Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee

[description from goodreads]

Retta Lee Jones is blessed with a beautiful voice and has big dreams of leaving her tiny Tennessee hometown. With a beaten down car, a pocketful of hard-earned waitressing money, and stars in her eyes, Retta sets out to make it big in Nashville. But the road to success isn’t a smooth one in a town filled with dreamers, and Retta begins to have doubts: can she make her mark while staying true to herself?

From the breakout author of Artichoke’s Heart, this bighearted novel is a must-read for anyone who has ever chased a dream (or hummed along with Taylor Swift).


The mention of Taylor Swift in the summary alone made me a little wary of this book (not a TSwift fan. At all.). I'm so not a country music person, but I gave this one a shot because it came for review. I enjoyed it- not my favorite thing, but not bad. I'm sure that if I liked country music I would have liked it more, but it was still a decent read.

Somebody Everybody Listens To has a more, I suppose, pessimistic stardom plotline. It seems like the only other celebrity books I've read involve people unwillingly thrust into the spotlight or celebrities who want out. Those stories are already getting old to me, which is why I liked the plot in this book. It's not the most exciting storyline, but there are always different things happening. Some things I saw coming, but a couple were delightfully unexpected. The unexpected things always seemed to come at a good time too-- sometimes Retta would be in the same place for a while that I would start to get bored, but then (usually) something new would happen.

Retta is much more developed than any of the minor characters, who I would discuss, but they were so insignificant to me that I can't recall any names. On the other hand, I actually liked Retta. I liked that she continued to go after her dream even though she faced many hardships and had family/friend drama at home. Although she did develop by the end, I liked that some of the personality traits she had in the beginning caused for an unexpected ending.

Though it's much more realistic than other "wannabe celebrity" books, I can't say that I loved Somebody Everybody Listens To. It was refreshing to read something so light, but it didn't blow me away.

Book details: Dutton/Hardcover/$16.99

Source: received from publisher for review

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