One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Emma always felt that she never measured up to her older sister, Maria, especially in the eyes of their parents. While Maria loved to read and sought out hours in the family bookstore, Emma wanted only to travel and dreamed of being as far away from their home as possible. As the two grow up and wend their way through high school, Emma finds love in an unexpected situation and it sparks her journey through adventure and heartbreak and renewal.

I have found Jenkins Reid’s other writing to be so full of delightful surprises, twists and creative prose –which was why I was so profoundly disappointed by this one. It was utterly devoid of all of these attributes. The plot was plainly predictable, the characters bland, and the dialogue repetitive and banal. Why did I finish it? Because I kept believing that something unexpected would certainly happen – that something would redeem the plot. But no, no such luck.

Oh, well.

On to the next book!



Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: 9781524798659 | Books


Nina is just not sure she has it in her to go through with her annual Malibu bash this year, given her current, very mortifying, so painfully public circumstance. How could she have been so foolish as to have trusted Brandon with her heart, especially after watching her mother go through this very same thing?  Unfortunately, since no one is actually invited to these parties – they just come! – ,she cannot disinvite them either.  She is committed and she’ll get through this just as she has every other hardship she’s had to endure through her young, somewhat glamorous, but inwardly difficult life.  And she’ll take care of her siblings as they confront their trials and tribulations as well, just as she’s done all of their lives. It’s just the way it has to be.  Well, it certainly feels that way…

Taylor Jenkins Reid has a flair for delving deep into the hearts of the glitterati, often revealing the dark underbelly of fame.  While so many crave the spotlight, Jenkins Reid exposes the isolation and the emptiness that often lies there.   As she narrates the tale of Nina and her siblings and their current day issues, she also flips back in time to the story of Nina’s parents: her “Elvis”-like father who lusts after stardom almost like a drug, to the exclusion of everything else, including Nina’s mother, and his own children.  This strongly contrasts with Nina, who has achieved her own degree of recognition from her new, but quite successful, modeling career,; however, Nina shies away from the attention when she possibly can.  She is utterly devoted to her siblings, and while this is difficult, she also has their love and support always.  There is a clear and present message here.  

And yes, there is quite a bit that is predictable here.  And yes, there are many stereotypes here.  But it is a fun read, with some twists and turns, and some crazy surprises, especially as the big, Malibu bash gets going.  There  is no end to the trouble these stars cause!

Not a MUST-READ, but definitely a fun read!  Enjoy!


After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

It comes as no surprise to either Lauren or Ryan that they are at a crossroads in their marriage.  In fact, if they are honest with themselves, they’ve been struggling, with resentment and anger cresting like a slow wave, for months now.  As they are finally forced to acknowledge their painful situation, they strike a condition — an unusual, creative test of a sort —  to try to determine their future together.  Will this work?  Will this test drive them further apart?  Or will it, as they hope, bring them back together?

After reading a few of Reid’s books, I have come to understand that her gift is writing about relationships.  She has the uncanny ability of being able to create warmth between characters so palpable that is seems to rise up from the pages of the book.  I think that’s why I enjoy her writing so much.  Present here also is her signature use of an alternative medium of writing, using emails between characters to serve as an inspired means of allowing the reader to dive deeper into their hearts.

In truth, this book is really a light, beach read-type book.  It’s a love story, with sunny, quirky characters, and a few entertaining subplots that push the story forward.  In fact, there are a few details missing that I find odd.  For example, we never learn what Ryan actually does for a living – and he’s a pretty significant character.  I don’t know why that is.  And when Lauren goes to work (we do know what she does), we rarely hear about the work that she does.  Just an interesting and strange thing.

But that said, it is a fun, light, summer read that is a good antidote to all that is surrounding us at the moment, so I say, go for it!  Good therapeutic distraction!


Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

For anyone who has ever loved rock music, in all its crazy glory, I give you Daisy Jones and the Six. Written, cleverly, like a Rolling Stone interview, the story chronicles the accidental marriage of Daisy Jones, a gorgeous, lonely, and gifted child of LA in the 60’s with the band, The Six, originally from the East Coast and starting to hit it big.  The personalities, the alliances, the drugs, the romance, the challenges and the drama – it’s all there in an exquisitely crafted story of their rise to fame, fortune and ultimately the realization of some painful truths.

This is just an incredibly fun book to read.  The characters are wonderfully portrayed, with such vulnerability and warmth that you fall in love with them every bit as much as they are falling in love with each other.  The band feels so real.  You almost remember the songs they sing, as if they are hidden somewhere in your brain and not something you’re reading for the first time.  And the ego clashes are reminiscent of every band that Rolling Stone has probably ever interviewed, but are still somehow interesting because we are meeting them behind stage, unplugged, often unmoored and raw.

The idea of writing this story as an interview is brilliant.  My first inclination toward it was, honestly, reluctant.  I thought it might actually get old quick.  But it works!  it actually feels so honest and somehow more powerful, with the narrative coming from each of the characters themselves.  It is quite an unusual technique.

You will laugh, you might cry – but you will absolutely love Daisy Jones and the Six!