Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally


A Teen-centric story about music and choices, please read on to discover all about

Jesse’s Girl

The first I’ve read from Miranda Kenneally, the premise on this story was too good to pass up.  Hundred Oaks High is set in Tennessee, so the tie in to a country singer and a girl that is musical, but so NOT into country music (I can relate) was a logical one.  And from there, Kenneally uses the logical and plausible scenario to produce a story that is entertaining and engaging, but most of all possible.

Maya was a bassist for a band: she’s a fan of Queen and other rock and roll stylings, and with the loss of both her band gig and the boy she was crushing on, things haven’t been that wonderful.  And, when you add to that, a “Career Mentoring Day” when she discovers that while she’ll be paired with a successful musician: he’s a country singer.

Jesse is 18 and a rising country star, with fame, fortune and a few pitfalls along the way.  His parents are not happy with his choice to chase his dream, he doesn’t want to shepherd a high school kid  around for a day, and he’s still dealing with so-called friends betrayals.  While he started out being an utter jerk, Maya’s friendliness and openness soon had him softening.  And then….

They start sharing themselves: their dreams and disappointments, bonding over music and life difficulties that are common no matter your circumstances.  Attraction between them starts to grow as their day’s adventures move from one high point to another. Most importantly, BOTH characters developed in a way that was realistic and sweetly touching, and their conversations brought them to new perspectives and understandings about their disappointments, even as their own attraction sparkled.

Growth for the characters, a believable story and realistic situations and conversations that are easy to relate to kept this story richly satisfying and engaging.  Working well as a standalone title despite its being a part of a similar-setting series, this is a wonderful introduction to this author’s work.

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Jesse's Girl
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Teen Reads, Contemporary Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 1492622230
Published on: 7 July 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 304
Rated: four-stars
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See this Title on Goodreads

Practice Makes Perfect.

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

See the Hundred Oaks titles on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

BS Excerpt Inset

 As much as I love music, I am generally not a fan of country. I don’t like banjos. I don’t like sappy lyrics about trucks and hauling hay. Dolly Parton is my mortal enemy—my mom plays “Jolene” over and over and over and over, and it makes me want to chop my ears off like van Gogh. Yeah, yeah, I’m from Tennessee, where it’s a crime if you don’t love country, but I like deep, rumbling beats and singing loud and fast and hard. I do not like closing my eyes and crooning to a cow in the pasture. Yet here I am at a Jesse Scott concert, getting ready to meet him and to see if he’ll let me shadow him next Friday.


My school requires every senior to “shadow” a professional for a day. It’s their way of helping us figure out what kind of career we want. Like, if you want to be president when you grow up, you might get to shadow the mayor. Want to be a chef? Have fun kneading dough at the Donut Palace. When I said “I want to be a musician,” I figured they’d send me to work in the electronics section at Walmart.


I certainly never expected to shadow the king of country music.


It turns out that Jesse Scott is my principal’s nephew. Jesse won TV’s Wannabe Rocker when he was ten and has gone on to become very successful. In sixth grade, every girl in class—myself included—took the Teen Beat quiz: “Would Jesse Scott Like Your Kissing Style?” (Obviously the answer was yes.) In middle school, I had a Jesse Scott poster on my ceiling. It’s hard to believe he’s only eighteen, because he’s already won three Grammys. When he was younger, his songs were about family, fishing, and playing baseball, but lately they’re about love and making love and all things sexy.


I wouldn’t say I’m a fan anymore, but I would never give up an opportunity to learn from a professional with such a gorgeous, pure voice. I want to learn what it’s like to perform day in and day out. Despite what everyone and their mom says—that I’ll struggle as a musician—all I want is to play guitar in front of a crowd and hear people cheer for me.


I can’t believe I’m backstage at the Grand Ole Opry! I bounce on my toes. Jesus, is that an archtop Super 4, the model Elvis played? I’ve never seen one in real life. It probably cost more than my house. I’m ogling the guitar when Jesse Scott comes out of the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel. He pads across the room to the couch, wearing nothing but a pair of rugged jeans with more holes than Swiss cheese. The lighting is dim, and he doesn’t seem to notice I’m here, which is good, because I’ve moved from ogling the guitar to ogling him.


Who wouldn’t? He was one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” and it is a truth universally acknowledged that you should stare at people who’ve made that list. The guy’s gorgeous. Like in the boy-next-door way. His wet, wavy, brown hair curls around his ears and nearly hits his shoulders, and while he doesn’t have a six-pack or anything, his body is fit. I wish he’d look my way so I can see his famous brown eyes. They always remind me of those caramel chews Poppy gives me when I visit. Jesse has some sort of Gaelic symbol tattooed on his left shoulder blade. I want to reach out and trace the design.


God, get ahold of yourself, Maya. Don’t be a horndog. Besides, he’s so not my type. I don’t do pretty boys.

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.