Cover Image: Songs in Ursa Major

Songs in Ursa Major

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Member Reviews

I loved this book right up til the ending then I was disappointed for the low curveball. Wihout that end, it was destined to be a 5, but sadly the ending made it a 3 1/2.  . Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher!
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I wanted to love this book however this was a dnf around page 125. I was hoping for something around the lines of daisy Jones but the plot just didn't really pull me in
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I picked up Songs in Ursa Major because someone (I think Emily Henry?) compared it to Daisy Jones & The Six, aka my favorite book of all time. I can certainly understand the comparison and I think I should have loved this book more than I did, honestly, because the comparison feels solid. But the thing is, there's actually no reason I should love Daisy Jones. It's not a Jenica book, so I shouldn't really be surprised that Songs in Ursa Major didn't really compel me the whole way through. I mean, I took a two month break in the reading of this book. Just sat it down and didn't come back to it for two months. It's not that I didn't enjoy it fine when I was reading it, just that it wasn't as compelling as I would have liked for it to have been.

Basically, if what you liked about Daisy Jones was seeing the behind the scenes of things and some of the band drama and you want a little more romance, without caring if there's an HEA at the end of it, and you're okay with an exploration of mental health and addiction... Well, there's a good chance you'll like this book. The characters are interesting and engaging, but they didn't quite manage to come alive for me the same way Daisy Jones and The Six did. I feel like I'm doing this book a disservice by just comparing it to my favorite book, but here we are.
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It was the summer of ’69… starting at a fictitious folk festival in Massachusetts...this novel is loosely based on the affair between James Taylor and Joni Mitchell and depicts the music scene of the late 1960’s/1970’s. Fans of "A Star Is Born", "Almost Famous" or "Daisy Jones and the Six" will like this book. The music scene of the time period, the sexism of the music industry, the struggles of being on tour, are all evoked well within the pages. Author Emma Brodie, has written an impressive debut about music, fame, fortune, and misfortune.
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I loved the 70;s setting of this book, as that is my favorite decade. I feel the technical aspects of the musical industry were well written, but over my head, and I found myself skimming through those parts to get to the ones about the relationship between Jessie and Jane. I didn't feel any passion between them, except at the beginning of their relationship, where they both were attracted to the other but didn't act upon it.
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I adored this book. The entire time I was reading, I kept wondering who the story was based on- my guess was Joni Mitchell and James Taylor and squealed when I read the author note and she thanked Mandy Moore for introducing her to Joni Mitchell! Cue to me immediately turning on my favorite album of hers, Blue, and being blow away by the author’s ability to pay homage to Joni while creating her own gorgeous lyrics for Jane. 

I can see the obvious want to compare this to Daisy Jones and The Six. However, with the exception of focusing on female singer song writers in the 1970s, the stories are both completely their own. While Daisy was in the mix of true rock and roll- Jane is fighting to find her own sound when the world turned to soft rock.

Songs In Ursa Major worked on so many levels. It was so atmospheric. All settings- from the island to recording studios to tour buses, are described so beautifully, one might say lyrically, that readers are transported with Jane. Speaking of Jane, she is such a flawed character. But I adored her and loved her gumption.

I highly recommend this story. There is a few steamy moments, a strong backbone of family and family secrets, but mostly it’s the gorgeous story of a woman determined to find her own path in a male dominated world. I loved it!
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Overall I enjoyed this book. There were a few things I felt needed more explanation and others that didn’t seem to add much to the story, but I found the characters likable.
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Jane was the type of character you want to be in real life, tough, no nonsense, non conforming.  She played by her rules even when she repeatedly got burnt.  Surprises abound and does not follow your typical storybook romance ending.  Enjoyable read and characters.  I wish Rich could have found happiness.
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I loved this debut from Emma Brodie! I was interested in the story and found it compelling to connect with characters in the music industry. It's neat to feel like you are getting a sneak peek into what comes with that lifestyle. I also love learning more about the 60s-70s era the book is set in, so that was another layer for me to be excited about!
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Apparently I've found a new trope to love. Give me a novel with a female author centered on a band in the 1970s and a fiesty female protagonist and I'm yours. This is my third 5-star read with that premise so far in the last couple of years. Daisy Jones and the Six, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, and now Songs in Ursa Major Even the trope adjacent Malibu Rising scored for me with a 4.5 star.

