast and they did a great job, you can tell they really got invested in telling this story. I totally recommend this audiobook whether you’re reading it for the first time or rereading.
I don’t think I need to say much more. Just… pick up this book now. Please. You won’t regret it.
Have you read Daisy Jones & The Six? What were your thoughts on it? Let’s talk in the comments!