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I’m Glad I Did

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  513 ratings  ·  146 reviews
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and songwriting legend Cynthia Weil's extraordinary YA debut opens the secretive doors of the Brill Building-the hit factory that changed history. Part Mad Men, part Grace of my Heart, part murder mystery, I'm Glad I Did is a coming-of-age story at an unforgettable cultural tipping point: the summer of 1963.

JJ Greene, a gifted 16-year-old songwr
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Soho Teen
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Genevieve I found mine on amazon, but you could probably get it at barnes and noble or as an ebook.
Holly Oh, I think I found a pic of the old cover


I think the picture makes more sense with the mic, but idk…more
Oh, I think I found a pic of the old cover


I think the picture makes more sense with the mic, but idk(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  513 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Set in the pre-hippie summer of 1963 when Kennedy was president, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing, and the Beatles had not yet made it to America, I’m Glad I Did is an uptempo coming of age story complete with an entertaining slice of history that doesn’t avoid the serious issues of the day. Teenage JJ Green is determined to become a Carole King-like songwriter by getting a job at the famous Brill Building, but her father and Jackie Kennedy look-alike mother want her to follow in thei ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Songwriter Cynthia Weil drew from her own life for her debut novel I'M GLAD I DID. JJ Green is an aspiring songwriter who gets a job as an assistant at a music publishing company, where she comes to find love, a mystery, and personal success. The summer of 1963 setting is used well, and the racism of the time is definitely a factor in how the story plays out.

The mystery in I'M GLAD I DID takes awhile to show up. I knew there was a mystery, so I kept being afraid of who would die. I was right to
Shae McDaniel
Originally reviewed at

This book is such a sad trombone. It started beautifully, packed to the gills with 60s flavor and music business lingo. I felt like I had legitimately traveled back in time! But oh, how this book dragged. The writing really needed a couple more edits, the pacing was really wonky, the love interest liked the heroine because she wasn't "like other girls," and the plot... Let's just say the plot wasn't much of a surprise, and it certain
Ann Imberman
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’m not exactly a young adult, but I am a reader who appreciates a well-told, well-written story, and “I’m Glad I Did” is both of those. The author’s first-hand experience in the music business in the early 1960’s gives the reader an insight and understanding not only of the thrill of creativity, but also the dirty underbelly of the way some things were done back then.

JJ is a very positive role model. I loved her passion and determination to follow her dreams and pursue the life she felt destine
Elizabeth K.
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-new-reads
This book was very earnest. It was also a perfectly fine, quick read. A teenage girl spends the summer before college working at an entry level job at a pop record company in the 60s. The aspect that worked the best is that Cynthia Weil WAS a young girl in the music industry in the 60s, and the parts related to this experience felt extremely real because I'm assuming they are real, and it's certainly a world that not too many authors have first-hand experience with.

Beyond that, there is a music
3 stars

I'm Glad I Did is a book that probably wouldn't be on my radar at all and that I wouldn't be likely to pick up if it wasn't at BEA in 2014. But I'm glad it was, because this historical fiction about the music industry is wonderfully written and authentic. Ultimately, I did want a little more from the mystery part - but I did enjoy this quick read anyway.

