ARC Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Book cover for Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally.

I received this book from SOURCEBOOKS Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Jesse’s Girl (Hundred Oaks)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Stars: 4/5

Summary (from Goodreads): Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo? 

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Jesse’s Girl was very entertaining to read. It was very different from other books I’ve read. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book with such timbre! If you are a music lover, this book should be right up your alley!

The reader will find Jesse’s Girl to be very inspirational! The message weaved throughout the novel is to follow your dreams and not allow others to brainwash you. Another theme that is explored in this book is to never judge a book by it’s cover. Maya, the main character, learns this lesson all too well. I thought that this was interesting, because usually the whole “follow your dreams” message is pretty cheesy, but somehow, Miranda Kenneally made it work. Well done, Miranda!

I found that Jesse’s Girl had a couple of Taylor Swift references. Two of the chapters were named after T-Swizzle songs (I Knew You Were Trouble and Our Song). Also, the main characters go to a Maserati dealership. Any fan of Taylor’s will feel right at home here! (I know that I did!)  There was also a chapter called Story Of My Life, which I interpreted as a One Direction reference. Books are definitely more interesting when the author makes an effort at referencing popular culture. The reader can feel a stronger connection to the characters.

Notably, this book isn’t one of those “life is an easy walk in the park” type of book. Many things go wrong for Maya throughout this story! I won’t name them because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but it was more realistic than some other books I’ve read recently. I think the author did a superb job trying not to make this book unrealistic.

Finally, this book was very sweet. Maya has friends like Dave and Jesse that stick by her when times are rough. The message here is that friends are an integral and important component to our lives. Never take them for granted!

I personally thought that Jesse’s Girl was very enjoyable to read! It was an extremely realistic portrayal of teenage angst. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of YA!

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