Title: Jesse’s Girl
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: July 7, 2015
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)
The book description from Goodreads:
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.
But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
Kenneally is one of those authors that I can depend on. I know when I read one of her books, I’ll end up happy. I know my heart might get twisted around a bit during the process, but by the end of the book, there will be a smile on my face. Jesse’s Girl did just that.
One thing I love about the Hundred Oaks series is that, although each book can stand on its own, they are all connected in some way. Favorite characters pop up from time to time, giving me a glimpse into their lives beyond the confines of their book. A couple characters appear in this book and I couldn’t help but smile the first time they showed up.
Beyond that, Kenneally has a way of making me fall in love with her characters from the beginning. Each character is different. I love that Kenneally has created so many unique characters and they are people I could easily find in the real world. Maya has dreams, yet doubts herself and chooses the stability of not jumping into her fears. But Jesse challenges her to jump. He forces her to examine if she’s actually happy with her life if she’s not taking risks that could make her dreams possible. I think that’s a common problem, not just among teens, but among anyone.
Jesse puts on an air of confidence, but Maya lets him take his wall down and actually be that worried, hurt teen. He has perfected an image that keeps him safe. When Maya calls him out on it, he lets her see the person behind the wall. She lets him know that the person he hides is actually good enough for the world, and that he shouldn’t have to hide it.
My only complaint is the timeline in which the story takes place. While I understand that there is only so much story an author can fit into a book, I wish the relationship between Jesse and Maya developed a little bit more before their feelings for each other got to be so great. I believe that people can certainly feel and recognize chemistry immediately, but I’m not sure I believe it can develop into more in a short amount of time.
If you’ve loved any of Kenneally’s other books, you’ll definitely want to read this one. It will take you on a lovely rollercoaster of emotions. Like a rollercoaster, you’ll start the book feeling happy and yet nervous because you know the twists are coming. When you finally start to roll and turn and curve, your stomach will be in your throat. When you reach the end, all the twists will have been worth it and you’ll want to ride the coaster again.