Now, you may be reading my initial paragraph thinking, "why would you read the same book so many times?" And there, you would be highly mistaken. The beauty of these books is that each one has taken it's own amazing spin on the trope. I will admit that, heading into Songs in Ursa Major, I had apprehensions of it being just another Daisy Jones, but I was incredibly wrong. Ursa is a gem all in its own right.

Brodie's writing blew me away and I really hope she starts putting a string of novels soon because I need more of what she has to offer. Badly. There is so much atmosphere and I just felt enveloped in the story. I L-O-V-E-D Jane. What a fantastic character. Strong (but still with those internal insecurities), brave, and out to take what she deserves. True, she occasionally makes questionable decisions, but that's just her being human. I appreciate the fact that she isn't perfect. Her flaws are what make her feel relatable.

The plot just raced along and I was really living in the world the book provided. This was one of those situations where I stayed up way too late at night and devoured the pages. I was invested in the characters and completely enamored with the scene. Ursa is a powerhouse. It has so much packed into it. History, romance, music, fame, addiction. It's a one-stop shop.

I am wholly impressed with this debut. It's a book that will definitely stand on my own bookshelves and I may shout its praises too the rooftops until those around me are annoyed by constantly hearing about it. Wonderful. Now...Emma Brodie...I need more of your brilliance soon. I'll be anxiously watching the publishing lists.

* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *
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I really loved Daisy Jones and the Six and had hopes that I would love Songs in Ursa Major just as much. The idea of stories focusing on women in Music is immediately a draw for me.

So I’m a bit surprised why I didn’t enjoy Ursa Major more. It was just ok for me.

The timeframe was perfect – the era in which I grew up. I always think of Steve Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, Joan Jett, Madonna, so many great 70’s and 80’s female breakout artists that had no problem flipping the music industry the finger and still coming out on top.

*minor spoiler alert*

Jane was an awesome character, until she wasn’t. During most of the story, she was the one who stood up to the man! Loved it! She fought for what she believed in, what she wanted for her and her band. When she realized that her relationship was going nowhere, she stood up for herself.

Then, somewhere in the mix, she became a completely different character. She settled. And that sucked! I’m all about compromise but that’s not what happened in Jane’s story. I hated everything about the ending, as it felt like it was all for nothing. She gave up and accepted something that wasn’t good for her.

I know so many people love this book, but it was just ok for me. The ending was a huge let down.

Thank you to #KnopfDoubledayPublishing and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is the book I wanted Daisy Jones and the Six to be. The start of this story begin in 1969, when Jane Quinn and her band the Breakers is given the opportunity to perform on the main stage of the local Folk Fest when the infamous Jesse Reid has an accident and cannot make it. They have the performance of a lifetime and suddenly are given a record contract and a chance to be the opening act for Jesse’s tour going forward.

Prior to that tour Jane help Jesse heal along with her aunt and they develop a close bond that turns into love. On the tour, Jane shines, but certain cracks with her band and Jesse start to come through. And ultimately when Jesse’s biggest secret comes to light, Janes world starts to tumble down.

Jane is given a second chance and writes the album of a lifetime, Songs in Ursa Major, which becomes critically acclaimed. However, this is not what Jane imagines and she finds herself in a precarious position.

This is a story of a troubled woman, haunted by her history of her mother and her relationship with Jessie that seems to be ever evolving. I absolutely loved this book so much. The story flowed beautifully and Jane gave me all the feels, and I wanted to see her conquer her past. This is a beautiful story of a woman trying to overcome her past so she can be in the present. Just read this one, you won’t regret it.

