Book: Jesse’s Girl, Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks series #6
Publisher: Sourcebook Fire
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Miranda Kenneally is one of my favourite contemporary authors, and I’m always excited when a new book of hers comes out as I know I’m going to get a novel with a great independent protagonist who has to overcome difficulties in her life and grow as a person, and we also get a super sweet romance thrown in too.
This book, just like the others in this series, is a great example of what a great contemporary novel should be. This book features Maya. She’s the younger sister of Sam Henry (for those who don’t know, Sam was one of the main characters in a previous book). She’s a young musician with dreams of becoming a famous rock star. Unlike most singers who do covers of the latest pop songs, Maya’s obsessed with the eighties and loves Queen, Bon Jovi and Madonna. When her school does their annual tradition of allowing seniors to shadow someone in their preferred profession for a day, Maya gets the chance of a lifetime when she shadows current teen idol Jesse Scott.
The romance doesn’t start straight away, which I thought was great. Jesse is nineteen and has been a famous country singer for the past eight years, after winning a Tennessee talent show. He and Maya don’t hit it off immediately as Jesse thought Maya was just after some singing lessons and Maya thought he was really rude. You can’t help but laugh out loud at their arguments. However, as they spend more time together, they help each other break down their walls and fears.
Maya is one girl you don’t want to mess with, and I loved how unique she was, from her music taste to her wardrobe. She’s also incredibly independent, wanting to achieve her dreams on her own. The words “give up” are not in this girl’s vocabulary. I just loved that about her. When other people would throw in the towel when things gets tough, Maya just picks it back up and tries again. Coming from a sport-obsessed family, Maya stands out as the musician, but that doesn’t stop her from doing what she loves. And she’s really lucky to have an amazingly supportive family, standing by her no matter what.
Jesse is the opposite in terms of support. Due to his fame, many people only want to use him to get record deals or meet other celebrities, and after someone he trusted betrayed him, he has a hard time opening up to anybody and only assuming the worst. However he is still a super sweet guy and you can’t help but feel bad for the hardships he’s gone through.
During their day together, Maya and Jesse bring out the best in each other. They match together well. Jesse helps Maya, who has a fear of singing solo, get over her fear and realise that she doesn’t need backup or a band because she’s talented enough to make it on her own. And Maya helps Jesse learn to open up and trust more people. Their romance was slow-going but totally worth it in the end.
I also loved that Sam and Jordan had such big roles in this book, as they’re a much loved couple in this series and their appearance always brought a smile to my face.
I would recommend this book to lovers of the Hundred Oaks series, as it is a worth-while addition to the series. You can read them in any order (as long as you don’t mind spoilers for previous couples) or just read one or two. Anyone who loves contemporary books is also going to enjoy this book.