I have said this so many times, but I would read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s shopping list if she published it.
There are many of her books that I am obsessed with and so, made it my mission to read every book that she’s ever written.
I have read all eight books, starting with her early catalogue of not-so-great books, up to the jaw-dropping (could this be the best book I have ever read?!) Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
So, if you’re contemplating reading any of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books, here are my reviews of each and every one, in no particular order.
Reviews of every book Taylor Jenkins Reid has written
1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
My rating: ★★★★★
This may just be the best book I’ve ever read. Even though this book is a work of fiction, I really wish it wasn’t. I wish this powerhouse Evelyn Hugo really did exist and I could delve further into the news articles and stories as well as her acting career. This is the most beautiful love story between two people amidst seven marriages and a very famous life in Hollywood.
2. Carrie Soto is Back
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan. At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record.
My rating: ★★★★
I had seen mixed reviews online for this one, and was a little apprehensive going into it. It was giving everything that Taylor Jenkins Reid is good at – celebrity lives, pre 1990s, gossip and scandal – and for that, I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it was TJR’s best book (will she ever write anything as good as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?) but it definitely wasn’t her worst. For me, Carrie Soto ranks below Evelyn Hugo, Malibu Rising and Daisy Jones.
3. Malibu Rising
Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.
Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them… and what they will leave behind.
My rating: ★★★★★
Malibu Rising is one of TJR’s more recent novels and I read this before Carrie Soto is Back as I heard the characters of Malibu Rising actually feature in Malibu Rising first. This was another epic novel by TJR and every bit the page turner as Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones and I can definitely see a movie being made for this in the near future.
4. Daisy Jones & The Six
For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot, on to the stage at the Whisky, the band were irrevocably changed.
My rating: ★★★★★
Like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & The Six is apparently loosely based on celebrities (this time, Fleetwood Mac) and knowing this just makes you so much more invested in the story and wishing it really was a biography. I’ve seen this come to life in the Prime Video TV series and knew it would adapt very well given the style of writing. But even more recently, Stevie Nicks has given her seal of approval saying that the show reminded her a lot of the early years of Fleetwood Mac.
5. Forever, Interrupted
Elsie Porter is an average twenty-something and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped. Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.
My rating: ★★★
The next few books are from TJR’s early catalog, before Daisy Jones or Evelyn Hugo came along and you can really tell how TJR’s writing has improved over the years with her newer releases. She’s definitely found her style writing about celebrities/famous people in my personal opinion. Her early works are ok, but definitely not life changing or TV series worthy unlike her more recent novels.
6. After I Do
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes. Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?
My rating: ★★★★
This book along with Forever, Interrupted are two of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s earliest books which is very telling as they’re so different from recent releases like Daisy Jones & The Six and Malibu Rising for example. Of the two, I definitely favoured After I Do over Forever, Interrupted. This storyline had me gripped a lot more, but I dropped it down a star as some things came across as quite unrealistic and strange behaviour-wise.
7. One True Loves
In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever. Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her.
My rating: ★★★★
The blurb for this was giving extreme romance novel cliche, so I didn’t have high hopes, but by the end I was very much rooting for the underdog, and engrossed to see what the main character, Emma’s decision would be. I was also finding the storyline very relatable (not the husband lost in Alaska plot) but where Emma was torn with the life she thought she wanted – living in LA, a travel writer, living in the big city – versus the small-town life with the family bookstore, cats and simple things that she was slowly leaning towards.
8. Maybe In Another Life
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, her friend Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan? In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be?
My rating: ★★★
I took this book on holiday to Bali with me, and as expected, it was pleasant summer-time reading. Each chapter of the book alternated between two different paths of the main character based on her decision of going home with her childhood sweetheart after a night out: how her life pans out if she does, and if she doesn’t. Not an overly ground-breaking story but enjoyable.