Cynthia Weil is - apparently - a pretty successful songwriter, so it was immediately obvious that the setting within the music industry i
Christina (Reading Extensively)
I love the music of this time period so I was excited to read this book. I hadn't heard of the Brill Building before and it was really interesting to learn about the music business and what it was like for people trying to make it in that world. The author was a songwriter in the Brill Building herself during that time period which makes the novel feel more authentic. Although the focus of the book is on the music industry in the early 60s, the author also touches a little on race relations and ...more
Shoshana G
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
First, the good things - the setting is great. Cynthia Weil is an award-winning songwriter, and her debut novel about a young girl trying to make it as a songwriter in the 60s obviously takes a lot from her life, and feels real. JJ's struggle to explain to her parents that she doesn't want to follow in their footsteps is relatable to most kids and teens, and it's nice to see family drama presented as a real but also as part of a loving family. Also, as much as I love smutty YA, it's nice to have ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm Glad I Did seemed interesting at first, but it was not a quality book. First off, the setting - at first I loved the fact that it was all set in the 60's, but you just couldn't tell without the narrator directly stating that it was. Also, in the 1960s, women couldn't serve on a jury, get an Ivy League education, or experience equality in the workplace. (source) So it's very unlikely that JJ would be able to score an internship at a major music company, or even that her mother would be a succ ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a delightful and moving novel that will suit a wide range of tastes from middle school to adult, from mystery lovers to those who enjoy history or romance or women’s fiction or family sagas. I’m Glad I Did is set in 1963, during a time when racial tensions were at a high in our country and as they are again currently. It is the story of one summer in J.J. Green’s life when she breaks out of her family’s expectations, follows her dream, discovers love and heartache and ultimately forges s ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm Glad I Did
Cynthia Weil

The main and most important characters in this book...

JJ and her family...including her Uncle...were key characters in this book. friend and love interest...was also an essential character.

My very brief story summary that includes bits and bobs from the beginning, middle and end of this book...

This was a fun book about the music industry in the 60's. Sixteen year old JJ wants to be a song writer and she has the summer to prove it to her parents. She lucks i
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cynthia Weil's story of the music industry in the 1960s is a quick and enjoyable read. J.J. Green has just graduated from high school and dreams of making it as a songwriter in the music industry despite the fact the it is practically a house rule that all Green children become lawyers. J.J. Has one short summer to prove to her family that she has enough talent to follow her dream. After securing a summer job in New York's music district's historic Brill Building, the teen protagonist is taken o ...more
The Library Lady
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-books
To paraphrase the title, I'm glad my daughter DID like this and for that, Weil gets two stars. Otherwise this would get a 1, perhaps a 1.5 if I was being kind.

The sad truth is that you can be an award winning song writer and get Carole King, one of my musical idols, to write you a nice blurb, but that still won't mean you can be a good writer of fiction. Especially YA fiction, in which you are either very, very good (Sarah Dessen) comes to mind), or extraordinarily bad, such as the Author Who W
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
If this same book had been released as just an adult mystery, with the main character 20 instead of 16, I think it would have worked better as a book. It certainly would have been easier to market.
For one thing, she's remarkably mature for her age. For another, there are almost no other teen characters in the story, other than her eventual love interest, and even HE acts way more mature than his age, especially when it comes to the life-changing reveals that affect him.
The bulk of the cast of th
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Edelweiss for supplying me with an early copy in exchange for a fair review.

A quick read and entertaining mystery. JJ, feeling trapped by the weight of parental expectations, sets out to make her songwriting dream come true. Unfortunately, dreams aren't attained for free.

This book should work for those who prefer contemporary realistic fiction, as well as those who enjoy a historical jaunt. While it is set in the 1960s, with music to match, it maintains a modern appeal.

Good for fans
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Always wished I had lived through the 60s and love the music of that period so I swiped my cousin's BEA arc. I read it in one sitting. Kept saying one more chapter until 2 in the morning. I thought it captured the music business and integrated the racial tension of the time in it's unique mystery/ love story. The heroine is smart, funny and matures through the story in so many ways Don't want to spoil anything for anyone so I won't say any more.. I would just recommend it strongly. ...more
Saleena Davidson
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought THIS book was going to be a saccharine sweet bit of nothing set in the 60s music industry.....instead, I got a romantic yet thoughtful story of the music business, family and a bit of a mystery to solve (with a murder!). I was very pleasantly surprised at the depth to the book and how much I enjoyed the adventure. Give this one a try, as I'll be buying it when it releases in Jan. ...more
There were parts of this one that I really liked, but there were parts that didn't ring true for the time period. JJ seemed to know too much considering that she was a 16 year old girl and one that was sheltered. I did like how JJ seemed to pick up strays with Dulce and Luke, both relationships were great. I hated what happened to Dulce, but was ok with how things ended for everyone else. ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic. Cynthia Weil is a talented storyteller - and she made me feel like I was right there with JJ in 1963 NYC. Very clean read - recommending for ages 12&up. Touches on Civil Rights movement, interracial/interfaith relationships, music.

