book review

Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee

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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 herslf?

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).

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Retta Lee Jones has always dreamed of being a country singer and it means leaving her small town, Starling, and try her luck in Nashville. But money is tight and her parents can’t really support her financially. Her dad, sure, but her mom is very much against her dream. That’s why she’s been saving for it for a long time from her waitressing job. The moment she has enough money, she took off to Nashville in an old car, borrowed from an old aunt. With the support of her dad and her best friend, Brenda, Retta is determined to do everything to reach her dream no matter what. But things didn’t work out as she expected. The road to success sure is not an easy one but it seems like she’d been welcome by unfortunate events the moment she set foot to Nashville. But Retta is not the type who gives up easily. Despite the bad start, she perseveres. She didn’t go all the way here to fail. But the fact that breaking into the music industry is not an easy feat if you don’t have a connection with the right people, regardless of your talent, doesn’t help her at all. Will she be able to succeed and be the big country singer she’s been dreaming of or maybe it is time for her to go back to Starling, forget her dream and accept singing is not for her?

I really like the plot of Somebody Everybody Listens To. Retta is sure one gutsy girl. Leaving her small town to chase her dream of becoming a country singer. She has the talent and she knows it. She is determined despite all the hurdles thrown her way. How many times have we seen this, right? But what makes this one any different from the rest? Nothing, really. Still, this one is a good read. It helps that Retta is such a strong main character that you can’t help rooting for her. You can feel her struggles and joy as if they were real. Her support group, old friends and new, are quite solid, too. They are all equally interesting especially those who helped Retta along her journey for success.

One thing I like is how it’s about being a country singer. It’s not something I get to see a lot. I like how there’s a bunch of information about country music and singers that you can gather inside the book. On each chapter, there’s brief fascinating bio of some popular country singers and the chapters were also titled as one of each singer’s record. Though it’s not a popular genre in my country, I appreciate the ones that I have heard. And by using country music instead of another genre, it goes perfectly well with Retta’s story. The author, Suzanne Supplee, did a great job of telling her story. The ending was okay, though abrupt. I was hoping to read more and somewhat disappointed that it ended so soon.

All in all, I enjoyed Retta’s story. It is a quick read that’s perfect for people who’s chasing their dream. It reminds us that, yes, making your dreams come true is full of hurdles, but it is not impossible with determination and perseverance. Also, those who like country music will surely appreciate this.

RATING: 4/5

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(*Photos and synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

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3 thoughts on “Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee

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