Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Daisy Jones And The Six (buddy read with Chrissi Reads) by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published April 20, 2019 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

 

And now for something a bit different…..

 

Hi everyone and welcome to a bit of a different review on my blog today. I read quite a lot of books with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. We have regular monthly features like our Kid-Lit challenge and Banned Books and then we have our Talking About feature where we both read a book then come together and do an interview-like post that explores our thoughts and feelings about what we’ve just read. 

I read The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo (arguably Taylor Jenkins Reid’s most famous book at this point in time) as a buddy read with blogger bestie Janel from Keeper Of Pages and enjoyed it so much I immediately passed it on to Chrissi to read too. It made Chrissi and I want to read Daisy Jones And The Six together as a buddy read, where we chatted three times through the book and after we finished, we fancied reviewing it a bit differently too!

We’ve decided to take the word DAISY JONES and for each letter, to find a word that describes some of the themes and in some cases, our feelings about the book.

 

Let’s get on with it!

D is for Daisy – 

Daisy is one of our main protagonists in this novel and such a fascinating character. Even though she makes some questionable decisions in the story, I still found myself rooting for her and caring about her as an individual.

A is for Argumentative –

The band Daisy Jones And The Six reminded me quite vividly of the real-life band, Fleetwood Mac who made an incredible album called Rumours but had so many scandals and in-fighting within the band. Like our band in the novel, it made for some great music though!

I is for Inspiring –

There are a few reasons why this word works for me in relation to the novel. There were some inspiring characters that I adored like Camila and her dedication and loyalty to her husband, Billy. Then there were my own feelings of being inspired by Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing. Everything about this band felt real and like Evelyn Hugo, I felt I could look them up as genuine individuals on Google!

S is for Strength –

Strength relates to some of the characters and their personalities. Again, I refer to Camila and the trials she goes through but it also reminds me of her husband, Billy who goes through hell and back with his own personal demons but refuses to succumb to them.

Y is for Yearning –

Oh yes. A LOT of yearning in this novel. Yearning of the characters for each other, yearning for a better life and yearning within the songs that the band write.

J is for Jealousy –

I picked up on oodles of jealousy in Daisy Jones And The Six. I think that’s quite normal in a band where you have people that steal more of the limelight and whether subconsciously or consciously neglect to let others have their time to shine.

O is for Outrageous –

The rock and roll lifestyle comes with some rock and roll behaviour from some of our characters. However, it was interesting to see how it connects with past events in their lives that may have precipitated more riskier behaviours.

N is for Narcotics –

What else can I say? Even though I don’t condone drug-taking myself, this is a novel about a rock and roll band in the 1970’s and drugs play quite a big role in some of the characters lives.

E is for Engrossing –

From the beginning, I thought this was going to be quite a difficult book to buddy read with Chrissi as I just didn’t want to put it down when I reached a specific checkpoint. Luckily, she was reading like a demon so I never had to wait!!

S is for Satisfying –

This is the perfect word for not only how I felt when I finished Daisy Jones And The Six but how I now view Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing in general. She’s filled me with such a hunger to read everything she has ever written and I await with eager anticipation what she writes next.

 

As you might be able to tell, I absolutely adored Daisy Jones And The Six. It was such a compelling, quirky read made all the more unique by the format it takes i.e. written as an interview with members of the band and those closest to them. Although I was tentative about the entire book being written like this at the start, it completely worked and made it such a fast-paced, enjoyable reading experience. I fell hard and fast for specific characters, in particular Daisy, Camila and Billy and it was wonderful to watch their journey as individuals and through their roller-coaster ride as the band’s fame sky-rocked through the story.

If you love a gripping yarn, stories about real people and their struggles and a plot that is entertaining and exciting, look no further than Daisy Jones And The Six. Believe the hype, it’s real.

To check out what Chrissi chose for her DAISY JONES words, please see her fabulous post HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published August 21, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

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 in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

What did I think?:

I don’t think I’ve heard a bad word said about this novel. So when my lovely blogger friend Janel who blogs over at Keeper Of Pages, suggested that we choose it for our July buddy read, I jumped at the chance. My only hesitation was that I’ve heard Evelyn Hugo reads as if it were “chick-lit.” I’m not the biggest fan of that genre, particularly if it involves romance so I think that’s why I wavered a little bit before picking it up. Well, I needn’t have worried because this is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year and is definitely one I’ll be pushing into the hands of everyone who hasn’t read it yet. (You’re next, Chrissi Reads!). I’m not even sure if I can do justice to how wonderful this novel is in a short sum up but believe me, this book is totally worth your time. It’s a touching, raw and honest account of a Hollywood icon who is telling her story to reporter Monique, particularly of her seven husbands and, more specifically, revealing who was her greatest love.

Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo.

I don’t want to go into any more detail about the synopsis, the above extract from Goodreads does it kind of perfectly but I just want to re-iterate that I wasn’t prepared for how this book was going to make me feel. This is why I thank all the deities for buddy reads as if I hadn’t had anyone to discuss moments of this book with, I think I might have gone slightly mad. I was also delighted that Janel was just as invested and excited about the story as I was and as with all our other collaborations, we had a fantastic reading experience together once more. As for the narrative itself, I believe I became hooked incredibly quickly, curious about Evelyn’s story immediately and desperate to understand why she was choosing to reveal all of her secrets at that moment in her life and to that particular person (Monique).

I think we’re all aware of the fickle, occasionally dangerous side of Hollywood, particularly when you become an icon, similar to what our lead, Evelyn Hugo experiences but I certainly wasn’t expecting the beautiful way in which Taylor Jenkins Reid illustrated the dark side of the industry and how it can change/affect a person’s mindset. We’d all like to believe that it’s changed for the better in contemporary times but of course that’s not true, prejudice, sexism and bigotry are still rife – we just need to look at the recent scandals and disgusting behaviour of a certain director to have evidence of that! Back when Evelyn was a younger actress just starting out in the business though, things were demonstrably worse. She was even compelled to mask her true Cuban heritage by dying her hair blonde and portraying the image of a Marilyn Monroe-esque sex siren to get ahead in her chosen career.

What makes Evelyn such a fascinating character to read about? Yes, it’s the struggles she had to go through to get to the top and the sacrifices she made in her personal life to get there and, as I’ve mentioned, it’s a brilliant portrayal of Hollywood ideals at its ugliest. However, the most compelling thing for me about Hugo was the mistakes she made, the flaws in her character, her good heart underneath a steely, determined exterior and the dignity she maintains throughout despite intense suffering in her life. She felt so genuine and normal and of course, as she begins to reveal her secrets, the reader becomes more intrigued and fully immersed in her life. By the end of this novel, I felt like I knew Evelyn on such an intimate level, almost as if she was a real person and Janel and I both discussed how we felt as if we could google her life story on the web and there she’d be. I’m now hugely excited to read something else by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Evelyn Hugo stole my heart, broke it a little bit and made me long for more.

Thank you once again to Janel for an amazing buddy reading experience. Check out her fantastic review HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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Past buddy reads with Janel @ Keeper Of Pages (we’re so good at this that we’ve given everything that we’ve read together so far FIVE STARS!)

The Fireman by Joe Hill – check out my review HERE and hers HERE.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – check out my review HERE and hers HERE.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – check out my review HERE and hers HERE.