If you have in your posession Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid, just know that I am insanely jealous of you right now.
I say this as someone who, this time last year, hadn’t picked up any book by Taylor Jenkins Reid and didn’t plan to, despite how popular and how often they were recommended. Thankfully 2022 me came to her senses and picked up Daisy Jones & The Six, then The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and finally Malibu Rising.
I loved every single one of these books and plan to tell you today exactly why I loved them so much!
1- The writing style
I swear to god TJR infuses her books with crack. That’s the only possible explanation.
When I’m totally engrossed in a book that I love my brain does this thing where it feels like it’s working at maximum capacity – something that doesn’t happen often, not going to lie. That feeling in and of itself is addictive.
Out of the three that I’ve read so far, Daisy Jones was the one that made my brain feel this way the most. I 100% believe I would have read this book in one night if it wasn’t for my roommate at the time texting me at 1am to walk her home so she wasn’t alone with the weird American friend.
These books all have a unique format which really helps the writing style feel so addictive. Daisy Jones is told like a transcript from one long interview with the characters reflecting and re-telling, Evelyn Hugo is also recounting her rise to fame and her infamous marriages with news articles peppered througout, and then Malibu Rising jumps between the four siblings persepectives and takes place over such a short space of time that it has that urgency which keeps you reading.
These three books cover so many aspects of fame: music, acting, modelling. And now with Carrie Soto there’s also sports which, sure isn’t Hollywood, but is still a very demanding and public industry.
I love reading about famous people and I especially love reading accurate depictions of these industries that aren’t as glamorous as Hannah Montana led me to believe as a kid. These books show the ugly sides of fame as much as the upsides.
The only downside to these is that I’ll never get to watch Evelyn Hugo’s movies in real life and my ears will never get to listen to the music by Daisy Jones and The Six … at least not until their adaptations are released.
3- They’re all connected.
TJR has really created a Hollywood universe that I’m far too invested in. I smile every time there’s a little easter egg to her other characters. I really love it when authors acknowledge their previous works and other characters. Why not have your books be set in the same universe?
4- The characters trauma
This makes it seem like I enjoy reading about these characters suffering. And I mean I do, but not because I’m a psychopath, but because TJR writes about their suffering so well.
She really uses their flaws to humanise them so that my heart is breaking while they’re hitting rock bottom. More than that, she also gives attention to the aftermath of the suffering and how the trauma the characters have experienced effects them which I appreciate.
5- The little nuances.
So I wrote out this list of “things I love about Taylor Jenkins Reid books” after finishing Malibu Rising. That was months ago at this point, it’s clearly taken me a while to get around to writing this post. That means that I’ve forgotten what exactly and specifically I meant about “the little nuances”.
To be very vague, I’ll say that TJR includes little facts about her characters that are mostly irrelevant to the plot but just add more to the characters themselves. I’m sure this time 3 months ago I had an example at the ready but I was stupid and didn’t jot that down.
So there we have my reasons for loving these books. I’m going to New York over Thanksgiving and you bet your arse I’ll be visiting the major bookshops so my hope is to snag myself the pretty gold hardback of Carrie Soto (keeping my fingers crossed I can even find a signed edition).
I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books – which ones have you read? which ones do you like the most? Thanks for reading :))