I loved Taylor Jenkins Reid’s previous release, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I loved Evelyn because it focused on a time period I’m fascinated by (old Hollywood), it had a great romance, and the twist caught me by surprise at the end. It just worked as a great novel. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a real chick-flick style page turner, but it also had a considerable amount of depth to the plot and its characters. I saw a lot of similar things I liked while reading Daisy Jones & The Six, but it didn’t quite hit the same marks as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
Daisy Jones & The Six are a fictional rock ‘n roll band from the 70’s. The Six began as their own band, but some collaboration with Daisy, sparked by their shared record label, catapulted the band and Daisy herself into true stardom. The book is in an interview style, taking place many years after the band broke up. Members of The Six, Daisy, their producers, managers, and a few other characters pop up here and there to tell the band’s story. Like any real band from this time period, everything is about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.
There was a lot I liked about Daisy Jones and the Six, but it wasn’t perfect. I had several people recommend the audio book over the physical copy because the audio book has a full cast narrating it. I imagine it would have been very immersive to have a different voice for each character, and it would have worked well with the interview style of the novel, but I had not trouble with the physical copy myself. Even without a full cast narrating it, I thought each character had unique voice and style of speaking. I did not have much trouble differentiating between them, and with such a large cast, that takes some real talent, especially when the whole book is essentially dialogue. I do wish that there was a little more orienting information or exposition throughout the novel. There was some at the start of each chapter but not much. I like having a clearer picture of each character and where they are. The characters do discuss what they looked like or the location they were at at the time, but I found myself missing a little more description.
Two areas in which I think this novel really excelled was with the characters and how the story was told. As I said before, the characters all felt very unique and were easy to tell apart just from their dialogue. I also liked that each character had their own motivation and backstory that made sense with their personality and the way they handled issues. I have read several nonfiction books about bands from the 60’s and 70’s, and I had to remind myself a few times that Daisy Jones and the Six weren’t a real band. The characters felt real, their band’s story felt real, and the time period itself could be easily felt and was a fairly accurate representation in my opinion.
What I liked even more was the structure of the plot. Since everything is told in an interview style, one character may retell an event one way, while another character has a completely different view of the event because of what they were feeling at the time, a perceived slight they felt someone did to them, or because they were dealing with something else entirely and barely remembered the event in question. I loved seeing the misunderstandings and differences in memory that the characters had. That not only felt realistic, but it also gave a lot more depth to the plot. Whose version of an event is to be believed? Is someone lying about an event to protect themselves or someone they care about? Is what really happened some combination of multiple characters’ views, or is no one correct at all? These questions rattled around in my head as I read, and it made the whole book more interesting. I loved reading between the lines.
I gave Daisy Jones and the Six four out of five stars. It was a very engaging read, and it was just a well written novel. There was an attempt at a twist near the end that echoed something from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I disliked it and didn’t think it made nearly as much of an impact as the twist in Evelyn, but as always, your mileage may vary.