Review: Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker

Posted 21 July, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Review | 27 Comments

Review: Wildflower by Alecia WhitakerWildflower by Alecia Whitaker
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on July 1, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 320

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, Tennessee 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.

Don’t you just love a light, sweet summer read? I know I do. And Wildflower satisfied that need quite nicely. Since a family tragedy, Bird and her family have been on the road, playing their brand of country music. Bird usually sings backup, accompanying her father vocally and with her fiddle. But when her dad gets sick and loses his voice (temporarily), Bird steps up…and gets discovered by a big-time A&R guy. The rest of the story follows Bird as she attempts to navigate the crazy world of country music while still trying to retain a sense of who she is.

I don’t think this book would have worked quite as well if it weren’t for Bird’s family. They discovered music and formed a band after a member of their family passed away, united in love and sadness. Music saved them and love kept them together (I feel like that’s a line in a cheesy movie…but I’m going with it!). But everything gets put on hold when the baby of the family, Bird, gets discovered. Her whole life changes and, therefore, the band and her family has to change, too. Her older brothers, one of whom put off college, are in a holding pattern while Bird runs around, writing and recording her music. This, of course, leads to some family tension as the parents try to make everyone happy and the boys and Bird try to deal with their sudden change in circumstances. It was nice to see such a strong family dynamic.

Books filled with music, love and growth make me happy. Watching Bird grow as a person and a singer, developing her songwriting, finding a style that works for her and making good choices for her future — all that gave me a glow of happiness as I read the story. I even liked the ending, though it wasn’t quite what I expected (very realistic, though).

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27 Responses to “Review: Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker”

  1. Hm. A realistic ending? Not sure I want one of those Mary! I want hearts and rainbows and HEAs everywhere! I can’t help it:) Aside from that though, this sounds like a perfect summer read, I adore books about family and the changing dynamics between the various members. Fabulous review!
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  2. This does sound light and sweet- the perfect sort of summertime read. While I generally go for the deeper, darker stories, I think that the family dynamic of this one would really sell it for me. I like the sound of it! Great review, Mary 🙂

  3. This sounds a little like the Kelly Family – do you guys know them? They have been a very popular Irish (?) Folclore/Pop Band in the 90s.
    Anyway this sounds nice… and well, just nice- nothing truly exciting, which is why I think I will probably pass on this one… 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed this one, i was truly tempted to read it, but was never sure that I should.
    DannyBookworm recently posted…Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson, Introducing the Freakshow and a GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I have this on my tablet. I was so excited to see a review for it on your blog because I haven’t read many. I do love a summer read. ^^ And that cover is stunning; love it! The fact that it’s realistic is a plus because I’ve read Open Road Summer some days ago and it included the music world but was not VERY realistic. I’m convinces, going to read it whenever I can! 😀 Perfect review!
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