Daisy Jones and The Six: Does It Hold Up Against The Novel?


Amazon Prime

Rhea Howard

In the hit novel, Daisy Jones and The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid captivated readers through her  chronicles of fictional superstars of the rock-and-roll era of the 1970s. Recently, the novel was adapted into a TV show of the same name on Amazon Prime and has received overwhelming support from fans of the novel. The show stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin as lead singers Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne who entrance audiences with their on-stage chemistry, but struggle to decipher their relationship behind the curtain. As a small band from Pittsburgh, The Six struggle to earn a name for themselves in the rock and roll industry, moving to California to chase their dream of a record deal. The Six are catapulted into stardom after their single with upcoming talent Daisy Jones, “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” reaches number one on the Billboard Hot 100. As Daisy becomes a permanent member of the band, she battles with lead singer Billy Dunne over creative differences and their undeniable attraction for each other.


Being one of my all time favorite books, I highly anticipated the release of this show and I enjoyed most of it, but I believe the show should have stayed closer to the novel in their adaptation of certain characters. The setting and interview format stays accurate to the book and provides the illusion of a real docuseries on the fall of the greatest rock and roll band of all time. One of my favorite parts of the season were the costumes and sets that exuded 70s vibes. Daisy Jones’ wardrobe was especially gorgeous, radiating her personality as a free-spirited artist. The show left me engrossed in the era of drugs and rock and roll, which was exactly how I felt while reading the novel. An unexpectedly enjoyable part of the show was Warren Rhodes, who was not particularly highlighted in the book, but shined with his comedic commentary toward the end of the show. Karen  Sirko and Graham Dunne were standout characters, who were both explored further than in the novel, where they were portrayed more as a side storyline. Their plot remained the same as in the novel, but actors Suki Waterhouse and Will Harrison elevated the characters with performances that left myself and other viewers deeply moved. However, one of the best things about the TV show adaptation is the original songs created for Daisy Jones and The Six to perform. 

The full eleven song album, Aurora, was released alongside the show which allows for the analysis of the songs in the show, something that was sometimes hard to follow while reading the novel. While many of the songs on the Aurora album are uneventful and skippable, I did enjoy some of them. Here is my ranking of the Aurora album, along with commentary for each song.

Tier One: Obsessed

  1. “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)”: It’s the song that propelled Daisy Jones and The Six to stardom for a reason, as it is easily the best song in the show.
  2. “The River”: Objectively, “Look At Us Now (Honeycomb)” is the better song, but “The River” is my favorite song on the album; everyone needs to listen to this song right now.
  3. “Aurora”: Upbeat and lighthearted, listening to this song improves my mood instantly.
  4. “Let Me Down Easy”: Happy music for sad people; the lyrics strike a melancholy comparison to the light melody.

Tier Two: Listenable

  1. “More Fun To Miss”: The anger in Keogh’s voice carries the song; her delivery was haunting.
  2. “Regret Me”: They performed this song more than Aurora which was supposed to be the title track of the album, and it’s not good enough to be played that many times.
  3. “Please”: Surprisingly good considering it does not sound similar to or follow the traditional structure of the other songs on the album; the chorus carries the song.

Tier Three: Unlistenable

  1. “Kill You To Try”: Daisy’s voice does not fit, which wrecks an already average song.
  2. “Two Against Three”: I am not one for slow songs, and this is a very slow song.
  3. “No Words”: Yet another slow song; I have no thoughts on this song as it is obviously a filler track on the album.

Tier Four: Garbage

  1. “You Were Gone”: The worst song I’ve ever heard- “You Were Gone” had no screentime on the show for good reason because this is ear assault.

As far as beloved novel adaptations go, Daisy Jones and The Six exceeded my expectations in regards to loyalty to the source material. However, this show managed to ruin one of the key characters of Daisy Jones and The Six, Billy Dunne’s wife, Camila. In the novel, Camila is a small-town girl who values loyalty and family over all else, following Billy and The Six to California, raising their child while The Six go on tour, and endlessly supporting Billy through his addiction issues and music career. Camila sees Daisy’s talent and chemistry with the band and supports her as an artist. Even as Billy and Daisy recognize that they have feelings for each other, Camila, trusting that Billy would stay loyal to his family, is never accusatory toward either of them and lets them figure everything out. Camila’s personality in the book is trusting to a fault; she always takes Billy back after he messes up. With one scene, the TV adaptation destroys her whole character and renders her actions hypocritical and obnoxious. Camila cheats on Billy with his bandmate Eddie Roundtree in the show, which goes against the core fibers of her character. Instead of being the trusting small-town girl in love with a rock-star, Camila is constantly suspicious of Billy and grows vain and self-absorbed after Daisy Jones and The Six reach their height of popularity. While in the show, Camila convinces Daisy to join The Six, the pair never grow close, and Camila hatefully monologues at Daisy in the climax of the season. With a lack of friendship between Camila and Daisy, the lead singer is isolated within the band; she only really connects with Billy, which leaves Daisy in an awkward position within The Six.The show’s portrayal of Daisy and Camila’s relationship subtly forces the rest of the band to choose sides between the two and never allows Daisy to connect with The Six like she does in the book. Camila and Eddie’s tryst also takes away from Eddie and Billy’s fight, as Billy’s treatment of him becomes justified when Eddie alludes to sleeping with his wife. One of the core elements of the novel is that Billy disregards Eddie’s opinions and feelings which boil over when Eddie finally has enough and quits the band. The plot line with Eddie and Camila’s relationship distracts from Billy’s mistreatment of the rest of the band and minimizes Eddie’s justified complaints. Camila’s character in the show comes off as a hypocritical adultress who let fame get to her head, while in the book she was Billy’s rock and a trusting mother who was always down to Earth. Camila’s scenes in the show were unbearable and unnecessary and were most likely included to add drama to the show.

A change from the book that I actually enjoyed was the increased importance of Simone’s character. In the novel, Simone was Daisy’s first friend and is there to bring Daisy back when she runs to Thailand and Italy. Simone is a side character, briefly described as one of the pioneers of disco, that is relatively unimportant in the novel. In the show, Simone’s journey is told alongside that of Daisy Jones and The Six, and her rise as a pioneer of disco is chronicled in detail. I enjoyed the spotlight on Simone as her storyline provided an escape from the sometimes insufferable and self-centered drama of Daisy Jones and The Six. Simone’s love story, not mentioned in the novel, was also enjoyable and fun to watch. While I was initially confused with the increased inclusion of Simone, I grew to love her and found her to be more rational than all of Daisy Jones and The Six combined.

Within the first few hours of its release, Daisy Jones and The Six became number one in America on Amazon Prime Video’s Top 10 list and was one of the five most streamed shows across all platforms last month. The success of the show is warranted, with the adaptation of Daisy Jones and The Six managing to stay relatively true to the source (despite fumbling the bag with Camila’s character) most likely due to author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s participation as a producer on the series. While the pace could feel drawn out and Camila was insufferable, I enjoyed the series very much and will definitely rewatch it soon. I encourage everyone to read the book first of course because it remains one of my favorites of all time, but the show exceeded my expectations, and I would definitely recommend it.