Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This a a fun, clean YA fiction without the usual suspects. For instance, Bird is not orphaned. In fact, the story is a solid building block for a series, featuring 16 year old Bird, the youngest surviving of the B family who travel around in a Winnebago and do Bluegrass gigs in dives. Okay, so yeah. There is one of the usual suspects which is a tragic death of her 5 year old brother 10 years ago. This is not the main story but the reason the family took up music. Their pastor suggested they find something they enjoyed together in order to grieve and heal, growing closer together. Music took on a life of its own.
The book stands out because it gives a realistic and not glossed over look at the life of a rising star. Small spoiler, Bird gets discovered and signed with a label in Nashville. Her muse is unrequieted love interest, Adam Dean, who is a family friend.
It's a nice break from the books that make me throw up a little bit in my mouth when I'm surprised by a scene or an outburst. Even though Bird is living the life of being discovered, her 16 year old life experiences are more similar to the bulk of 16 year old girls reading this book. She is discovering first and young love, navigating friendship with Stella, and trying to find balance in her life that seems to be consumed by one aspect.
Highly recommend to my children and my children's friends.