Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda KenneallyJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Gifted
AmazonThe Book Depository

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?

It’s the seventh Hundred Oaks contemporary. Let’s be real, you know what you’re getting at this point. In my opinion, Miranda Kenneally is one of the very best YA contemporary romance authors. I can count on her books to be sexy, sex-positive, humorous, voicetastic, and so perfectly shippy. While I can’t say that I think Jesse’s Girl is her best, it’s still really good, and I loved reading it.

The heroine Maya’s pretty cool. She’s a sort of punk rock chick with a lot of style and personality. Though she doesn’t enjoy country music, she’s not dismissive of talent, which I thought was really cool. When she gets the opportunity to shadow Jesse Scott, she’s really excited until he turns out to be a bit of an asshole. A lot of the time in these celebrity romance things, the heroine either has never heard of the guy or seriously hates him for some nebulous reason, but Jesse’s Girl felt a bit more realistic. She knew who Jesse was, but she wasn’t a huge fangirl or his enemy or anything.

Let’s be clear: I shipped the ship. Like, I was so there for all the kissing and the banter was on point and just yes to this. However, at the same time, my brain was taking note of how this book is instalove. It kind of works because they do have a really great connection. At the same time, though, it also sort of didn’t work for me because he IS famous and he HAS been burned before, but all of his reticence immediately goes out the window because she’s so perfect, and it was just too much.

It also felt a bit like the issues got resolved too easily. In one case, I did like that. There was a piece of information that Maya was keeping from Jesse, which, in most any other book, would have resulted in a huge fight to draw the book out, but they handled it really maturely. Still, it seemed to me that Maya got over her fear of singing solo really quickly. Jesse too bounced back pretty well from his issues. The romance took a bit of a backseat to character development in this one, which doesn’t usually happen in this series.

On the plus side, I loved that Maya wasn’t this innocent girl with a jaded celebrity. Maya’s not a virgin, and she’s really comfortable and in charge of what she wants from the physical side of the relationship. Also, View Spoiler » scene heyoooooo. Jesse was definitely a bit jaded, but he wasn’t a playboy or anything. Kenneally stepped away from a lot of the stereotypes, which made the girl meets celebrity romance feel a bit less overdone.

I’m still waiting for Kenneally to write an LGBT romance, and man do I want that so badly. Jesse’s Girl feels like a step in the right direction. There’s a gay couple and a potential gay ship in Jesse’s Girl. Now just give me a book about Dave and his next something and I will be SO THERE OH MY GOD. I’d really love to see more diversity in this series all around, but it feels like it is coming slowly. I’m not sure if I’d hold this book to such high standards if I didn’t love Kenneally’s books so much, but I do.

Jesse’s Girl isn’t my favorite Miranda Kenneally novel, but that’s a really high bar. All Kenneally novels have been so worth reading, and I know I’ll reread every single one of them time and again.

Favorite Quote:

“Anybody who puts how they appear to their friends and coworkers before the happiness of their kid doesn’t have their priorities straight.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif nashville sometimes i'd like to be that girl worth choosing

4 responses to “Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally”

  1. I’ve only read one Kenneally book, Racing Savannah, but I wasn’t madly in love with it. That said, I am always hearing wonderful things about this author, so I want to try out some of her other books, and truthfully this one seems pretty interesting. Thanks for the review.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Audio Review: Wallflower Gone Wild by Maya RodaleMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I really like Racing Savannah, but it has the worst love interest of the bunch. It’s worth giving another one a try. If you want something a bit heavier, Things I Can’t Forget is wonderful. Breathe, Annie, Breathe is my personal favorite, and you can’t go wrong starting at the beginning with Catching Jordan.

  2. I have not yet read any of Kennally’s books, but I do have Catching Jordan pretty high up on my wishlist. Perhaps that is a good place to start? It sounds like this is one to save and read if one does enjoy Kennally’s other novels 🙂 I did enjoy reading the review. Happy weekend 😀
    Mari – Escape In A Book recently posted…My pet peevs: The Storyspinner by Becky WallaceMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Catching Jordan is a fabulous place to start. I like all the Kenneally books, and I’m a big fan of reading in order. I’d just work through the books in publication order. Thank you for your lovely comment!

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