By: Regan Reid
Sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll is given a new meaning in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s New York Times bestseller, Daisy Jones and The Six. This 300-page novel is packed with as much drama and excitement as you would expect from a ‘70s rock band as they become world renown. This paired with the connection between the two lead singers that can only be described as electric, Reid pulls you in to experience life at a time where almost anything goes.
Daisy Jones is a sight to be seen and a voice to be heard as she hits the streets of Los Angeles in the late ‘60s. Her take-it-or-leave-it attitude, and movie star beauty leaves her audience as awed as they are envious, but behind the media, her addiction to drugs creates as many issues as she is trying to forget. Nevertheless, her passion and stubbornness drive her to a success outside the reaches of society’s opinion.
“But Daisy, from the beginning, was sort of outside all of that. She was just sort of ‘Take me or leave me’.”
– Karen Sirko
A recovering addict himself, Billy Dunne is the denim-on-denim wearing rock star you have seen in every old-timer photo from the era of cocaine and classic rock. He built The Six up from his mom’s garage and turned them into one of the biggest rock bands that the world has ever seen. Billy Dunne is the force behind The Six’s success, until his record label suggests a collaboration with Daisy Jones. That’s when his career really gets started.
“I could feel my microphone vibrating as they screamed and stomped their feet and I thought, Holy shit, we’re rock stars.”
– Billy Dunne
Reid wrote the novel as individual interviews combined into a seamless story that follows Daisy Jones and The Six through their rise and fall from fame. This unusual writing style creates the effect of the characters speaking directly to you, as though you are the omniscient narrator of a story with no idea of what will come next. She puts emphasis on many social issues, including addiction and how it can give rise to unwanted, lifelong repercussions, even when the addiction itself has been beaten. She also highlights the endeavours of women in a man’s world, but her strong female characters in leading roles prove their place among the band. These serious themes are brought into light by powerful lines that lodged themselves into my mind and left me thinking about them for days following.
“When someone’s presence gives you energy, when it riles up something in you – the way Daisy did for me – you can turn that energy into lust or love or hate.
I felt most comfortable hating her. It was my only choice.”
– Billy Dunne
I borrowed this book from my sister as an easy read to pass the time and it held up to those expectations. I have not read many books set in this era and her fast paced, interview style occasionally made it difficult to picture the setting. Her characterization, however, was a strength as the readers have both the internal view of what the characters thought about themselves and the external view from others. This makes you feel as though you can understand each and every one of them, even when they have conflicting views. It is because of this that Reid makes it easy to get sucked into the storyline and come back to reality three hours later.
My rating: 4/5 stars
Banner image courtesy of The Wanderer Online Visual Editor Gracie Safranovich.