Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

A book that has been on my bookshelf a long time, I am glad I finally got around to reading it because I enjoyed it just as much as I thought I would based on all the praise this one has out there. Daisy Jones & the Six hooked me in pretty much in the first ten pages and I powered through it.

“Back then I thought music was just about music… But music is never about music.”

Daisy Jones & the Six essentially follows the story of a the band by the same name, how they came together, and how they broke apart. Told through a series of interweaving interviews, it reads a bit like a documentary, and I could so easily imagine each character sitting in a chair sharing their side of the story. We get the perspective of not just the band members, but their families, their friends, colleagues and more, which helps to build a story that goes from their childhoods, to later years and all the ups and downs that happened on the way.

“You have these lines you won’t cross. But then you cross them. And suddenly you possess the very dangerous information that you can break the rule and the world won’t instantly come to an end. You’ve taken a big, black, bold line and you’ve made it a little bit gray. And now every time you cross it again, it just gets grayer and grayer until one day you look around and you think, There was a line here once, I think.”

Set in the 60’s and onwards in LA, the backdrop is just as interesting as the characters, filled with wild parties, copious drugs, and rising fame, it completely immerses you in the world of rock stars back in the day. We also tackle a lot of issues that you can imagine popping up in this kind of environment, drugs and addiction, sex scandals and cheating, bitter rivalries and secret relationships, to name a few. Each is explored in a multifaceted way, both from opposing perspectives, but also from roots, to middle to aftermath which I found really enjoyable. We didn’t just see characters addicted to drugs, but how they wound up there, the ways it effected those around them, and how it played out. This varied exploration was something I really enjoyed about the novel, and although there was a lot going on, the succinctness in the style that came from the interview format allowed it to be easily digestible and not too heavy.

“We love broken, beautiful people. And it doesn’t get much more obviously broken and more classically beautiful than Daisy Jones.”

Each character in the novel is flawed and that brings such a raw and addictive feeling to this novel. We see these people make a few good decisions for a whole pile of bad ones. We see them change and grow as the novel goes on and despite the hardships they face. We see them love each other, hate each other and lose and gain respect for one another. Whilst not a love story, we get our fair share of romance as well as the bonds of family, friends and just being on the same crazy journey together. I loved how all the characters worked together and that there was a bit of every type or personality in the crew which made for an interesting read.

“It hurts to care about someone more than they care about themselves. I can tell that story from both sides.”

Overarching throughout this entire novel though is the music and the love of rock and roll that just seeps through the pages. The passion, heartache and vulnerability that goes into these songs written and performed throughout the book give the novel such raw and realistic feeling to it. We can all I’m sure relate to that feeling of a song or a band that you just love, that really speaks to you and gets you screaming, crying, singing or dancing. In that way Daisy Jones & the Six felt really easy to be pulled into the band and experiencing the music right along with them. I almost wish the author had the songs made as well so I could listen to them on repeat!

“It’s like some of us are chasing after our nightmares the way other people chase dreams.”

This is definitely one that I highly recommend and will be reading again. The unique format and interesting characters combined with a plot of a band breaking up and all the juiciness that comes with a peak inside the rock and roll culture creates a story that just feels like you’re not even reading, you’re just experiencing. The people and the music felt real and for me that is a novel that is a hell of a read.

“If she knew how often I was thinking about her, she wouldn’t feel lonely.”

I read this for my 52 Book Club Reading Challenge prompt “a selfish character”. You can check out my progress here.

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