Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
March 5, 2019 release date (thank you Netgalley for approving me for this arc)
In 1979, Daisy Jones and The Six split up. Together, they had redefined the 70’s music scene, creating an iconic sound that rocked the world. Apart, they baffled a world that had hung on their every verse.
This book is an attempt to piece together a clear portrait of the band’s rise to fame and their abrupt and infamous split. The following oral history is a compilation of interviews, emails, transcripts, and lyrics, all pertaining to the personal and professional lives of the members of the band The Six and singer Daisy Jones.
While I have aimed for a comprehensive and exhaustive approach, I must acknowledge that full and complete accounts from all parties involved has proved impossible. Some people were easier to track down than others, some were more willing to talk than others, and some, unfortunately, have passed on.
All of which is to say that while this is the first and only authorised account from all represented perspectives, it should be noted that, in matters both big and small, reasonable people disagree.
The truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle.
“We love broken, beautiful people. And it doesn’t get much more obviously broken and more classically beautiful than Daisy Jones.”
Taylor Jenkins Reid completely blew my mind with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, so when I finished it and shortly after got approved on Netgalley to read Daisy Jones and The Six, I was very excited to read something else by her, and also kind of nervous. I had my worries. Would this novel be anywhere near as good as the one I had just read? My impression of Taylor Jenkins Reid now, is that she probably sits at her kitchen table after she publishes a novel, and ponders on how the hell she can outdo herself. Daisy Jones and the Six is freaking incredible.
My thoughts on it are honestly going to consist of a mixture of thoughts and quotes from the book. I don’t think I read a single page on my Kindle without highlighting something.
This is an historical fiction novel with of course, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s spark added to it. You are transported to the world of rock and roll in 1970s America. This is the story of Daisy Jones. This is the story of the rise and fall of a band. It’s the story of how complicated things can be behind the scenes when you have a group of people with the common interest of music, but who can grow to disagree about almost everything else.
Daisy grows up with parents who are there, but really don’t care about what she does. She turns to drugs and drinking and partying pretty early in her life.
“You know how every once in a while you’ll meet somebody who seems to be floating through life? Daisy sort of floated through the world, oblivious to way it really worked.”
At her core though, Daisy is a song writer, and she stays true and fights for her right to express herself through music and with her writing.
“Daisy high is fun and carefree and a good time. If she’s having fun, you’re having fun. But if you want to rip people’s hearts out of their chests, bring Daisy back down to earth and have her sing her own songs. There’s nothing like it.”
The Six was the popular band, all over the place, with these songs and lyrics that hit people in the core. Things happen in the story, and Daisy doesn’t really become part of the band, but the two do make an album together.
This entire story is told through interview format and I couldn’t imagine it being written any other way. I grew up loving shows like E-True Hollywood Story, and Where Are They Now and I’m still a big fan of interviews, so if that’s also your thing, this is will be an easy read for you. You move through it so quickly.
I loved the growth you saw with all the characters. With a band, you can’t expect things to always be perfect. You can’t expect band members to always get along, and I felt that was shown really well with this story. I really loved how well written Billy Dunne, the lead member of The Six was. Billy slipped there for a while and was super hooked on drugs and sex, while his soon to be wife, Camila, was pregnant with their daughter. He spends the rest of the story really trying to stay on the straight and narrow. You see the pressure he feels to continue to put out hits and the cost it comes at. He does some pretty crappy things to band members trying to keep the band in the spotlight.
Daisy was an amazing, complex character. Girls all over the world idolized her, and wanted to be her. She did her own thing and wasn’t going to change for anyone.
“I run hot and I always have. I am not going to sit around sweating my ass off just so men can feel more comfortable. It’s not my responsibility to not turn them on. It’s their responsibility to not be an asshole.”
You as the reader though, witness just how much of a hot mess she is. Daisy has a serious drug problem yet even Billy’s daughter Julia, wants to be Daisy Jones when she grows up. It really makes you reflect on idols and how you only see what they want you to see. You don’t know the behind the scenes, the mess and garbage they keep hidden or save for late nights to themselves.
It’s always refreshing to read about music and I really enjoyed reading the process behind creating songs that become loved by so many people.
“Rod told me to stop writing about stuff I didn’t know about. He said, “Don’t reinvent the wheel. Write about your girl.”
We as the reader get to tag along with Billy and Daisy as they create an album, then we see the band playing sold out shows all along knowing how there is so much tension amongst the group.
There is a twist at the end of the story and you learn who is actually conducting the interviews, and I loved it. When it happened it took me by surprise because I hadn’t even been thinking of who that person was. What was even more of a surprise is as the empire is crumbling, and Daisy and Billy are in this funk where neither wants to admit that amongst all of this writing together they have grown feelings for each other, who comes through and sort of saves Daisy from it all.
“Don’t count yourself out this early Daisy. You’re all sorts of things you don’t even know yet.”
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There is almost a hidden gem in the book, a character in the background who for a few of the main characters, is the glue that holds them together and I loved it. Reid has a way of making someone in the background, who isn’t seen too often, also such a vital character to the story.
Highly recommend you get your hands on this one, the moment it comes out!