Thank you NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Early front runner for my favorite book of 2021. Pulled me in immediately - reminiscent of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Daisy Jones, this book pulled my heart out and stomped on it. I was rooting for Jane and Jesse and their story. Loved every minute of it.
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I really loved this book. I have been chasing the high of Daisy Jones since I read it, and this book is the closest I've felt to capturing that magic. I loved Jane so much, even when she infuriated me. Jesse was such a broken man with such talent, and the author did an incredible job building out both Jane and Jesse's characters. I really liked the chapters from other character's viewpoints, and thought it brought to much to the novel. Overall, really enchanting, engrossing read that had me dying to hear these songs.
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I finished Songs in Ursa Major way back in August, and I am not exaggerating when I say I loved every bit of it. 

I saw lots of buzz about this book before starting it—mainly comparisons to Daisy Jones & the Six (which I understand, but these two books really aren’t very similar) and discussion about how it’s loosely based on an affair between James Taylor and Joni Mitchell (fascinating, but not necessary to enjoy the book). Fictionalized accounts of the 60s/70s music scene seem to be automatic must-reads for me, and I’ve not yet been disappointed.

Main character Jane Quinn is pretty much impossible to dislike: smart, funny, super talented, intense and outspoken. She loves her music, but is devoted to her family, friends, and island. Rock star Jesse Reid is perfectly swoon-worthy, complicated and imperfect. I loved the chemistry between the characters and their passion for music. The sexism and foulness of the music industry machine comes through loud and clear in this book, but I was rooting so hard for Jane and The Breakers.

Brodie’s writing is so descriptive and lovely, I was completely drawn in to the book from the beginning and torn between wanting to read it quickly and savor it. I loved the family drama going on just under the surface, and there’s a bit of a twist in the second half that caught me off guard.

A perfect summer read for me, with just enough sexy and sweet. You know a fictionalized book about musicians is good when you really, really want to listen to the nonexistent songs, and what I wouldn’t do to listen to Jane’s albums.

Songs in Ursa Major is a debut novel, and while it’s not perfect, I found it completely absorbing, charming, and evocative. I’m looking forward to more from this author.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
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The summer of 69… need we say more? So much happening on the music scene, and through uncontrollable circumstances, Jesse and Jane become close.. I learned much about the music industry and appreciate the research that the author did for this book. 
Many thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing group and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was good! I will say, not as good as Daisey Jones and The Six but very enjoyable. I truly enjoyed the love between Jane and Jesse and loved Jane's flawed character. This one will be with me for awhile
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I could not get into this book and did not finish. I want to try reading this again at a later time because I have heard so many great things about it so I am wondering if it is just not what I need at this time.
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I was excited to read this book because I love music. I'm sorry to say, I enjoyed this as much as I enjoy folk music, which is not a lot. It was just a slow moving story - very much like I imagine the 70s to be like. It just wasn't for me.
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Is it just me or so all 1970s band vibes remind you of Daisy Jones? I really couldn’t get into a new type of mindset for Songs in Ursa Major because it all just seemed too familiar. And honestly, I get it. I’m sure that’s what 70s rock-n-roll was like for women, like Janis and Stevie, but it almost felt like a Daisy Jones retelling in a different format. And what really skyrocketed DJ so high up my list was the actual format of the book. I loved the “where are they now?” interview style layout of the book. And as a narrative story with a similar plot, Ursa Major just couldn’t even begin to compare. 

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book. I did enjoy the book, but again, it just seemed all too familiar… like I’d read it all before. 

What I did like that seemed a bit different was the heavier focus on different mental illnesses, including drug abuse. DJ was more heavily focused on that drug abuse and addiction side of rock-n-roll stories, but Ursa Major weaved in other mental health concerns too. But I also enjoyed the characters and felt satisfaction when the story was over. I do enjoy some good 70s vibes, and I did enjoy the book. I just wish I was better able to separate the overall plot lines between both stories.
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