Every girl in Nashville seems to wish that they were music superstar Jesse Scott’s girlfriend. Scratch that—every girl on the planet. Everyone except for Maya Henry, that is, which makes for a pretty awkward situation when she is assigned to shadow him for a school assignment. Maya wants to be a professional musician, and even though she’s way more into the 80s and glam rock than the country-pop style that Jesse performs, the opportunity to learn about the industry isn’t one she can turn down. She doesn’t except much at first, but their day together ends up being one of the best of her life.
Sparks fly between the two combative crooners as they share a day full of paparazzi, voice lessons, studio tours, and some off-the-schedule shenanigans. Though neither began the day with a good attitude, Jesse and Maya find that they have a lot to offer one another.
Maya brings a gravity and calmness to Jesse’s high-octane life; he pushes her to go solo and stop relying on other people to get what she wants. Maya’s adventures and blossoming relationship with Jesse may even have inspired her to ditch her toxic bandmates to audition as a semifinalist on a popular televised talent show.
Saving up enough money to make the trip to New York for the semifinals is hard enough, but will Maya’s relationship with Jesse jeopardize her chances at stardom? Jesse’s Girl is a fun addition to the popular Hundred Oaks series, and fans of the other books will enjoy cameos from their favorite characters. Maya is a confident and likable narrator, and her sweet love story is a perfect one for older readers who like realistic romance.
304 pages 978-1492622239 Ages 13 and up
Recommended by Molly Crumbley, Librarian, Maryland, USA.