Cannot wait to read more books by Cynthia!
Melissa Carpenter
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm Glad I Did is a wonderfully written, intriguing example of everything that can be great about YA Historical Fiction. The characters are compelling and realistic, the major cultural issues of the time are front and center, and it's educational and entertaining. Love, love, love this. ...more
Michelle "Champ"
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
picked up on a whim at the library. I'm glad I did. What a great story told by one of the greatest songwriters. I felt I was back in the 60s when JJ helping her solve a murder set in a record company. Fun. ...more
Nancy Cook-senn
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the interview on CBS Sunday Morning with Weill and songwriting partner and husband Barry Mann. Her novel is a newcomer's experience entering the record business in the early '60s with all it heart-breaking commercialism and cruelty as well as insight and art. ...more
Cole Carpenter
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a lesson to me to never judge a book by its cover
Elizabeth Majka
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A lovely YA read that combines music, mystery, the 60s, Payola, racial tension, and a spunky aspiring songwriter named JJ. I loved it!
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Review originally posted at Mostly YA Lit

It’s 1963 and JJ Green is a New York City girl and a songwriter in a family of lawyers. JJ has always felt immense passion for songwriting, and because of that, she’s a total black sheep. But the summer before she starts at Columbia University, she gets a job as an assistant at a music publishing company, where she exchanges work for a short-term songwriting contract. Her parents make a deal with her: if she can get a song recorded before school starts, t
Kayla Plutzer
This story takes place during the racial tension of the 1960’s, giving us a look into what the music industry was like.

The characters were fun to get to know. JJ is fierce, she knows what she wants and she knows what is right. She is smart and quick, she makes friends even if those people dont want to talk to her at first.

Dulcie Brown, wow oh wow. She is like a music angel, she is a fun and friendly and loving woman who helps JJ make a break in the music business.

Luke Silver is just as smart, qu
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
JJ Green has the ambition to be a songwriter, but first she has to convince her family of lawyers that music is a legitimate career. Obtaining an internship at the Brill Building, the mecca for the music industry, JJ soon meets two people that have the power to change her life forever. Will her efforts to find a place for herself among the greats be placed in jeopardy when a tragedy strikes? Will her new friendship with Luke Silver blossom into something more?

As a reflection of the music industr
John Bunyan
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I started this book not realizing it was YA. Nevertheless it was a good read. It's quick and short. It does try to be a lot of things, a young love story, a social commentary, a does all reasonably well..
The fact that every character's last name is a color (green, silver, and brown) is sort of silly.
The author handles the issue of race a little awkwardly. The worst passage in the book is

“I know where you’re coming from,” Luke answered. He pressed the DOWN button. “I feel that way, t
Cara Noyes
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
It could have been so good, but what could have been meaningful incidents and topics, ended up being simplistic and fairytale-ish. No one in the 60’s would have made the life changing decision Luke did with such little thought. The very end also made me eye roll. Whatever she wanted to prove about Luke at the end did not work. They were no where near the pioneer couple she was writing them to be.
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2015 Reading Chal...: I'm Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil 2 10 Oct 18, 2015 04:10PM  

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Cynthia Weil is a prominent American songwriter. She is famous for having written many songs together with her husband Barry Mann.

Weil was trained as an actress and dancer but soon demonstrated a songwriting ability that led to her collaboration with Barry Mann whom she would marry in August 1961. The couple has one daughter, Dr Jenn Berman, aka "Dr. Jenn." Weil became one of the Brill Building so

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