By: Melanie | July 3, 2013 | (31) Comments

Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Pages: 288
Source: Received in exchange for honest review

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

If I roll my eyes another time, they will fall out of their sockets. What disappointed me ultimately was one major aspect, the artificiality and ludicrousness of this novel. With the minor frustration on Sam and Bailey, I pretty much pulled my hair bald after reading- thankfully I still had some sanity left inside me to not actually do that- also, the musical addition and countrified-ness livened this book to a larger measure. Utterly forgettable and spurious, Dirty Little Secret did not deliver no matter how much I lowered my expectations. For my first Jennifer Echols book, first impressions aren’t looking too good.

One tragic day changed everything. Bailey and her younger sister, Julie have been playing the fiddle as a duet for several years. Together. Never apart. Yet when a music company hands Julie a contract and also persuading Bailey along the way to disappear from social media, their parents can do nothing but comply. After all, getting one member of the family successful and famous is good enough, right? Now, Bailey, an outcast to her parents and sister, she lives with her grandfather performing gigs at the mall. All until she met Sam when her heart became instant lovey and all lovey dovey.

I am no person to want to punch someone in literal sense, but after reading Dirty Little Secret, I want to throw Sam and Bailey in a boxing match and knock ’em senseless. Bailey could have been an appreciable character if it weren’t for her spoilt and ill mannerisms along with crazy ignorance. Practically everything about her attitude came out as disconnected and as relatable as a speck of dust. Moreover, Bailey was pretty much too perfect to be true. If she was pitch perfect, why would her parents ignore that? Are her parents as stupid as donkeys? Ugh.

Sam is no better, if not worse. Here’s a few problems that made me almost get a bruise after banging my head against the wall constantly:
Manipulative. Sam manipulates people way too much. He freaking tells Bailey to perform in just one gig and no more, then the next time he says the same thing. This leads me to my next point.
Goal driven. Sam will do anything in or even out of his reach to achieve a goal. In this case, play for a record company. He is so convinced that Bailey is the key to success he drags her along. Just to dissuade you a little more, here’s another infuriating issue.
Liar. He’s a bloody liar. He lied about not being a liar. Lied by being a sweetheart, even though some things were so obvious to the reader, Bailey acted all oblivious and brain dead. Therefore, the protagonist and antagonist of Dirty Little Secret can be only summed up as fake and heartbreaking. In the literal sense of tearing up my heart so I have no supply of blood, hence killing myself.

The romance, I shall just leave as this. Cold and hot, never consistent and the title should be changed to Flirty Little Bastards because of this.

Okay, children. One last little qualm. The logic and research. Firstly, there is no logic in the plot of reasoning in Bailey’s brain. The plot holes here were surprising and jarring, nothing really was like one and one equals two. More like negative sixteen. Yeah, that’s ridiculous the idea was. Secondly, the research bothered me a tad. While I adored the music addition to Dirty Little Secret, near the beginning I was pondering on and on over this fact as a pianist myself: There are no such things as major fourths, only perfect fourths.

No matter how much I wanted myself to love this countrified novel, my low expectations were not met. Majority of this novel frustrated me and it’s a miracle I did not DNF it.

Thank you MTV Books for the review copy!
(ACTUAL: 1.5)

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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31 Responses to Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols (ARC)

  1. Omg, HAHAHAHA! Flirty Little Bastards is a great tile for a book that sounds this crappy. Sam is exactly what I don’t want in my books and Bailey sounds easy to manipulate and awfully oblivious. Don’t let me get started one the plot! LAAAME. Fabulous review, Melanie

  2. sshah605 says:

    Damn! I was looking forward to reading this but now that I know its not that good, I won’t be reading it! Thanks for saving me from wasting my time and Money on this one!

  3. Book Blather says:

    Sorry this was such a disappointment – if you want to read a great Jennifer Echols book go back to ‘Going Too Far’ and ‘Forget You’. I liked those more than her recent books. This novel makes me think of Paradise by Jill S Alexander, which was beautifully written if not a ‘happy’ book.

  4. Melody says:

    I wanted to read this book so badly, but now thanks to you I changed my mind. Thank you very much for saving me life from a bad book! 🙂

  5. Oh no! I’ve heard so much about this novel and Echols, but I don’t think this would work for me at all! In fact, I know it wouldn’t. If I find ALL the important characters unlikeable, the book doesn’t stand a chance.

    And careful! Too much eye rolling can be quite dangerous. :))
    Great review!

  6. O-kay, so I guess I might not read this one… 🙂

  7. Yikes, you really didn’t like this.
    I’m reviewing it on Monday. I did like it overall. I figured Sam would be controversial but for some reason he didn’t bother me that much. I mean, he was manipulative, but Bailey was also doing this whole lying and hiding thing that her parents cooked up — that made no sense to me at all. I thought her family was just as manipulative in a sense….

  8. Kezia D says:

    I could have liked this book more if the love interest had been more likable… And what frustrated me even more is that Bailey doesn’t give a damn although Sam literally uses her… This book falls into meh category for me. :/ Awesome review Mel! 😀

  9. Jasprit says:

    I had a really hard time with this book too Melanie, I think I just couldn’t connect with Sam or Bailey and so I didn’t really care what happened to them. Bailey’s situation I really found absurd at times, she could have helped herself and had a good time if she wanted to and they way things wrapped up at the end wasn’t my thing at all. Thanks for the honest review Melanie, I hope your next read ends up being a lot more enjoyable! 🙂

  10. Oh gosh, this sounds SO frustrating. It was never really going to be my thing anyway, but all these negative reviews recently are all I need to know. I’ll definitely skip this one. There’s very little chance that I’ll enjoy characters like this, too. Sorry it was such a disappointment for you, Mel, but thanks for the helpful review!

  11. Giselle says:

    Blaaaah! Haha as relatable as a speck of dust. I guess I did the right thing to put this one off, huh? I started it and i couldn’t get into it at all. I guess I don’t like dust much, either. I haven’t been hearing many good things about this one overall, too, so it seems like it’s a fail! Boo! Both Sam and Bailey sound like a bore to me, and will probably annoy me to no end, anyways. Thanks for making sure I never re-pick this one up >.<

  12. I seem to have heard nothing good about this one. It makes me sad because I have been wanting to get into an Echols book because people seem to generally love her. I guess this one just isn’t the place to start with her, hey? I think I will get going on her work with Such A Rush, people seem to have loved that one. I hope your next read is a much better one.

  13. Faye M. says:

    I was actually considering this one. I hate encountering plot holes. One of my detested things in YA books. Thanks for taking one for the team, Melanie! I’m never touching this now 🙂

    Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews

  14. Jessi (Geo) says:

    Egads. I wouldn’t have looked at this twice to begin with, but I’ll definitely steer way clear of it now! Sorry it was terrible for you darling. (Flirty little bastards, lmao!)

  15. Najwa Shufia says:

    The cover is attracting, but the story is disappointing, isn’t it? Well, then I won’t pick this

  16. Ariel Smith says:

    Dangg. You really disliked it that much? Well I’m not sure I want to read it anymore! I was kinda interested at first but I think I’m changing my mind now. Don’t want to read a story that could potentially be called “Flirty Little Bastards’! xD

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