New York City, summer of 1963: JJ Green is a born songwriter—a major problem, since her family thinks the music business is a cesspool of lowlifes and hustlers. Defying them, she secretly takes an internship at the Brill Building, the epicenter of a new sound called rock and roll. When she finds a writing partner in Luke Silver, a boy w...
New York City, summer of 1963: JJ Green is a born songwriter—a major problem, since her family thinks the music business is a cesspool of lowlifes and hustlers. Defying them, she secretly takes an internship at the Brill Building, the epicenter of a new sound called rock and roll. When she finds a writing partner in Luke Silver, a boy with mesmerizing green eyes, JJ believes she is living her dream. They’ll even be cutting their first demo with legendary singer Dulcie Brown.
But soon JJ’s dream is shattered by tragedy, and she must navigate a web of troubled pasts, hidden identities, and tangled secrets—before it snares her, too.
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“Cynthia Weil delivers a pitch-perfect debut about defining yourself and following your dreams. I'm Glad I Did expertly blends music and romance with a mystery that crescendos into page-turning ending. Encore! Encore!”
–Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club
“Weil has painted a 1960s Mad Men–esque portrait of the music industry, in which white men take advantage of talented black musicians, especially young, beautiful, and innocent black women, during that period of gathering racial unrest. Weil deals with a variety of ’60s social issues, including black-white relationships, women’s rights, and white male privilege. It’s an authentic picture of the 1963 turmoil, with reader hooks of murder, young love, and the ’60s music scene.”
“Beneath the glamor and aspiration, I'm Glad I Did also provides an unflinching look at the race, gender, and class struggles that defined the time – seamlessly woven into a page-turning mystery.”
–LA Times Book Prize winning author Coe Booth.
“An impressive YA debut ... Showing both the bright and the dark sides if the music business, Weil crafts an enticing tale of a sheltered teenager’s induction into a world where ambitions and morals are repeatedly tested.”
—Publishers Weekly on I'm Glad I Did
“I am a fan. No, no, let me rephrase that: I am a huge fan ... Barry [Mann] and Cynthia [Weil] are the masters of their craft. ”
“Readers will root for the determined and self-sufficient JJ as she navigates the complex rules and relationships at play within the Brill Building. I’M GLAD I DID also provides a valuable look at the racial tension and discrimination of the time, including the mistreatment of African Americans by their peers within the music world ... anyone who craves a bit of entertainment and a behind-the-scenes look at the music biz should tune in.”
“JJ is both starry-eyed and determined ... The themes here, from first love to breaking away from parental expectations, from race relations to the thrill of succeeding in a competitive industry, position this perfectly ... Weil finds just the right balance between cynicism and hope, romance and heartbreak—kind of like one of her songs.”
“JJ offers sharp commentary on some of the most stressful moments in U.S. history. She also discovers that “trouble” is exactly where you need to be when you want to change the world ... JJ’s story exposes the mountains of 1963 in matters of race, feminism, and social expectations, and how music can help move these mountains.”
“The author is a multi-Grammy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, and the story reflects that, as JJ learns the language of the business: songs with bullets, Cashbox, Billboard. The names of famous recording artists leap off the page: Bobby Rydell, the Drifters, Leslie Gore... [the] memory of their music fills my heart.”
–Historical Novels Review
“The book seems especially true to life: the hustle-bustle, the thrill of writing a hit song, the heartbreak of watching it slide down the charts. Even the Brill Building, the art deco jewel box in Times Square ... is a kind of character in the story ... the winged eyeliner and soulful songs are as hot today as they were 50 years ago.”