Many thanks to BookSparks, Random House, and Netgalley for the chance to read this book in advance.
This book is cool.
Bottom line, just cool. Classic Rock is my favorite musical genre. It’s nostalgic, I grew up listening to Heart, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, and Fleetwood Mac, among others. Even today, songs by these artists never get old. I have always felt as if I should have been a teenager in the ’70s or ’80s because the lifestyle, clothing, and music appeals to me greater than the modern world often does. The generation of my parents fits me better than my own. Daisy Jones and the Six completely transported me to this time period in a way I reveled in.
This book exhibits just how uniquely talented Taylor Jenkins Reid is. She was able to make something from nothing and make it feel as if it truly happened – something all writers hope to do, but few are able to accomplish. I found myself itching to look up the songs and photographs described in this book to see them myself, only to feel the weight of disappointment when I remembered the characters weren’t real. Instead, I pictured Fleetwood Mac and after finishing the novel, it seems to be a likely comparison. I think it’s fair to say the group inspired aspects of this story.
Told from the characters as they reflected on the past through the medium of an author’s interview, this story allows readers to view the fictional events the band endured through multiple perspectives. Reid makes the characters lifelike in minute moments, through only a few sentences at a time. Daisy comes across as wild, reckless, and out of control, yet everyone, readers included are drawn to her like moth to flame. Billy is the guy we can’t help but root for – he’s kind of a jerk but likable because he doesn’t intend to be a jerk. Then there are the lesser band members, who are able to give details as they really happened, without a filter of emotion or denial because they were doing their own thing in the background. Every character adds a new layer to a cohesive story written, most impressively, in this unique interview form. I’m awestruck by the talent it took to come up with this and achieve something akin to a VH1 Behind the Music show.
While this story was a slow read for me because I always had to make sure I knew who was narrating at the precise moment, I couldn’t help but be in a bit of a trance. I felt like I was enveloped in the brown and yellow-tinged world of the 1970s – sex, drugs, rock n roll, and all that jazz. I was emotionally invested in the characters and rooting for them in ways I never expected to. There are so many lines I highlighted and wish I could share! One of the greatest things I admire about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is her ability to make me question my own ideas. She writes with such a stunning view of humanity, showing in great detail the reasons behind the characters’ actions. It makes me able to view gray areas with more empathy and understanding. I enjoy questioning my conclusions about everything from lifestyle choices to moral beliefs. I think if we never question ourselves, we can never truly know why and what we stand for. Taylor’s writing allows me to do that in a visceral way, something I’ve come to appreciate, whether I agree with everything her characters do or not.
I’m happy to add my review to the hype and hope many other readers enjoy this book as much as I did. The ending even had me shedding a few tears. Pick up your copy on March 5th!