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Image of four authors with the \"100\" sign at the Taco Bell x Reese’s Book Club May 2024 event
Image of four authors with the \"100\" sign at the Taco Bell x Reese’s Book Club May 2024 event
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

Read More Live Más: Reese’s Book Club Celebrates Countdown To 100th Pick With Taco Bell

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Almost every bookie would tell you that nothing pairs better with a late-night reading session than a savory late-night snack. And anyone who’s part of a book club will not hesitate to emphasize the insurmountable importance of munchies at the function. It is not a question, then, that a good book and a cheesy quesadilla are a match made in heaven. Naturally, bookies and foodies are birds of a feather. 

That’s why a partnership between Taco Bell, our go-to late-night craving, and Reese’s Book Club, our trusted source for all things books since 2017, is perhaps not as surprising as it might seem at first glance. 

Image of Taco Bell truck and \
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

Over Memorial Day weekend, in potentially the most exciting summer kickoff imaginable, BookTokers, FoodTokers and fans of RBC and Taco Bell alike gathered to celebrate the fateful coinciding of the upcoming 100th pick of Reese’s Book Club with the launch of Taco Bell’s new Cantina Chicken menu at the Casita Hollywood for a Read More Live Más book club party.

Image of Reese\'s Book Club and Taco Bell Cantina Chicken menu items from the Taco Bell x Reese’s Book Club May 2024 event
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

Leslie Kirchoff DJ’d upbeat tunes amid a gorgeous backdrop of flowers and RBC favorites as eager guests entered the vibrant, lively venue. Not only were gatherers greeted with DIY succulent gardens, mouth-watering Cantina Chicken quesadillas and tacos, book-inspired juices from Joan’s On Third, and custom goodie bags packed with RBC favorites like Seven Days in June by Tia Williams and First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston, but they also found themselves face-to-face with RBC authors Tia Williams, Ashley Elston, Tembi Locke and Yulin Kuang

Image of DJ at the Taco Bell x Reese’s Book Club May 2024 event
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

To kick off the event panel, the CEO of Hello Sunshine, Sarah Harden, offered a lively introduction before Lauren Levy Neustadter, Hello Sunshine’s President of Film and Television, claimed the stage with Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer—known for Hidden Figures and The Help—to chat about Spencer’s favorite RBC picks and her upcoming adaptation of Ashley Elston’s novel First Lie Wins for Hulu. You may know Hello Sunshine—Reese Witherspoon’s media company—for their creation of book-to-screen hits like Daisy Jones & The Six, Big Little Lies and Where the Crawdads Sing

Octavia Spencer was absolutely glowing in her vibrant yellow top as the crowd sang her “Happy Birthday” while she walked onstage, gushing and hugging friends at Hello Sunshine on her way. Spencer is just like us, it seems—she knows the best way to celebrate her special day is with good books and good food! Her fave Taco Bell order? “When they have Mexican pizza on the menu, that’s my go-to,” she revealed. “But can never go wrong with a quesadilla.” 

Image of Octavia Spencer from the Taco Bell x Reese’s Book Club May 2024 event
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

When asked about her choice to adapt First Lie Wins for screen, Spencer answered, “I think the thing we love about the book is one of the things that you guys [Reese’s Book Club] look for in books—that it’s written by a brilliant woman, and that there is a woman at the center of the story.” It helped, she added, “that [she’s] Southern, and the South was depicted in a way that was actually sexy.” “You never seen that,” she joked. 

After Spencer and Neustadter said their goodbyes, a few of Reese’s Book Club’s hottest new authors—Ashley Elston (First Lie Wins), Ashley Elston (First Lie Wins), Tia Williams (Seven Days in June), Yulin Kuang (How to End a Love Story), and Tembi Locke (From Scratch)—took the stage with Danielle Robay, the host of Hello Sunshine’s The Bright Side podcast. To name a few highlights of the panel, Tembi Locke raved about her experience adapting her debut memoir From Scratch into the Netflix limited series of the same name starring Zoe Saldaña, and Ashley Elston became quite emotional while discussing Spencer’s compliments of her book: “I don’t know that there’s another moment that lives up to that,” she commented. Author of the May 2024 RBC pick, Yulin Kuang, expressed her gratitude as a first-time novelist. “I feel like I’ve joined a sorority of some kind,” she said. “This has been really, really beautiful.” 

Image of four authors with the \
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

Kuang is currently undertaking the monumental task (and honor) of adapting two highly-anticipated rom-coms by beloved bestselling author and TikTok sensation Emily Henry: “Beach Read,” which she will also direct, and “People We Meet on Vacation.” Kuang’s own debut novel, “How to End a Love Story,” was naturally written with an eye for the screen; the romance-loving author took what she coined a “farm-to-table adaptation” approach, where she imagined her novel on the big screen. As a native to the filmmaking world, Kuang’s writing process was heavily influenced by her experience writing screenplays. 

Image of gift bags from the Taco Bell x Reese’s Book Club May 2024 event
Photo by Lexus Gallegos

A cluster of smiling fans met Kuang on the stage after the panel for signed copies of “How to End a Love Story,” while others headed back to the bustling patio to grab a Cantina Chicken Burrito and socialize before heading home for the holiday weekend. Needless to say, we all went home with happy bellies and a craving to crack open the newest Reese’s Book Club additions to our TBRs.

Kylee is a fourth-year at UCLA double-majoring in Communication and English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Her poems have been published in Train River Poetry, The Mandarin, Open Ceilings, and our very own Westwind (among others). She also writes feature articles for Her Campus at UCLA. In her free time, she acts, drinks way too much coffee, romanticizes everything, and buys more books than she can keep up with.