Title: Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Age Group: Adult
*Review contains spoilers
“You can justify anything. If you’re narcissistic enough to believe that the universe conspires for and against you—which we all are, deep down—then you can convince yourself you’re getting signs about anything and everything.”
Plot and Setting
This book’s purpose is to tell the story of how Daisy Jones & The Six (a fictional band) came to be world famous and the reason behind their split. Reid does historical fiction well. Her description of the clothes and time period is on point for what I know about the 70’s. Honestly, the plot was very stereotypical of most bands from that time. I didn’t feel like there was anything shocking that happened. Drugs, sex, rock and roll. Thats what the 70’s were and thats what we get from the story. Even the “twist” was a more of a “bend” in the story. Nothing earth-shattering or surprising. I felt like I was reading a transcript from an episode of VHI’s Behind the Music show.
There are 7 band members in total, but we really only get a full background on Daisy and Billy (the lead singer of The Six). This is to set the foundation to explain (and perhaps justify) why these two people are so troubled and why they are drawn to one another.
Daisy is a drug addict, Billy is an alcoholic, they hate each other for most of the book, they are both self centered, and they both have many demons that they fight (or succumb to). The other band members exist in the peripheral of Daisy and Billy’s drama. Yes, they all have their own piece of the story and what they were doing/feeling for that time period, but I don’t feel like we got to connect to any of characters.
I didn’t particularly like Daisy or Billy. I don’t think as readers, we were supposed to. But I also didn’t Camila (Billy’s wife), and I have the feeling that as readers, we were supposed to like her. I also really didn’t like the love triangle that was happening between the three of them. I believe they all handled it in a bizarre way.
I actually thought that maybe this wasn’t going to turn into a love triangle. I felt that Billy and Daisy would not fall in love because of the rocky start they had. They never really made a connection beyond both being addicts. I didn’t feel the sexual or romantic tension between them at all. It felt forced and not to mention a trope that is eye roll worthy.
Now my issues with Camila.
Camila knew her husband cheated on her early in their relationship. Camila literally caught him sticking his dick in someone else. She chose to continue the relationship for the sake of her family. But I don’t like the message that sends. The message that a strong woman means sticking by her man no matter what, is emphasized through out the story. She even mentions that she knew things were going to happen to Daisy and she pretty just chose to ignore it. She accepted it an ignored it because she wanted her kids to have a father.
I understand that if she left, she would have been a single mother and it was the 70s. It would have been a hard life. But it just doesn’t seem on character for Camila to just accept it and “stick it through.” She is repeatedly described as this strong, stubborn, smart, no nonsense woman, but she was willing to raise this man’s children while he is free of responsibility. It’s off brand for her. I felt bad for Camila even though she swore she was exactly where she wanted to be. She was exactly where Billy wanted her to be.
I get it. I am not a jealous spouse and have the philosophy of if my partner is going to cheat on me, there is nothing I can do to prevent that. So what is the point of being jealous? But if I were to find out my spouse did in fact cheat on me…BYE.
I have thought about that perhaps Billy and Camila were poly and not monogamous. If that’s the case, there probably wasn’t a label for it. Billy recounts a time where Camila was out with an ex for 4 hours and he just kind of accepted it and didn’t talk about it or question her about what happened.
But then at the end, Camila suddenly realizes that Billy and Daisy are in love with each other because the tension between the two of them is so thick when they are singing together. That is when she decided that enough was enough and basically told Daisy to hit the road. Although she did it in a very nice, calm, and loving way, she clearly wasn’t about to share her husband’s heart any longer. So my polyamorous theory kind of goes out the door with that.
Her and Billy both talk about trust and how it doesn’t matter what mistakes they each make because things would be fine.
It was odd to me that that is when Daisy decided she had enough of doing drugs. All it took was Camila telling her to leave the band. I just didn’t buy it.
I do want to put a disclaimer that I am a musician’s wife and we have two small children together. So that may be painting my perception a bit because I know how I would handle that situation and that ain’t it.
I am supportive of my husband’s passion for performing and playing music, and I would not demand he quit or not go on tour (as long as it financially made sense), but I believe there are boundaries that need to be set and trust is important. Camila and Billy were already off to a bad start since he was not faithful to her on numerous occasions.
I found the book easy to put down but not easy to pick back up. It took me way too long to get through this book because the story simply wasn’t exciting for me. It kind of dragged on.
Reid’s writing style is still great and I marked quite a few quotes that I really liked. She had a touch of feminism and “girl power” quotes that I quite enjoyed. I know many people loved this book and I wanted to as well. I promise I am not a person who doesn’t like hyped up books for the sake of not liking them and being “different.” I truly wanted to love this story and I just didn’t connect to it.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“I was drawn to him mainly because he was drawn to me. I wanted someone to single me out as something special. I was just so desperate to hold someone’s interest. “
“Thats the glory of being a man. An ugly face isn’t the end of you. “
“Something tells me men don’t do that same thing. When they are standing there, threatening a woman, I doubt they count every wrong step they they made to to become the asshole they are. But they should.”
“It’s not my responsibility to not turn them on. It’s their responsibility to not be an asshole.”
“I used to care when men called me difficult. I really did. Then I stopped. This way is better.”