Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Also in this series: Catching Jordan
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 7/7/15
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: Blog Tour, NetGalley, RT
My content rating: Mature YA (Characters have sex, but it's not directly shown)
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?
Jesse’s Girl is the sixth standalone book in the Hundred Oaks series (and I have to say that, even by my standards, these books truly can be read as standalones). It’s a really fun romantic read with a dash of bad boy superstar behavior to keep us entertained (but not too much – Jesse’s not a jerk). Overall, a really entertaining read, just like all of Kenneally’s books!
This book focuses on Maya (who is Sam’s younger sister, for those of you who read the first Hundred Oaks book) and her dreams of making it big in the music business! When Maya is assigned to shadow Jesse Scott, a huge country superstar, she’s eager to learn everything she can about the business, but she gets more than she bargained for!
What I LOVED:
- Realistic main character. I loved that Maya wasn’t a perfect person, or even a perfect musician. While she was really fantastic at playing guitar, she had some actual issues with her voice and needed training to work them out. I found this refreshingly realistic – so often in these types of books, the main character is instantaneously uber-talented without even trying. The fact is that most people need some kind of training to meet their full potential – and Maya gets that training and improves. But she still doesn’t turn into a perfect vocalist and performer. This is a book about a girl with a lot of potential, not a book about a girl who magically becomes a musical genius and superstar overnight. I appreciated that! Plus, Maya was just an overall likable main character. She was smart and sassy, but not annoying – and she had insecurities that felt realistic and made me sympathize with her. Kenneally has a knack for writing main characters who we can relate to, and she did it again with this book!
- Jesse. Jesse was also realistically portrayed. He came off as a little bit cocky and jaded at first, but it became apparent that he was just trying to live his life without being swarmed all the time – not something you could fault him for. And I loved that, once he got to know Maya a little, he took a real interest in helping her. He didn’t just spend a day with her and show her around his studio a little and leave it at that – he saw her passion and wanted to actually invest in her talent. Jesse was an all-around great guy!
- The romance. Kenneally did what she does best once again – got me completely invested in her main couple. I loved Maya and Jesse together. Their day together was fun – it didn’t turn into insta-love, but instead had me rooting for them to find a way to make a difficult situation work. I loved how they were both completely supportive of each other when it came to music (even though Maya wasn’t specifically a fan of country music to begin with, she could see Jesse’s love performing and the passion that he put into it). I also appreciated Maya’s desire to achieve her dreams on her own, though – and this led to an interesting scenario between Jesse and Maya!
- The religious parents. I wasn’t crazy about the fact that the only religious characters in this book were the completely crazy, overzealous parents who wouldn’t even see their son perform in Vegas because the place itself was so “sinful.” Still, I give Kenneally a pass on this for the most part because her Hundred Oaks series as a whole has shown many different sides to religion and has presented it in really thoughtful ways.
- Slightly unrealistic ending? Of course, the book was going to have an HEA, but I thought that the way everyone bent over backward to accommodate Maya and Jesse at the end was perhaps slightly unrealistic. (But perhaps not? Jesse was a superstar, after all.)
If you’ve read any of Kenneally’s other books, I’m fairly certain you’ll be very happy with this installment. It has all of the country charm of her other books and a fun and sweet romance. What else can you ask for? I give this one 4/5 stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.