Taylor Jenkins Reid has written a stylish and propulsive if sometimes sentimental novel ... a fairly earnest portrait of the ’70s, though, a mockumentary without the mocking ... It’s a pleasure, then, to see Reid tweaking her own formula in Daisy Jones & The Six while also leaning on her strength, the love story. Narratively speaking, this is easily her most sophisticated and ambitious novel. Which is not to say that all of its risks pay off ... Presented almost entirely as an oral history, the novel reads like the transcript of a particularly juicy episode of VH1’s 'Behind the Music' ... the script format inherently limits our access to the characters’ innermost selves ... Moments like these are a little cheesy, but maybe that’s the point? I felt the same way reading Daisy and Billy’s lyrics, which perfectly channel the cringey, soulful, not-quite-brilliant but damn-catchy lines of every pop song written in the 1970s ... In the end, that’s the most surprising gift of Daisy Jones & The Six — it’s a way to love the rock ’n’ roll of the 1970s, without apology.
Reid’s twist is constructing her sixth novel as an oral history, complete with lyrics, album photo shoots and atmospheric period details. The structure serves her well — except when it doesn’t ... Introducing six band members simultaneously might not have been the wisest move. The reader can’t keep them straight ... Is the book riddled with cliches? Check. Twists the reader can spot chapters in advance? You betcha ... Yet, here’s the thing: Daisy Jones & The Six works. It’s big dumb fun ... Given the music industry’s notorious sexism, she deserves credit for creating female characters who are more self-aware and determined than the foolish men around them.
Framed as a tell-all biography compiled through interviews and articles, Reid’s novel so resembles a memoir of a real band and conjures such true-to-life images of the seventies music scene that readers will think they’re listening to Fleetwood Mac or Led Zeppelin. Reid is unsurpassed in her ability to create complex characters working through emotions that will make your toes curl.