For her senior year shadow day (career day), musician Maya Henry gets to shadow country teen heartthrob Jesse Scott, winner of three Grammy’s. For a girl who loves eighties rock and plays a killer guitar, a country boy singer with an attitude is pretty far from her goals, and since Maya just lost her kind-of boyfriend, her band, and her dreams of winning a nationwide music competition, she’s reluctant to try anything with her broken heart. Jesse too is hesitant to make a friend because as a star, most girls try to take advantage of his fame that has resulted in embarrassing situations in the past. However, despite their misgivings, they discover their make each other better. A reluctant friendship turns into best friends and more until neither Jesse nor Maya really remember what life felt like without the other.
When Taylor Lukens makes one mistake that gets her kicked out of her private school and forced to go to the local high school, everything she’s worked for has been destroyed. She was on track to be valedictorian, soccer team captain, president of the debate team…but when she’s accused of taking drugs, not only her reputation is ruined but also that of her senator father who is running for re-election. As Taylor faces pressure at her new school, she also feels like her family is against her. The only one she feels like she might be able to trust is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra, but he’s also betrayed her in the past…
One thing I love about Miranda Kenneally’s books is that she writes about something she’s learned about life so that teens can learn from it and try to apply it to their own lives. Make sure you read her acknowledgements. They show you the writer behind the page, and one that has hopes and dreams and ups and downs as an adult that is very relateable as a teen. So often, I think teens feel that adults have everything figured out at least with their identities and goals, but often it takes a lifetime to understand. Jesse’s Girl was one of my favorite Miranda Kenneally books, possibly due to the author’s past desire to be a musician. The reader can really pick up on the passion for music.
Note: Sexual situations, language, drug abuse