by Miranda Kenneally
To be published on July 7, 2015
Source: eARC for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?My take: This week I have an extra bit of spring in my step -- I've been reading some fabulous contemporaries, which is how I think everyone should spend the summer. I'm a longtime fan of Miranda Kenneally and her Hundred Oaks series. She's got a bit of a Sarah Dessen thing going on, with crossover characters and locations, that I like a lot. And I love that her main characters are always girls with ambitions and dreams, girls who feel real and relatable, girls who find love.
Jesse's Girl had a lot going for it -- music themes, fun 80s references, and a bunch of great tropes. Yes, great. I think of tropes as humble cooking ingredients that can either be humdrum or, in the case of a book like this, elevated into something fun and surprising.
The most obvious trope going here is In Love With a Rock Star. But hey, surprise: it's Jesse who falls for the (aspiring) rock star, while Maya falls in love with Jesse, a country singer. (Which means that we also get both an Odd Couple dynamic and I'm a Little Bit Country/I'm a Little Bit Rock and Roll face-off.)
There's also a good dose of Girl Next Door in Love With Someone Famous, which has been a favorite trope of mine since I was a kid watching Brady Bunch re-runs and Marcia Brady snuck into Davy Jones' hotel room to ask him if he'd sing at her prom. Jesse and Maya meet cute (well, she's cute and he's surly) and embark on a madcap Ferris Bueller Day of fun. Super-cute, and a little bit Princess for a Day as he tries to buy her fancy cowboy boots, and she declines. He's famous, but he can't get her out of his mind...
What else is there to love about this book? If you still need more convincing, there's a fun American-Idol-meets-the-Voice kind of show involved (with actual celebrity judges) and cameo appearances by two of my favorite Hundred Oaks characters ever, Jordan and Sam.
In sum, Jesse's Girl is the perfect summer read: fun, flirty, and hard to put down.
These books are companion books, so you don't have to have read any other Hundred Oaks books to pick up this one. If you've read it, let me know what you thought in comments!