The best songs come from broken hearts.
Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band, and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennesee to Nowhere, Oklahoma. One fateful night, Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, and a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own.
Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?
In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice.
◆ A copy was provided by Little Brown for review ◆
Another fantastic book from Alecia Whitaker! I read and loved The Queen of Kentucky back when it came out in 2012. What I remember (and love best) about Whitaker's writing is that she writes about teen girls in the midst of forging their identities and struggling to come to terms with who they are, and she's done it again in Wildflower. And, once again, she had me feeling the feels. So much I don't want to write this review because I was so busy enjoying the novel I forgot to take notes on what I'm supposed to be writing about.
Bird's voice is light and youthful. From the first pages, it had me hooked. So bad that I noticed during on the of couple times I came out of my reading reverie that I hadn't heard my family members talking in the same room—loudly. Her youthfulness means that she has big dreams, which sets her up for the crash when she realizes they aren't as easy to obtain as she hoped. Like Ricki Jo from The Queen of Kentucky, she plunges forward without much thoughts to the consequences, choosing instead to live on the thread of hope that everything will come true only to despair when they don't. She's also prone to thinking that she doesn't know the best for her, which made me sad since she relies on other people so much, and not all of them want the best for her as a person. Sometimes, I just wanted to slap some sense into her, but most of all I wanted to hug her and tell her to take the time to slow down a little and think about what she really wants instead of what she thinks she wants.
Two things really brightened this novel for me (other than Bird herself): family and the country vibes. Frequent blog visitors know that I'm big on family and always appreciate a good novel that has a present family (that sticks around and doesn't fade into the background). Having lived on the road with her family for most of her life, Bird is very close to her family, and they're so strong and supportive. I'm half in love with them. (The other half is with Adam and yearning for him alongside Bird. I have to know what happens between them!!! And no, I'm not speaking up about this anymore because spoilers!) I also love a good Western setting, which is the number one reason I picked up this book!
If I have any complaints, it's that time tends to skip a little in this book. The story doesn't really spend much time exploring any one events or time in Bird's life; rather, the big picture comes together through all these snippets. But this is a minor complaint. I don't know much about a singer's life, being far removed from this scene, but I probably don't need to or want to know about all the in-betweens in Bird's life. That said, it is a little jarring, especially when combined with Bird's tendency to rush into things and think later.
After this book, I'll probably give most anything Alecia Whitaker publishes a try. I'll definitely be on the lookout for Wildflower book two! I'm both happy and sad for Bird's success, and I look forwarding to seeing where she goes and how she matures from here on out!
... for the feels