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Quick Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

dirtylittlesecret Jennifer Echols’ YA books are a slightly guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ve been looking forward to her latest, Dirty Little Secret.* I read it last night, and wanted to stick up a short review today. So, pros and cons.

– Loved Bailey and her voice. I connected with her instantly, despite the fact that we’re very different personalities
– Loved the complicated ways that families are shown here, and especially the way that this connects both Sam and Bailey
– Loved Bailey’s relationship with music; I’m not a musician particularly, so I can’t say how accurate it is, but it definitely felt more integral to her character than in some YA books, where music seems to function as “Oh, this character needs a hobby!”
– Liked the relationship between Sam and Bailey generally. It’s fairly quiet, but I did feel that they both genuinely cared about each other, despite their differences and misunderstandings. Also, I felt like Echols was very conscious of setting up tropes–the handsome devil–and also of subverting them, which is cool

– Wasn’t super wild about the way the book depicted Charlotte. Something about the description of her, plus the way that Bailey interacts with her grated on my nerves. Even the big resolution at the end made me side-eye a bit. I know we’re seeing her through Bailey’s eyes, but still.
– In general, I really really enjoyed the book, but it wasn’t my favorite Echols–that would probably be Such a Rush. I didn’t have quite the same emotional connection to Bailey that I have had to Echols’ other main characters

* Sidenote: I’m not a huge fan of this title, which sounds a lot more scandalous than the book actually is; also, I kind of get where they were going with it, in that Bailey is her family’s secret, but really she’s never shown as fulfilling that expectation.

(I’m not sure if this counts for the August TBR challenge or not…it was on my TBR, but not on my original list. I’ll probably go ahead and count it anyway.)

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

4 replies on “Quick Review: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols”

I just read and reviewed this one, I somehow missed your review first time round. I definitely wasn’t a fan of the title or the cover but loved the musical elements and how Echols lets her characters be flawed and doesn’t feel the need to completely ‘fix’ them.

Such a Rush is definitely still my favourite, but I want to check out more of her back catalogue.

Here’s my review: two girls, one suitcase

I agree with all your points! Going Too Far is probably my other favorite Echols book, though that’s more a fun light book than Such a Rush. Thanks for the comment!

[…] Books I do recommend: When I Find Her by Sara Polsky (upper middle-grade/YA) Some Kind of Happiness by Claire LeGrand (middle-grade) The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (YA) __________________ Previously on By Singing Light: “On the one hand lies darkness, and on the other only hope”: why I love Galadriel (2016) Patricia McKillip Reading Notes: The Book of Atrix Wolfe (2015) Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols (2013) […]

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