I received this book for free from Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Practice Makes Perfect.
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?
A new Miranda Kenneally book is always cause for celebration. Since reading all 5 Hundred Oaks books last year, I’ve known I can count on her to bring the fluffy swoons and dynamic characters that instantly put a smile on my face. Such is the case again with Jesse’s Girl. Honestly, by this point, I can’t imagine Kenneally ever letting me down.
Jesse’s Girl is the first book in the Hundred Oaks series that is completely unrelated to sports – however, there’s another “hobby” to take its place: music. The main character, Maya (Sam Henry’s little sister), dreams of becoming a musician. She adores 80’s music and her whole identity is framed around that obsession. That’s how she ends up shadowing country music star Jesse Scott as a part of a career mentoring day. From there, sparks fly, and you can probably guess what’s going to happen.
Yeah, the premise and plot make this story pretty predictable – but it is no less enjoyable. I’ve always had a spot reserved in my heart for all these celebrity romance stories – particularly about musicians who fall in love with a “regular” girl, who they can be themselves around – away from all the pressures of being a celebrity. While I was reading, I reminisced about the Disney Channel(-esque) movies I loved like Starstruck, Camp Rock, and Another Cinderella Story. Qualitatively they may not be the best, but they call upon that teenage fantasy of falling in love with a celebrity – and I think that’s something a lot of us share.
Maya and Jesse instantly do have a connection, but since Maya was just cheated on and betrayed and Jesse has a lot of baggage of his own, it’s not like they’re full-on making out for all of the book. As they spend the career mentoring day together, they really get to know each other and manage to have fun in new ways. Despite the huge gap between their lives, they really understand each other and see how the other can still grow in certain ways. Their shared passion for music makes for some really dreamy and wonderful scenes. And, I mean, as far as celebrity love interests go, Jesse’s damn near perfect. Towards the end he really gave me some butterflies – and that’s exactly what I want when I’m reading contemporary romance.
All the necessary tropes that come with a celebrity romance are there: the paparazzi and tabloids following the couple around, Jesse’s distrust that Maya is using him to advance her own career, Maya’s distrust that Jesse could never fall for a regular girl – but it doesn’t feel nearly as melodramatic as I have experienced it before. As one can expect from Kenneally, the overall tone is light and happy – because, yeah, Maya and Jesse being together just feels good. He lets her see all the different sides of the music industry – which I loved as someone with a keen interest in music myself. She lets him experience “regular people” fun like he hasn’t been able to since his popularity exploded. There’s also super adorable family scenes – particularly seeing Sam Henry as the overprotective older brother – and a cute as hell LGBT side ship. All these things made it such an easygoing and entertaining read – so yeah, when I was sucked in, I couldn’t help but finish it all in one day.
In the long run, this won’t be my favorite Kenneally book, however, because I felt like there was much less character growth than in some of her other books. I mean tiny things were there: Maya getting over her stage fright, and Jesse deciding to take charge of his own life and not live to please others, but there was much less emphasis on those things. The romance was super adorbs, don’t get me wrong, but the characters didn’t manage to fully latch on to my heart.
Summing Up:Jesse’s Girl is a delightful addition to the Hundred Oaks series. There may not have been as much character growth or as many cameos as in some of the previous books, but celebrity romance (particularly with musicians) is my jam. Maya and Jesse have an instant connection and the amount of fun they have together makes this a perfect, relaxing read for the summer. It’s the kind of book that just makes your heart happy.
GIF it to me straight!
Recommended To:Fans of the celebrity romance trope 🙂
About Miranda Kenneally
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.
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