Like many people, this past year has not been easy for me. I’ve been living alone for the majority of it, and as much as my cat tries, she cannot actually hold a conversation with me. I’ve also gone through slumps in my reading, but this year I’ve read some books that I’m not sure I would have just a few years ago and really enjoyed them. So, I thought it was time to start reviewing them again and try to be more consistent. Although, to be honest, I’ve struggled to do just the most basic things sometimes. Yes, I can get up in the morning and do my job, and feed my cat, empty her litter box, etcetera, but it has been harder to take care of myself. I don’t eat healthy enough, I don’t like to do my dishes, and I really don’t like having to trudge down to my apartment building’s basement to do my laundry. But, I have been running consistently for the last 11 months and that half hour run 4 days a week has been a savior for my mental wellbeing. I’ll be going back to work full time in my office by mid-July and I am thankfully fully vaccinated, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable touching a door handle or gas pump again with my bare hands. Until that time though, please enjoy my thoughts on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & The Six.
From the publisher marketing:
Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now. 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 Camila 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 don’t think I ever would have picked this book up on my own, despite knowing that it was widely praised. Having known stories since I was a young girl about what drugs had done to members of my own family, one of whom I never got to meet due to his drug-related death at age 26, the idea of reading a book where recreational drug use was prevalent was practically abhorrent to me. But my best friend read it earlier this year and absolutely loved it and since I trust her judgement implicitly, I picked it up and gave it a chance. And then I loved it.
I was shocked, too. I can certainly understand why the book community is head over heels in love with Taylor Jenkins Reid. The writing is so compelling, and the format for this story, of being a compilation of oral interviews with Daisy Jones and the band The Six makes you not want to put it down because you must know what happens next at every point. And even with the drug use, it is not glamorized and the detrimental effects of what it can do are not glossed over. The characters are not written to be likable, yet you undeniably want them all to be okay by the end and to know that they found happiness.
I’m sure for people familiar with the rock bands of the era there are things to pick up on and to know if real events inspired some of the ones in the book, but I honestly have no clue. And I did not need to know anything about the era to enjoy the story, the characters, and the experience of reading the book. I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading, and if you are reading this, then I assume you do.
Rating: 9 out of 10