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A Little Bit Country  By  cover art

A Little Bit Country

By: Brian D. Kennedy
Narrated by: Mark Sanderlin,Andrew Gibson
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Publisher's Summary

Dumplin' meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this heartfelt and funny contemporary romance inspired by Dollywood, about two boys who fall in love against the backdrop of a country music-themed amusement park, from debut author Brian D. Kennedy. Perfect for fans of Erin Hahn, Phil Stamper, and David Levithan.

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?

©2022 Brian D. Kennedy (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about A Little Bit Country

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  • Overall
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Good story

The reviews were positive so I trusted that it was gonna work out but there were a few twists and turns in there that kept it interesting. I liked the character development from both characters throughout. There was a happy ending without being Polly Anna and the whole story struck the right tone for a YA novel without being insulting. Delightful listen.

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Rushed Ending

This is a great debut novel, by a queer male author… refreshing! Lots of callbacks to my own experience growing up gay in the small town south and loving country music. My only complaint is that the ending felt a bit rushed. I was invested in the characters and their story and the end came on so fast that I felt a little let down. Still a beautiful queer love story that was great to read.

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Plain fun

I was hesitant about this book; however, I am really glad I picked this one. The characters felt real and grounded, plus the plot had good pacing. There is a lot of heart in this book and I highly recommend it if you want a feel good story.

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Perfectly cheesy with a great world

It’s really easy to see where the inspiration for most every moment in this book comes from, but that helps invest you in it. While “Wanda” is clearly an amalgamation of dolly,Reba, Loretta Lynn etc, it’s not hard to imagine exactly the layout of Wanda world and Jackson hollow. The characters are sweet and completely 17, so the problems feel perhaps juvenile sometimes but you still want to know what happens. It’s not a big flashy ending and there’s no great suspense, but there is a lot of sweetness and honesty in both emmet and Luke’s journeys. I would be interested in a follow up to see what these characters find later.

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Amazing

Absolutely amazing. This has the be the best book I’ve read/listened to in years. I’m so happy I took the chance and bought it.

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Wow

Really loved this book! The story will make you laugh and cry and love! Long lost love story with a generational love story too!

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This was a debut novel?

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. The author told the story from the prospectives of the two protagonists, weaving the story through their eyes. The dialogue was believable and the characters were well developed. I’m interested to know what’s next for Luke and Emmett. And I’d love to see more of Emmett’s Jamboree co-stars!
I would definitely recommend this book to just about anyone. In fact I plugged it on my soon to be released new episode of my podcast.

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What Would Wanda Jean Do?

Break my heart into a thousand little pieces is what Wanda Jean would do. Get ready to cry. Luke and Emmett are such likable characters. I was rooting for them from the moment they met. This book is beautiful. I love country music and I love love.

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Could not listen fast enough!

Love love love. As someone who works for a country music record label in Nashville and someone who is gay, this book pulled all my hearts strings.