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Taylor Jenkins Reid and the Six Reasons You Should Read Her Books

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Stuck in a reading block and don’t know what to read next? Or, trying to get more into reading and don’t know where to start? Well, look no further than the wonderful collection of books written by best-selling author Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her books will keep you entranced in the 60s Hollywood scene, jamming out with a famous 70s rock band, or riding the waves off the coast of Malibu in the 80s. But, if you need more convincing, here are six solid reasons you should be reading books by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

She’s a New york times bestselling author

Now, I’m not saying that being a New York Times Bestseller is the tell-all of a good author, but when three of your most recent books have all soared to the top of the list…maybe you are. And Taylor Jenkins Reid definitely is. And if you need more proof, just read the reviews! After readers gushed about her 2017 novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, on BookTok, her writing has skyrocketed in popularity. And thanks to that publicity we’re already anticipating a TV miniseries adaptation based on her other book, Daisy Jones & The Six.

She knows how to craft interesting, page-turning stories

Any good reader or writer knows that simply having a compelling story isn’t enough; you need to know how to craft it well. Taylor Jenkins Reid is particularly strong at this, as her stories typically revolve around the dynamic of multiple characters. Her skill and care for characterization mean that each character is well-developed and distinct in their voices and roles. Additionally, she plays around with the format of her books to aid in her storytelling. For example, her 2019 novel, Daisy Jones & The Six, is written in the format of an oral retelling, where the characters each recount their experiences as a part of the hit 70s rock band, The Six, and their infamous breakup. Her books have captivating plotlines that will keep you intrigued, make you emotional, and leave you needing to know what happens next.

she writes realistic and dynamic female characters

One of my favorite things about Reid is how she writes women. Her stories are typically told from the perspective of a woman, and in recent years they have centered around women on the rise to fame in the second half of the 20th century. Her protagonists are determined, unwavering, and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their dreams. But Reid’s writing doesn’t depict them as one-dimensional “feminist icons,” instead she wonderfully captures the nuances of female experiences and the realistic challenges that they face, which leads me to my fourth point.

she illustrates what it’s like to live as a woman in a man’s world

In her novels, Taylor Jenkins Reid does not shy away from including the everyday obstacles and choices of women trying to make it in a man’s world. In more than one of her books, Reid addresses matters such as abortion, domestic abuse, and substance abuse. She shows how men often don’t take women seriously or view them simply as a body to exploit and use. She illustrates the effects of cheating and abandonment, empty promises, and flat-out ignorance, while her characters are left to bear the fallout of broken men. But for all those challenges, her characters pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and come back stronger, even in the smallest ways.

she writes about sexuality in a modern way

Reid also writes about gay identities in a diverse, natural, and modern way. Perhaps her best example of this is in her most popular novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, where she highlights the difficulties and stigmas of being queer in the mid-20th century. Her delicacy and care in depicting bisexual identities is also refreshing and validating. I love that she includes same-sex couples, but she also shows characters in the process of discovering their sexualities and how it affects them mentally and interpersonally. The inclusion of this self-discovery offers easy relatability to readers who have been through the same thing.

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her books exist individually but within the same universe

Finally, I think it’s so fun that her books connect in little ways. Although each story is separate, there are hidden easter eggs throughout. Whether it’s the name of a character, or a reference to a brief event from another book, looking out for those details makes the experience of reading so much more interesting. In fact, Reid’s 2021 novel, Malibu Rising, has a direct correlation to one of the husbands in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I love that you can read either of them individually because the stories themselves are separate.

So, there you have it! Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to take a trip to your nearest bookstore and try out one of her books for yourself. And if you speed read through her collection, hungry for more content, don’t worry! Her newest novel, Carrie Soto is Back, just hit the shelves. Happy reading!

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Isabelle Gross

U Mass Amherst '23

Isabelle is a senior at UMass Amherst and a New Yorker at heart. She majors in French Studies with a minor in Linguistics. Her interests include (but are not limited to) reading, writing, and traveling. She hopes to help create a world of acceptance and kindness through storytelling.