“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of fucking story.”Taylor Jenkins Reid, Daisy Jones & The Six
Happy New Year! Although we have a long road ahead of us, it’s safe to say everyone is breathing a sigh of relief to leave 2020 behind. I’m hopeful for the year ahead and excited to get started on new reading goals. One of my focuses in 2021 is to start embracing audiobooks more. I love listening to podcasts, so I don’t know why I’ve been so hesitant to read audiobooks in the past. To break up my reading patterns, I decided to listen to Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. If you’ve never tried audiobooks before, then this book may be the perfect intro for you.
Daisy Jones is born and raised in Los Angeles in the 1960s. As a girl, her parents are absent figures in her life. She finds a welcoming community singing in local bars and clubs. Beautiful, authentic, and wild, she is a natural rock star. On the other side of the country, a band called The Six is gaining recognition. They move out to LA to become rock legends. A music producer decides that the band would reach new levels of success by introducing Daisy to the mix. On stage, the chemistry and music is electrifying. Behind the scenes, conflicting egos and substance abuse test the bands’ members and threaten to break up the group. Daisy Jones & The Six is told through a series of interviews, following the perspectives of all the band members and close friends during the height of their career.
The eccentric characters, interview format, and moving lyrics make this book an excellent choice for listening. The story is written like a magazine exposé; The characters all share their thoughts in interviews, so it makes sense that it would be a successful audiobook. Since it’s told in retrospect, readers can feel the still-fresh emotions from each character, the choices they regret, and the wisdom they’ve gained. Having different voices for each character illuminated the story and grabbed my attention. For first time readers, I urge you to pay attention to the song lyrics that are tucked away in the back of the book! When I first read Daisy Jones, I didn’t realize the book had lyrics for each of the songs. I so wished that I had taken the time to read the lyrics as the various songs were introduced into the narrative.
My biggest criticism is that some of the characters feel like archetypal rock stars, paling in comparison to real icons. Daisy, for example, is described as a timeless and free-spirited beauty that crowds adore. Some of her quirks, such as an insistence to perform without shoes on, verged on annoying. The attempts to depict her as an iconic sex symbol sometimes fell flat. She came across as the “girl that’s not like other girls”. Furthermore, the storyline focuses so heavily on the will they/won’t they relationship between Daisy and Billy, but I also really loved the drama unfolding with the supporting characters; I would have loved to spend just a little more time on them, too.
Despite my criticisms, the author did an excellent job of creating tension and passion in the various relationships. The development of all the romantic relationships felt authentic and exciting. Daisy and Billy’s relationship was drama-filled making it really entertaining, just like reading the tabloids. I liked moments when the band members were getting along, particularly in the early years. I love when an author can linger on the sweet, harmonious moments; It makes the conflict that much more heartbreaking when it comes. I would have liked to linger on the happy moments a little more in order to make it even more heart-wrenching when the band was arguing.
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing embodied the joyful spirit, exorbitance, and hedonism that was engrained in the 1970’s LA music scene. Inspired by bands like Fleetwood Mac, this book feels so familiar to the real-life iconic stories of that time. The book is about 350 pages long, and the time flies by! I gave Daisy Jones an overall 4-star rating. If you are someone who keeps up with celebrity gossip and enjoys watching biographical films about music artists, then I think you will really enjoy this book. Whether you decide to read or listen, Daisy Jones & The Six takes the reader on a fun jaunt that just might reawaken your love of classic rock.