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.
Title: Wildflower (Wildflower #1)
Author: Alecia Whitaker
Publication date: July 1, 2014
I loved this book!
At sixteen, Bird has spent the last seven years of her life traveling around the country with her family playing in their bluegrass band. When Bird gets discovered one night, everything changes. Suddenly the family’s career is on hold while Bird and her parents concentrate on hers. Instead of living in a cramped RV and traveling to a new town every few days, they’re staying in a Nashville apartment.
I loved reading about Bird and her rise to stardom. Early on, she meets a girl her age who becomes her best friend. Stella provides a bit of normalcy for Bird, even though it’s different than what Bird is used to. She’s spent her teenage years on the road, so she hasn’t had the opportunities to make friends that most girls do. Though Bird is often unavailable, and sometimes misses plans, Stella is understanding. Her mom is in the business, so she knows what goes into it.
Bird has a crush on Adam, another musician and a friend of her brothers. Adam is a great character, and one I would probably pick for a book boyfriend if I didn’t find the whole concept a little icky. (I read YA and I’m in my 30s, so the guys I read about are too young for me to consider. Adam is over 18, I think, so at least he isn’t jailbait.) Even as Bird and Adam start to explore the possibility of a relationship, they move very slowly, not just because Bird is so busy, but because Adam is always traveling. With a little encouragement from Stella, they finally start texting regularly and things go from there.
As much as I loved this book and want more, there are some parts that are a little unrealistic. Everything seems to go Bird’s way. She’s not a Mary Sue, but she does trend that way just a little bit. Sure, there’s some jealousy from her brothers over Bird making it instead of the entire family (especially since older brother Dylan put off college to stay with the band) and she has some internal struggles with the head of her record label wanting to do things his way instead of hers. But both of those things are to be expected and are pretty mild. There’s some time-skipping, so it seems like everything comes together a lot more quickly than it really does. It seems like one day Bird’s signing a recording contract and the next she’s recording her first video. But there’s also a lot of hard work — and Bird mentions the long hours — that happens “offfscreen.”
One thing that saves Bird from Mary Sue status is the mistakes she makes. I was cringing at some of her choices, just knowing that trouble was ahead. She doesn’t always think things through before she acts, which is pretty typical for a teenager. She will probably as she matures and gains experience in the music industry.
I can’t wait to read The Road to You, the followup to Wildflower. I want to know what’s going to happen with Bird and Adam, and to find out whether Bird will stick with her record label even though she’s starting to disagree with their direction for her career.