Expected publication: July 1, 2014
The best songs come from broken hearts.
Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band, and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennesee to Nowhere, Oklahoma. One fateful night, Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, and a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own.
Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?
In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice.
Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker was a perfect addition to my summer reading line-up. I enjoyed Bird’s story from the very beginning and journeying with her during her rise to fame was both rewarding and memorable. Definitely a great contemporary Young Adult novel that shouldn’t be missed by fans of authors such as Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols and Leila Howland.
At the age of sixteen, Bird Barrett has enjoyed traveling with her family singing bluegrass at small honky-tonks all over Nashville. Her instrument of choice is her trusted Maybelle fiddle, and her position in the family line-up is back-up vocals to her dad. During a fateful night at the Station Inn, her father falls ill and Bird is asked to take lead vocals for their scheduled performance. That night, she’s spotted by a talent agent and shortly thereafter signs a record contract with a newer music label. Life begins to take some sharp, drastic turns for this teen as she learns to manage a grueling schedule and demanding expectations from everyone around her. At a time when simply singing for a live audience is her passion and the boy that captured her heart is pulling away, Bird begins to wonder how much she has to sacrifice for this new life of hers.
Wildflower did an exceptional job of pulling in worthy themes into the novel to add depth and realism to the story. I appreciated learning about the physical, emotional and family strain fame brings to such a young star. Exhaustion from tabloid lies, long hours of songwriting, the stress of social media attention, and falling short of your family and friends’ expectations can be tough for anyone, especially someone as young as Bird. Wow! What a huge burden to place on such young shoulders.
I appreciated how throughout the entire novel Bird just wanted to do what was right for everyone involved in her life. She consistently showed that she wanted to help everyone she cared about and not let them down. As quickly as she realized fame, I liked the fact that Bird remained somewhat grounded. She was an easy character to care for, and she won my heart immediately. I loved the family dynamics that played out in the novel as well as the meaningful friendships that were fostered. Truly a story full of honest emotion and depth.
Wildflower is a great novel that explores fame, growing up, and the heartache of first love. Great story, fantastic narration and heartfelt plot that pulled me in and kept me vested. Well done!