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Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks) Paperback – July 7, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Seventeen-year-old Maya was just voted out of her band and dumped by the guy she was sort of dating. Since she quit her school's choir and is phobic about solo performances, the teen no longer has an outlet to perform the music she loves. To add to her misery, Career Shadow Day is coming up and Maya is paired with her high school principal's nephew and Nashville's teen country music star, Jesse Scott. Despite Maya's lack of interest in country music, Maya respects Jesse's talent and is eager to learn from him. However, her hopes quickly disappear when Jesse treats her like an annoying groupie. Reluctantly, the pair agree to Shadow Day, which turns out to be an adventurous departure from their prescribed schedule. Jesse and Maya are surprised by the potential for a friendship as they share their dreams, fears, and past heartbreaks. The romantic attraction is palpable but is clouded by their insecurities and different lifestyles. They both are at a crossroads in their lives, and their struggles prove to connect them in surprising ways. A few frank sexual comments keep this squarely in high school collections. Maya's internal monologue is often pedestrian and the characters are stock. But the plot is so comfortingly predictable that readers will race to the end to devour every bit of the delicious fairy tale romance. VERDICT A light summer read for romance fans.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"A sweet love story and an inspiring heroine who will push you to follow your own dreams. JESSE'S GIRL arrives just in time to make the perfect summer read. " - Examiner.com
"An absorbing story...[Kenneally] creates two characters who come across as real individuals...Highly enjoyable." - Kirkus
"Jesse's Girl is the perfect summer novel hitting all the right notes. Add this to your TBR pile - right near the top!" - YA Book Nerd
"Few YA authors write contemporary romance like Miranda Kenneally. Her Hundred Oaks series... are full of wonderfully heartfelt stories of young love. " - Paste Magazine
"Kenneally branches out with this book while keeping all the elements readers have come to love about her books: friendship, family life, romance, strong female characters, and a glimpse at past characters... Jesse's Girl is the perfect summer novel hitting all the right notes." - VOYA magazine
"Kenneally's story about following one's dreams inspires as it entertains." - Publishers Weekly
"A light summer read for romance fans." - School Library Journal
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If you haven't read any of Kenneally's books, do yourself a favor, and order this. If you have, this is just as good as the others, maybe more so...but perhaps that's only because I love music so much.
Jesse’s Girl is about Maya Henry (if you read Catching Jordan there is a reason the name seems familiar) a punk rock girl in a country world. Maya has dreams of being a famous punk rocker someday but those are few and far between in her hometown in Tennessee. When Maya is given the chance to shadow Jesse Scott, country music God, for one day she feels like this is het chance to see how the business works. Too bad Jesse doesn’t trust anyone, as they are all looking for something, and makes that very clear to Maya off the bat. Even with their differences they two spend a day together that changes them both in a way they never expected.
If you have read a Kenneally book before you know they usually involve some kind of sport. Football, running, softball…they have all played a role in the past Hundred Oaks books. Jesse’s Girl is different in that case. Instead of using a sport Miranda went with music and it worked for this story. I think the magic of two different music styles in a music city was the perfect way to take a tale about a normal girl and a famous guy. When I first read the synopsis I was sad there would be no use of sports, but it was the right decision for this story and I think ended up adding to it.
Nashville! What isn’t there to love about Nashville?? I have gone once and it has been one of my favorite cities that I have ever visited in the US. Having that is the background for Jesse’s Girl was pretty amazing as I was able to picture a lot of the places from my short visit there. I was also able to picture how easy it was for Maya to feel out of place as a punk rock girl because Nashville is anything but. It was pretty much the perfect setting for a story like this. Truthfully…it made me want to hop on a plane and go to the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry and pop in a Tootsie’s. Who’s in for a road trip??
Hands down what I liked best in Jesse’s Girl was the characters. Maya Henry…talk about spunk. She knows who she is and isn’t afraid to stand out. She stands up for herself and does what she thinks is the right thing. She’s funny and uncertain but also sure of who she wants to be and I loved that. And Jesse. Oh adorable Jesse Scott. He had some of the perfect one-liners in the book that just made me laugh, still make me laugh when I think about them. He is definitely closed off (and with good reason) but there is something very open about him too. Just add him to the list of the amazing Kenneally Boys (have we trademarked that term yet?? We should!). Plus you know there will be the inevitable cameo from characters in other books, I mean Maya’s last name is Henry for crying out loud.
All in all I loved Jesse’s Girl both times I read it. It made me laugh and cringe and then smile as Maya and Jesse navigated through whatever was going on between the two of them. I loved the way the story was told and how it all went down in the end. I loved the cameo of some old favorites while starting off a generation of new Hundred Oaks kids to love. It did exactly what I think a good book should do and it made you feel just like you were part of the day and had become friends with Jesse and Maya yourself.
Though most of the book takes place throughout one day, the connect between Jesse and Maya feels real and not forced or rushed. You can't help but cheer for them both as they go through their journey, both together and on their own.
Disclaimer: once you start reading, it may be hard to put down!
I enjoyed Jesse’s Girl a lot. I loved how Maya and Jesse’s relationship developed and that it didn’t turn into instant love. They had real chemistry, and I loved their romance. Even though Maya ends up dating a country star, they had a very believable relationship. A great part of this book was Maya’s family. I loved how supportive they were of Maya and each other. Plus, it was great seeing an update of Sam and Jordan. Another part I liked was how strong-willed Maya was. She knows what she wants, and she’s going to work hard to get there. This book was very sweet and adorable.
Most recent customer reviews
“What’s the most important thing you learned from Jesse, Maya?” I think back to what he said when we goofed around on that playground.Read more