Before reading this novel, I'd picked it up numerous times but always ended up leaving it on the shelf because I thought it wasn't going to have enough meaning to it. You know; girl leaves hometown, moves to Nashville, struggles away, falls in love, becomes famous, live happily ever after etc etc.
I was pleasantly surprised by Supplee's writing. While the book mostly follows the above plot summary it does so with grace, grit and a spectacular ending.
Supplee has done a superb job of making the reader feel a connection and empathy with the characters. For me personally, it raised questions of 'what would I do in this situation?'. It's definitely a relevant read for teens wondering what to do with their life. Retta wants to pursue her singing career but feels held back by family responsibility and the realisation that she is going to be completely alone in Nashville. This book is also firmly rooted in reality, with no airy fairy descriptions of what people want to believe Nashville is like. Supplee tells it like it is, which I appreciate.
“It's amazing when you think about it, all the possibilities, the things that might happen in this brief life if you're brave enough to try.”
I think the raw, honest way Supplee has gone about writing this novel, is what sets it apart from other books of it's kind. If you are after an inspiring, easy weekend read, I'd recommend this.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has read similar books or has any recommendations. And, I always appreciate a tweet with your thoughts or feedback :)