Face It and Daisy Jones & the Six
It's been a while since I posted a book review on here (almost a full year actually, oops!) That doesn't mean I haven't been reading a lot lately, but I have been reading a whole book series which occupied a lot of my time over the past few months. Upon finishing the series, I then finally got stuck into two books that I've been itching to read for a long time.
To begin with I read the memoir of 70s icon Debbie Harry: Face It. The funny thing about this is the fact I rushed to the book store the day I know it came out, yet left it on my bookshelf - untouched - for months! When I did finally reach for this, I sped through it in just a couple of days; I was completely gripped. I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in the Blondie (obviously) but also the feel of New York City in the 70s. I've always been enthralled by the music scene of New York, particularly around the time of the rise of Blondie, and Debbie really gives an insight into the buzz and excitement of the time.
Filled with rare photographs, doodles and even fan art that Debbie has collected over the years, the book has such a personal feel. Throughout the narrative, we also get to experience Debbie's dry 'tongue-in-cheek' sense of humour, dealing with the rise of being a woman in such a male-dominated world. Many times, I found myself giggling and even laughing out loud whilst reading on the bus!
Face It is also a perfect book for lovers of art and film: there are a few references to the band's close friend, Andy Warhol. Debbie's love of art really comes through in the book, and she talks fondly of her love of acting and film. It's suprising to read that, even with being the front-woman of such a hugely successful band, that times were tough for Debbie (and the rest of the band) and there were times when they even made ends meet.
Although I feel that there is a lot still left unsaid with this book, just enough information is given to leave you feeling satisfied - yet longing to hear more! Debbie certainly strives to keep a lot of her private life exactly that, it does seem that another book could be in the pipeline? Oh, please!
What I liked
Very interesting to see the fan art that Debbie has collected over the years, it's heart warming to know that she keeps every piece of art.
Dry, laugh out loud humour throughout.
Written by Debbie herself - there's nothing worse than someone's stories written in the words of someone else.
Visually, a very nice book. Definitely a collectors piece, and would make a great coffee table book.
What I didn't like
Maybe i'm just not entirely 'in the know' - but some of the names of associated people were confusing as I wasn't quite sure who everyone was 100% of the time.
I was left wanting a little more, I find that Debbie could hold back and be quite secretive at times.
I would have loved to see more photographs of the band, and Debbie herself, but I do think that the fan art is very wholesome.
Overall rating: 8/10
Would I recommend?: Yes
Next up - from one 70s rockstar icon to another - it's Dasiy Jones & the Six! I had heard so, so much about this book long before I got round to reading it. I'm quite a cynic when it comes to taking people's book and film recommendations, but this time everyone was very right! The completion of the book was probably a world-record timing for me; I was reaching for this at every given moment.
Taylor Jenkins Reid has such a unique writing style - written in the form of an interview, yet with purely fictional characters. Before reading, I had heard that although the band members, etc are completely made-up, you really feel like you're reading about a real band. The make ups, the break ups ans the fall outs all seem to real, and you feel like you are there for the ride every step of the way.
As I mentioned, the book is written in an interview-style, and features the rise (and fall) of the biggest band of the 70s. It's safe to say that most women reading this book will form an instant connection with the lead character, Daisy Jones. She's cool, she's talented, she's off the rails. With the record-breaking highs that the band experience, comes the heartbreaking lows. Amongst the fun within the book, comes hard hitting topics: addiciton, domestic abuse, lonliness and heartbreak. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an expert at pulling on every single one of your heartstrings, a real talent.
What I liked
I really felt like I was reading about a real band, it's quite upsetting to think that these characters actually never existed.
Full lyrics to the band's songs are featured at the end of the book - how creative!
Tackles some really serious topics, in an eye-opening way.
Very easy to read, can devour this book in absolutely no time at all.
No matter how off the rails the characters act, you feel a true connection to every single one of them.
Believe the hype! This book really is as good as everyone says it is.
What I didn't like
The only thing I can really touch upon here is the 'twist' at the end of the book is rather unnecessary? I won't ruin the surprise but at the end of the book I feel slightly confused at why Taylor Jenkins Reid decided to end the book. Nothing too major and doesn't ruin anything about the book - just not needed.
Overall rating: 9/10
Would I recommend?: Yes!
Thank you for reading, I hope this encourages you to grab these two books - I have enjoyed them so much
Until next time,