From the Jacket
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 Camilla 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.
“I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.”
Much like the titular band’s single “Honeycomb,” DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid became an instant hit when it was released, quickly climbing the charts. Following a Stevie Nicks-inspired heroine and her band of misfits, the novel is driven by 70s rock ‘n’ roll, with the sex and drugs that too often accompany it. Stories like these are becoming more and more popular in our contemporary culture- just look at Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, and Rocketman. But DAISY JONES & THE SIX stands out on its own.
DAISY JONES & THE SIX grabbed me immediately. Told strictly through dialogue in a tell-all, interview-style format, the novel pulls its audience in like a gossip-driven tabloid. I found it was a really great way to tell the band’s story, watching through the public eye, and I absolutely devoured the novel, turning page after page.
Reid pulls off an incredible feat with DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but despite its unique storytelling technique, it’s impossible to ignore the novel’s flaws, starting with the story’s redundant plot devices. The story’s main plotlines and their respective solutions are presented from the beginning, so the middle of the novel felt especially drawn out, as a clear rising action/climax/falling action pattern lacks from DAISY JONES. Because the fate of the band is alluded to from the first page, it comes as no surprise, and though the band’s fallout is as dramatic as one would hope for, it occurs between characters that the reader knows nearly nothing about. The novel’s interview-style format may have made it into a page-turner, but fails in the long-run because it can only do so much to describe its characters. I found it hard to care about the fate of Daisy and Billy, Karen and Graham, because I knew so little about them, their backgrounds, and their motivations in the first place.
“I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was like me. I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything. But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.”
I don’t mean to rip apart DAISY JONES & THE SIX apart, because I really enjoyed it, but I believe it could be even better! I am definitely looking forward to Reese Witherspoon’s series adaptation… catch me listening to some Fleetwood Mac while I wait!