One of my favorite parts about reading is finding new favorite authors, whether it's learning about them after they've written a few books (and then devouring their backlist) or discovering them with their debut novel and following their careers. I love finding those authors I can rely on to bring something amazing with each new story. I had never heard of Taylor Jenkins Reid before I started blogging, but when I saw her name popping up on many other blogs, it made me want to check out her books. From the first one I read, I fell in love, and so here are the reasons why Taylor Jenkins Reid has become one of my favorite authors (and why you should check her out, too!).
1. Relatable characters
For the most part, her characters are somewhat close to me in age and stage of life. In Forever, Interrupted, Elsie is a pizza lover, tv watcher, and reader - I can definitely relate to that! Lauren and Ryan from After I Do are a married couple who met at 19 in college - which is the age I was when I met my husband, and we also met in college. I enjoy reading about characters that I can see parts of myself in; it makes the story feel that much more real to me.
2. Relatable scenarios
When I read the synopsis for each of Jenkins Reid's books, one of the things that attracted me most was how realistic and relatable the plots were. Whether it's a 20-something woman whose life could change drastically based on one decision she makes (and we get to see the fallout from that decision in Maybe In Another Life) or a marriage that's on the rocks, TJR has crafted stories that really *could* happen. Sometimes the plots seem larger than life, such as the decision a woman has to make after her long-lost (and presumed dead) husband returns to find she has moved on to another man in One True Loves, but that just makes things more interesting (and honestly, that scenario isn't unheard of!).
3. Big questions
Maybe it's because the scenarios are so relatable, but her books always seem to bring up what I consider to be "big questions" - those philosophical questions that force us to take stock of our lives and decisions. Is there such a thing as a soulmate? How big of a role does fate play in our lives? When you've vowed to love someone forever, what happens if you fall out of love? How hard should you try to get it back? Is it inevitable that romance will fade over the years? Are longer marriages better or more important than shorter ones? Is there a time limit on grief?
4. Great writing
I like good, straightforward writing, writing that is honest and dialogue that feels like a real conversation. There's nothing overly flowery or poetic about Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing; yes, that kind of writing has a place and I'm not trying to knock it, because in many instances I do enjoy it, but I appreciate that her books are very readable. The stories flow so well and are so easy to read.
While her first four novels were basically contemporary women's fiction, Taylor Jenkins Reid's fifth novel was a bit of a departure. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tells the life story of an aging actress, as told to a journalist. Although it focused on relationships, it felt different than her previous novels. Jenkins Reid went outside her box, and the result was something just as amazing as her previous works. I'm so excited to see where she goes next!
So, have you read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid? Which of her books is your favorite? What makes an author your "favorite"?