Young Adult Book Review: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
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?
With JESSE’S GIRL, author Miranda Kenneally creates a fun and heartwarming story perfect for Summer reading that's full of music, humor, and romance. This is my first experience with the author and I can see the popular appeal in her writing. Though I'm not a huge contemporary romance reader, (yet) when I saw the title Jesse's Girl and its synopsis, I knew I wanted to try it. Here's what I liked about JESSE'S GIRL:
What I Liked:
Music from the 80's! There's plenty of music to go around, a little rock-n-roll and a little country, but it was the 80's songs that had me smiling the most.
I honestly have to say one of my favorite aspects of JESSE'S GIRL is the wonderful dynamics Maya's family has. It is always such a breath of fresh air in a young adult book when parents are active role models in their teens lives and family members are loving and supportive! I loved the interaction between Maya and her mom & dad, and I completely adored her older brother Sam. They're your normal, average working class family that knows how to pull together. Yay to positive family influences in YA!
Maya is one of those heroines who is a great balance of down-to-Earth, passionate, and hardworking. She loves music and her enthusiasm comes right across the pages. She's up to the challenge and willing to work for her goals. She feels very realistic as she has normal teen issues and feelings that YA readers can easily relate to and older fans will sympathize at in remembrance.
Jesse has this imperfect, hottie, wounded hero thing going on that I fell for. He comes across at first as having a chip on his shoulder and not the most likable fellow. But, that all changes soon. He's trying to balance his music career, please his family and has a few trust issues to deal with. Despite all this, he has a boyish charisma and sweet vulnerability that comes across once he lets Maya see them.
The romance has a Rock Star, Cinderella vibe/trope to it that worked. It feels real and believable in the way it slowly progresses, turning from slightly antagonistic to friendship and more. We get to see some serious sweet and romantic moments between these two. I love how the chemistry between Jesse and Maya slowly builds.
A date to remember! What fun I had as Miranda Kenneally took me on a date with Jesse and Maya that had all the trademarks of the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I smiled and laughed at their antics. You'll just have to read it yourself to experience it ;)
Real teen issues. Miranda Kenneally's writing touches on teens and sexuality, she does not shy away from the subject. Rather she is honest and poignant.
JESSE'S GIRL is the perfect Summer read. This is my first experience with Miranda Kenneally and I had no problem getting into the Hundred Oaks Series as the companion novel just seemed to flow and start easily, unfolding into a delightful, swoony romance surrounded by music, friendship and family.
My Rating: 4 Stars. I liked it!
PLEASE NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for my fair and honest review. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for the review opportunity!