Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Don’t Skip It Just Because You’re Not a Music Fan

Daisy Jones and the SixFiction – Literary
Released March 5, 2019
368 Pages
Bottom Line: Read it.
Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon
Source: Book of the Month (Ballantine Books)

Headline

I almost didn’t read Daisy Jones & the Six because I’m not that interested in music, but I couldn’t put it down and it will absolutely be one of my top books of 2019.

Plot Summary

Daisy Jones & the Six, a hot 1970’s rock n’ roll band, mysteriously broke up after a Chicago concert. This is the story of their rise and fall, told in an oral history format.

Why I Read It

I almost didn’t read it…because music isn’t really my thing. What a mistake that would’ve been! But, so many people I trust (Gilmore Guide to Books, Novel Visits, Annie Jones and Ashley Spivey) loved it that I decided to give it a shot. I also like the oral history format.

Major Themes

Music industry, love, addiction, creativity, group dynamics, life on the road.

What I Loved

  • I almost didn’t read this book because music is not my thing at all. But, Reid made the process of making music and the industry dynamics fascinating. In my opinion, the mark of a brilliant author is one who can make almost any topic exciting to the reader…whether or not the reader is interested in that topic (other examples for me are classical music in The Ensemble, rowing in The Boys in the Boat, and ice hockey in Beartown).
  • The book opens with a segment from an interview with Daisy’s biographer and I don’t think I’ve ever read another snippet that made a character come so alive. I texted a blogger friend right after reading it and said “I’m a goner.”
  • The oral history format made this book. It made the story seem incredibly fast-paced. There’s a quick ricochet between multiple perspectives of the same events that felt like watching a tennis match. And, it clearly illuminated how multiple people can have completely different interpretations of the same events.
  • I thought I knew where this story was headed. There was an easy and obvious reason for the band to break up, but Reid takes the more complicated path, making for a far richer story.
  • Daisy Jones & the Six is not, on the surface, a badass lady book, but that theme kept bubbling up for me in subtle ways. The women in the story (Daisy, Karen, and Camila) all showed immense strength in their own ways and I thought each was her own version of badass lady by the end of the story.
  • There are the rare books that burrow their way into your heart and Daisy Jones & the Six is one of those. The characters are all flawed (some more than others), but incredibly human and nuanced. Reid repeatedly comes up with perfect turns of phrase, and there is an immense rawness to the entire story.
  • I felt the whole range of emotions, which is another mark of a great book for me. I laughed, I felt like my heart was getting ripped out, and I cried.
  • Like many other readers have said, even though I knew it was fiction, Reid made all of it seem so real that I desperately wanted to hear their music, see that iconic album cover for Aurora, watch a video of Daisy and Billy singing together, etc.
  • I’ve only read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest two books (the other one is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo), but they both blew me away even though they couldn’t have been more different. She’s now an auto-buy author for me and I’d like to read some of her earlier work (ex: One True Loves and After I Do).

What I Didn’t Like

  • There was one thing about the ending that I thought was unnecessary and felt like the publisher tacked it on for drama’s sake. It didn’t take anything away from the story, but it didn’t add to it either.

A Defining Quote

Daisy doesn’t value anything that comes easy to her. Money, looks, even her voice. She wanted people to listen to her.

Good for People Who Like…

Oral histories, stories focusing on group dynamics, stories that hit all your emotions, rawness, the music industry (but, not a requirement!)

Other Books You May Like

Two other oral histories (nonfiction):
Live From New York: An Oral History of Saturday Night Live by James A. Miller and Tom Shales
These Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James A. Miller and Tom Shales

Another book about musical group dynamics:
The Ensemble by Aja Gabel (my review)

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17 Comments

  1. Shelleyrae wrote:

    I overlooked this for the same reason, maybe I should reconsider

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  2. I would have been tempted to pass this one by because I don’t gravitate towards 1970s settings or rock ‘n’ roll books, but your review plus a few other enthusiastic ones from readers I trust have convinced me to place a library hold on it.

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  3. Fantastic review, Sarah. You really hit all that made Daisy shine. This is one of those books that I keep wishing I hadn’t yet read, so I’d have it to look forward to. Like you, I can’t get these characters out of my head and that’s a good thing! I’m planning on revisiting the book in the summer when I’ll listen to it on audio. Definitely a top ten book for the year, maybe even THE top book.

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  4. I usually hate books about music, but I’m reconsidering this one because it’s been getting great reviews. I’m glad you liked it!

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  5. Gina wrote:

    I finished this book on an overseas flight home yesterday. Loved it! Came of age at that time and my first concert was The Rolling Stones at Soldier Field in Chicago. Captured the time and culture perfectly. Format was compelling. Agree with the tidbit at the end. Couldn’t put it down.

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  6. Sarah R wrote:

    I read in someone’s instagram post that Random House created a playlist inspired by the book on Spotify. I’m down to #8 on the library holds so hopefully it comes in soon! 🙂

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  7. One of my reading groups picked this last night for a future, hopefully soon, read! I love music, I have been in bands. Can’t wait to read it.

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  8. Tracy Ferrara wrote:

    I loved the book! And so excited that Reese Witherspoon bought the rights and is making a 13 episode series on Amazon. Can we start talking about casting!?

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  9. I’m over halfway through the audio of this and the production is fantastic but I’m not connecting with the book. Everyone else seems to love it, though, so I’m beginning to think I’m in a reading slump or something.

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  10. I just started it on audio today. So far so good, but there are a lot of characters to track, and I get a little lost if I happen to miss the note about who is who. But the actors are good–I like Jennifer Beals as Daisy Jones.

    I also squeezed in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo over the weekend. Wow–why did I wait on that one?! I LOVED it.

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  11. Regina OLeary wrote:

    I loved The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo and loved it.
    But even that had me hesitant to read this one. Sarah because you talked about it in last weeks newsletter… I thought here goes.
    So glad I listened to this book… It seemed so real … I kept thinking can it really be fiction. It’s exactly how I always that life in a band in the 70’s was like.
    Loved it

    Posted 3.19.19 Reply
  12. Brooke wrote:

    So curious about what you didn’t care for in the end! Do tell!

    Posted 3.26.19 Reply
  13. The publisher must have gotten the marketing of this book just right for me, because I’ve been pretty sure it would be a book bloggers I follow would love since it first crossed my radar. That said, I’ve not been certain if I wanted to pick it up myself, even though I also find the format appealing. Your review definitely makes me think I should pick it up. All the things you loved about are things that I think would make it work for me as well 🙂

    Posted 3.31.19 Reply
    • Sarah Dickinson wrote:

      I was skeptical for sure, but so glad I picked it up! I’m recommending it right and left in real life!

      Posted 4.6.19 Reply
  14. Susan wrote:

    I couldn’t stand it. I finished it – and still didn’t get why people LOVED it.
    I found it neither compelling or interesting. It was fast paced. I need to at least like the characters in a book and these characters seemed so self-involved and selfish. If you need to like your characters, then I recommend you skip it.

    Posted 12.12.19 Reply

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