In this blog post, we’re going to dive into a review of the international bestseller, Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
This story is an oral retelling of a band’s epic rise and tragic fall, inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Using a documentary-style format, Taylor Jenkins Reid offers a behind-the-scenes look at producing a hit rock ‘n’ roll album in the 1970s. Like Evelyn Hugo’s story, we learn about the price of fame and glory.
I re-read Daisy Jones & the Six for this review and am pleased to say my admiration for this story has not changed. Taylor Jenkins Reid (TJR) continues to be one of my favorite auto-buy authors.
Daisy Jones & the Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PUB DATE: March 15, 2019
TWs: drug abuse, abortion
Using oral documentary style, Taylor Jenkins Reid offers a behind-the-scenes look at producing a hit rock ‘n’ roll album in the 1970s. Inspired by Fleetwood Mac.
About the book
Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.
One of my favorite things about TJR’s characters is how flawed and authentic they are. If you want perfect, one-dimensional characters, then she is not the author for you.
For me, one of the signs of excellent characterization is when I can empathize with the bad guy or the broken character that everyone typically dislikes.
In the beginning, I wasn’t very fond of Daisy Jones. She came off as a bratty, immature girl who just always wanted her way. But as I followed her story into adulthood, I saw other aspects of her personality that humanized her and made it almost effortless for me to like her.
There were times when I wanted to slap some sense into her, but there were other moments when I just wanted to hug her. In short, I really enjoyed getting to know her story.
If you have any issues with infidelity, you might struggle to like Billy Dunne’s character. He has a lot of inner demons that he fights with, but he quickly becomes an endearing person who is easy to relate to.
His show counterpart, however, was a bit harder to sympathize with because of the amplified portrayal of his infidelity. And unlike in the book, his decision to do the right thing wasn’t an active choice.
From band members to ex-lovers and friends, this novel features many supporting characters. I enjoyed learning about each one and their contribution to the main storyline.
If you’re interested in how their relationships develop throughout the story, take a look at my character guide for Daisy Jones & the Six.
What made me fall in love with TJR as an author is her writing. The wisdom she hides in her words, the types of characters she creates, and her knack for weaving together different perspectives to give you the full story.
During some scenes, she jumps between different places and events that are happening at the same time. Now, if you’re the type to shy away from this style, I encourage you to give her writing a shot. She writes these transitions so engaging that you’ll find it hard to imagine the story being told any other way.
One of the most interesting things you notice with all the characters is how each person recalls the same event differently from their own lens of self-importance or hurt. Whose version is correct? Who is simply telling the truth they wish was true and not what happened? How reliable are their recollections when everyone was so intoxicated with drugs? I liked this extra nuanced layer that kept the story interesting.
On matters both big and small, sometimes accounts of the same event differ. The truth often lies, unclaimed, in the middle. ~ Taylor Jenkins Reid (author’s note)
The oral transcription/documentary style was definitely a first for me, but it worked really well for the story. I was initially worried because I had never tried this kind of writing before, but I should have known better than to doubt TJR’s writing skills.
Fun fact: the lyrics used in all the songs are something the author wrote herself! In the back of the book, she states that this took her a long time to get right, but you can tell it was worth it.
The book is divided into sections, each highlighting a different part of the story. It covers Daisy Jones’ rise with her first solo album, the conception of the Six and their subsequent tours, and the day when everything fell apart.
There were moments when the plot became a bit confusing to follow, but I realized not remembering every little detail wasn’t necessary for the full enjoyment of the story.
Daisy Jones & the Six was adapted for television with good reason. It is a fun, engaging, and heartfelt story that I plan to revisit in the future.
If you enjoy reading about celebrities’ personal lives and flawed yet realistic characters, you should definitely give this book a try.
Is it worth reading Daisy Jones and the Six?
In short, yes! Taylor Jenkins Reid has never disappointed with her writing style and raw, authentic characters.
So, if you’re looking for an engaging and exciting story about a rock band in the 1970s, then definitely give this one a try.
Is Daisy Jones and the Six based on Fleetwood Mac?
In several interviews, Taylor Jenkins Reid has said that the story is based loosely on Fleetwood Mac, with the central romance between Daisy and Billy being inspired by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, respectively.
For more details on which real life characters inspired the band members, check out this article by Popsugar.
Is Daisy Jones and the Six LGBTQ?
The book does have one gay character, Rod Reyes, who is the band’s manager. This is revealed in the last chapter when we catch up with what has happened to everyone since the band’s break up.
If you’re looking for a book with a bit more LGBTQ representation, then check out the author’s other infamous bestseller – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
Is Daisy Jones and the Six spicy?
No, it’s not. The intimacy is more implied, and there are sexual references, but there are no explicit sex scenes.
Can a young adult or teenager read Daisy Jones and the Six?
I would advise not to because there are heavy topics mentioned, like drug abuse, abortion, and the use of the F word.
Enjoyed this review? Then, be sure to add ‘Daisy Jones & the Six’ to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!