Book Tour: A Little Bit Country | Book Review

Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours for letting me be a part of this tour! You can find the rest of tour dates here!


A Little Bit Country Brian D. Kennedy

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Publishing Date: May 31, 2022

Emmett Maguire wants to be country music’s biggest gay superstar – a far reach when you’re seventeen and living in Illinois. But for now, he’s happy to do the next best thing: Stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer and perform at the amusement park owned by his idol, country legend Wanda Jean Stubbs.

Luke Barnes hates country music. As the grandson of Verna Rose, the disgraced singer who had a famous falling out with Wanda Jean, Luke knows how much pain country music has brought his family. But when his mom’s medical bills start piling up, he takes a job at the last place he wants: a restaurant at Wanda World.

Neither boy is looking for romance, but sparks fly when they meet – and soon they’re inseparable. Until a long-lost secret about Verna and Wanda comes to light, threatening to unravel everything.

Will Emmett and Luke be able get past the truths they discover…or will their relationship go down in history as just another Sad Country Love Song?

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My Review

CW: homophobia, internalized homophobia

A Little Bit Country is about two boys figuring out their futures at an amusement park over the summer. Emmett wants to be country music’s biggest gay star, so he’s very excited when he lands a spot in the entertainment group for country music’s biggest theme park. Luke wants to be a chef, but wants to help his family more than he wants to pursue his personal dreams.

I like the emphasis on how these are really hard dreams to achieve and both boys know this, they just go about it in different ways. Emmett has a determination to at least try to make it happen and Luke is more willing to put his dreams on the backburner for his family.

I am usually a lover of slow-burn romances, so I surprised myself with how much I loved these two’s romance! It didn’t feel rushed when I was reading it, and I was rooting for them to work out how it would work with Emmett only being in the area for the summer and Luke still being in the closet.

I’m not sure how to summarize my thoughts on the conflict without spoiling anything. It definitely went in a direction regarding the music industry that I didn’t expect, which I appreciate. I will say, there were parts of the conflict that wrapped up maybe a little too neatly off page and I would’ve either liked to see them not work out so perfectly or at least seen how they were wrapped up on page.

I rated this book 3.5 stars! It was a really nice YA contemporary book! Just make sure you have your country soundtrack of choice all queued up before you start reading (I recommend Orville Peck’s discography, personally).

About the Author

Brian D. Kennedy writes books for young adults. Born and raised in Minnesota, he occasionally elongates his vowels still. He now lives in New York City with his husband and their very photogenic dog. When he’s not writing, Brian can be found working at the LGBTQ Center, sitting in the audience at a Broadway show, or out buying more books—despite the stack of unread ones he has at home.  

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