DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
Taylor Swift fans are sure to go for Echols’s latest, a countrified romance with stand-out characters. Protagonist Bailey can come off a little angsty, but her self-aware understanding of her own true nature keeps her grounded. More interesting still is her leading man, Sam — charismatic and slightly manipulative, yet big-hearted and with a troubled family life.
Bailey’s had a rough year. Her younger sister, formerly the other half of Bailey’s duet, scored a recording contract and secured her place among the young stars of country music. Julie’s rise to fame has sparked a complex wave of emotions: Pride, jealousy and loneliness have all driven Bailey to behave in ways she doesn’t recognize. Can a summer spent sequestered with a roaming mall band remind her of who she truly is? (MTV/GALLERY, Jul., 288 pp., $16.99, ISBN: 9781451658033, HC, 14 & Up)