Broken and Beautiful: “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“We love broken, beautiful people. And it doesn’t get much more obviously broken and more classically beautiful than Daisy Jones.”

Daisy Jones & The Six

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 and 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. (Goodreads)

“No matter who you choose to go down the road with, you’re gonna get hurt. That’s just the nature of caring about someone. No matter who you love, they will break your heart along the way.”

To be honest the first 80% of this was almost boring for me. But I’m glad I stuck with it because the last 20% is the bomb.

These are my thoughts up till 80% of the book: I thought the interview transcript format did not really help with the narrative. I was also expecting historical fiction but didn’t get a well-realized depiction of the time period, just the flimsy “sex, drugs and rock n’ roll 70s.” The whole thing is practically zoomed in on the characters’ lives, especially Billy and Daisy.

“You can’t control another person. It doesn’t matter how much you love them. You can’t love someone back to health and you can’t hate someone back to health and no matter how right you are about something, it doesn’t mean they will change their mind.”

I didn’t like Billy or Daisy, (every one of the band members to be honest but those two are the worst)— they come across as entirely self-centered and for me being a “creative” does not excuse anyone from behaving like a complete a-hole. Eventually I got tired of reading about how beautiful and talented Daisy is. I just couldn’t connect with her. I think I only liked Karen and Graham, and that’s why what happened to them in the end was more heartbreaking for me.

There were a lot of themes that felt problematic (drug abuse, alcohol, the cheating, trust issues, the marriage and domestic issues) because they were not properly addressed. Everything is just sort of romanticized without actually being discussed.

And for the 20% left: TEARS IN MY EYES AND LITTLE CRACKS IN MY HEART

“I wish someone had told me that love isn’t torture. Because I thought love was this thing that was supposed to tear you in two and leave you heartbroken and make your heart race in the worst way. I thought love was bombs and tears and blood. […] I thought love was war. I didn’t know it was supposed to… I didn’t know it was supposed to be peace.”

It was rewarding to see Daisy Jones finally turning around and acknowledging she had a serious drug addiction problem. I finally saw the beautifully complex marriage of Billy and Camila. I realized I loved Camila, she is so smart and mature and in control of her marriage. It was beautiful how things got wrapped up in the end. I also applaud the empowering feminist themes throughout the book: about gender equality, self-confidence, self-possession, and the pro-choice argument. I can forgive the fact that all of these were squeezed into the last few pages.

“[…] after a while you realize that the drugs are what are making your life untenable, they are actually what are heightening every emotion you have. It’s making your heartbreak harder, your good times higher. So coming down really does start to feel like rediscovering sanity. And when you rediscover your sanity, it’s only a matter of time before you start to get an inkling of why you wanted to escape it in the first place.”

Lastly, about the oral history format—I still think it did not help with the narrative. ✌🏻 I’ve read other books with the same format and one of my favorites is Rant by Chuck Palahniuk. I just couldn’t get into this one as fast. There’s something in the way it is written that I now realize may have been better experienced in audiobook. That being said, I can’t wait for the TV series adaptation. I hope all those beautiful songs would come to life someday. One thing I really enjoyed in the novel is how the characters communicated through their songs.

Let me leave you with my favorite song from the fictional album. I hope you like it too and if you’ve read the book, please share your favorite songs or lyrics in the comments as well! 💕

YOUNG STARS

A curse, a cross ⁣

Costing me all costs ⁣

Knotting me up in all of your knots ⁣

An ache, a prayer ⁣

Worn from wear ⁣

Daring what you do not dare ⁣

I believe you can break me ⁣

But I’m saved for the one who saved me ⁣

We only look like young stars ⁣

Because you can’t see old scars ⁣

Tender in the places you touch ⁣

I’d offer you everything but I don’t have much ⁣

Tell you the truth just to watch you blush ⁣

You can’t handle the hit so I hold the punch ⁣

I believe you can break me ⁣

But I’m saved for the one who saved me ⁣

We only look like young stars ⁣

Because you can’t see old scars ⁣

You won’t give me a reason to wait ⁣

And I’m starting to feel a little proud ⁣

I’m searching for somebody lost ⁣

When you’ve already been found ⁣

You’re waiting for the right mistake ⁣

But I’m not coming around⁣

You’re waiting for a quiet day ⁣

But the world is just too loud ⁣

I believe you can break me ⁣

But I’m saved for the one who saved me ⁣

We only look like young stars ⁣

Because you can’t see old scars

Overall Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and two other novels. She lives in Los Angeles. You can follow her on Instagram and Goodreads and Twitter @tjenkinsreid.

Book Details

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Ballantine Books
ISBN 1524798622 (ISBN13: 9781524798628)
Edition language: English
Genres: Historical | Fiction | Audiobook

Buy Links

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY | ABEBOOKS | BOOK DEPOSITORY | ALIBRIS | INDIGO | BETTER WORLD BOOKS | INDIEBOUND

23 thoughts on “Broken and Beautiful: “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. I’m almost afraid to read this because I started out in the music biz as a young teen in the early ’70s, so I’m going to be really picky about the setting and the circumstances in this story. Ha ha. Do you know if the author was in the rock scene at all? Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 👍✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah maybe stay away then. haha. I also wanted to see and feel more of the era but it mostly stayed focused on the characters. I didn’t catch in the author’s notes if she was in the rock scene. I do know she has a film writing/film production background.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great review. Have heard so much about this book, its on my TBR list but havent decided if I really want to read it…..still undecided but good to read your review. Might help me to decide. I remember the 70s but was busy raising my family.

    Liked by 1 person

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