April 6, 2023

Buddy (Re)Reads: Daisy Jones and the Six (+TV Show Review)

My best friend Rachel & I love teaming up for collaborations, and this year, our brainchild collaboration is a series of Buddy (Re)reads. We put our heads together and picked out one book or series to reread together quarterly during this year.

Our first pick was Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid! We had both read and loved this novel when it first came out, and it felt like the right time to revisit the story given that the Amazon Prime miniseries aired in March. I'll be sharing my thoughts on my reread and the TV show below. Don't forget to go check out Rachel's thoughts as well!

(Audio) Reread Review

I listened to the audiobook the first time I read this, and I absolutely loved it. I chose to do my reread via the same format since I’d had such a stellar experience with it previously. And it was honestly still an incredible reading experience this time around. Given that I knew how it all ended, I was curious to see if that would affect my overall feelings about this story this time around. It did not (and that was a good thing)! I’m going to point you in the direction of my original review for more fleshed out thoughts because everything I said four years ago still holds true. But this reread reminded me of the three things I liked best about this book: the nuanced character portrayals, the use of interviews to tell the story from multiple points of view and the excellence of the audiobook production (with a full voice cast and incorporated music). Even though generally celebrity-centered fiction isn’t my thing, I still concede that this story is well-done and still holds up even years later. (It also may make you want to listen to rock and roll music from the era, which is absolutely not a bad thing at all.)

TV Series Review

I don’t watch a lot of live action series to begin with (since I usually stick to watching anime), but I knew that this was going to be an exception to that general unspoken rule given that it was an adaptation of a book that I really enjoyed. And the TV series was good. The cast were chosen well, and I enjoyed seeing how these actors brought the characters I’d read about to life on screen. I was especially impressed with our main characters: Riley Keough as Daisy Jones, who really embodied Daisy’s free spirited, highly emotional nature; and Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne, as he did a great job playing the rock star with his vulnerabilities. The production was also strong, particularly the costumes (I loved the fashion and only wish I could pull it off the same way these characters do), the setting (there was a nostalgic feeling to it) and the music (I’ve been listening to the soundtrack a fair bit since it dropped).

Like any adaptation, changes were made to make it work better for tv show audiences. I’m normally pretty lenient when it comes to these things, but I didn’t love every single choice they made for this show. It bothered me to see character personalities change to some extent, especially Daisy, who starts this series off differently than she does in the book. There were also a couple of events thrown in for additional dramatic effect, and while I understand the merit of doing so for a tv audience unfamiliar with the book, it didn’t sit quite right with me. Still, and most importantly to me personally, the series did capture the overall nuance of the book and it did stick the landing by bringing viewers to the same emotional place the book ends at despite the difference in the route to get there.

Daisy Jones and the Six is a solid book-to-series adaptation; the showrunners did a good job capturing the spirit of the story. Would I recommend checking out the tv show? Absolutely, there’s plenty it has going for it though I’d still suggest checking out the book before watching it since I ultimately think the novel is the superior version of the story.


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