If you’re anything like us at Off the Shelf, you can’t get enough of Taylor Jenkins Reid. From humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age stories like Maybe in Another Life to the gripping and cinematic historical fiction of Daisy Jones & the Six, Reid’s unique combination of inspirational storytelling and brutally honest emotional poignancy is enough to captivate any reader. Once you’ve exhausted the Taylor Jenkins Reid library you know and love, check out one of these ten titles that are sure to scratch that Reid itch that has you jonesing for strong leads, awe-inspiring settings, and heartrending insights into the most tangled of relationships.
Still craving Taylor Jenkins Reid’s uplifting characters and emotional vulnerability? Check out this backlist gem, Taylor Jenkin Reid’s second novel, AFTER I DO which meets Lauren and Ryan at the moment it seems their marriage will fail. In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship, the two agree to an unorthodox plan: they will take a year away from each other without any contact, in hopes that they will crave each other’s company by the end. Lauren’s journey of self-discovery has her reconnecting with friends and family and wondering what could possibly make marriage and monogamy work.
A historical novel about formidable women perfect for fans of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES follows Honoree Dalcour, a sharecropper’s daughter who moves to Chicago in 1925 eager to dance her way to the top. As Honoree socializes with elites like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, she begins to realize ambition comes at a price. Ninety years in the future, a filmmaker with his own traumatic past comes to a 110-year-old Honoree looking for answers about Micheaux’s career, but the answers she gives him aren’t the ones he expects.
Like DAISY JONES & THE SIX, Dawnie Walton’s THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV makes use of an oral history format to tell the tale of Opal, an Afro-punk rocker in the 1970s. As an aspiring artist with big dreams, Opal simply isn’t satisfied with an average life. Luckily for her, she’s discovered by singer/songwriter Neville Charles. She agrees to join his record company and begins to create her own music. That is, until a rival band flashes a Confederate flag at a concert. Opal protests in response, and then a violent series of events halts her career. Decades later, a journalist named Sunny seeks to write about that chaotic time and a rumored reunion between Opal and Nev. Sunny soon finds a juicy but potentially explosive story that will leave readers contemplating whether an artist can be separated from their art.
An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK
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“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.
In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.
Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.
Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.
For more nostalgic magnetism reminiscent of DAISY JONES & THE SIX, check out BOOTLEG STARDUST, about high school dropout Levi who, despite his foster home background, is determined to become a rock star. When he gets hired to join the group Downtown Exit, he thinks his dream has come true. But, being just the backup guitarist, Levi must wait in the shadows and negotiate the volatile personalities of his bandmates as they traverse Europe until his moment arrives.
Daisy Jones & the Six meets Nick Hornby in this uplit debut novel about a young musician who auditions for a band and is suddenly catapulted into the wild world of rock and roll stardom, where nothing is quite what it seems.
Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom on your way to the top.
It’s 1974. The music world is rocking with bellbottoms, platform shoes, and lots and lots of drugs. This year’s sensation is an American band called Downtown Exit and their latest album has just gone gold.
For high school dropout Levi Jaxon, things aren’t so great. After bouncing around foster homes for years, he’s living in his best friend’s basement. His dream is to someday be a rock star, but he has a problem—his own band has just broken up.
In an uncanny stroke of luck, Levi lands an audition for Downtown Exit, who are now recording their second album at Abbey Road Studios. He arrives in London and aces his audition, only to learn he’s not really in the band. No, Levi’s job is to sit in the wings and cover for the band’s real guitarist when he inevitably starts tripping on stage.
Levi sticks with it, hoping to step into the role he’s always dreamed of. But he must first navigate egos, jealousies, and deceptions. Frankie, the band’s front man, has it out for him. And Levi has fallen for Ariadne, the band’s photographer. All of them have their secrets, Levi included. And as the band tours through Europe and struggles to finish their new album, Levi comes face to face with unanswered questions from his past and the impossible price that fame demands.
Utterly magical and transporting, Bootleg Stardust is a one-of-a-kind joyride about the power of music to bring people together—and break them apart—and the courage it takes to find your own voice.
Etto, a twenty-two-year-old living in San Benedetto, is grieving the loss of his twin brother and mother, growing ever more adrift from his father, the local butcher and a soccer obsessive. But when Ukrainian soccer star Yuri comes to the island to hide from a scandal with his sister, Zhuki, Etto finds himself suddenly invited into their world of soccer, friendship, and fun. Like the best Taylor Jenkins Reid stories, THE SUN AND OTHER STARS luxuriates in dreamy surroundings, empathetic characters, and the fantasy of celebrity.
From PEN/Hemingway award winner Brigid Pasulka, the “charming…refreshing tale” (The New York Times Book Review) of a widowed butcher and his son whose losses are transformed into love in a small town on the Italian Riviera.
In the seaside village of San Benedetto, twenty-two-year-old Etto finds himself adrift. Within the past year, Etto has not only lost both his twin brother and his mother, but in his grief has become estranged from his father, the local butcher. While his father passes the time with the men of the town in the fine tradition of Italian men everywhere—a reverential obsession with soccer—Etto retreats ever further from his day-to-day life, seeking solace in the hills above the town.
But then a Ukrainian soccer star, the great Yuri Fil, sweeps into San Benedetto, taking refuge himself from an international scandal. Soon Yuri and his captivating sister Zhuki invite Etto into their world of sport, celebrity, loyalty, and humor. Under their influence, Etto begins to reconstruct his relationship with his father and, slowly, open himself back up to the world. Who knows: perhaps the game of soccer isn’t just a waste of time, and perhaps San Benedetto, his father, love, and life itself might have more to offer him than he ever believed possible.
“Full of light and surprising grace, [The Sun and Other Stars] is both a poetic coming-of-age story and a poignant examination of the nature of family and belonging” (The Boston Globe). It is a gorgeous, celebratory novel about families, compromise, and community, a big-hearted masterpiece that showcases a writer at the joyful height of her talents.
Katie has always wanted to be an Olympic skier. She leaves home to live and train with friends and fellow skiers Luke and Blair. But when Katie discovers a horrible secret about her sister that tears her world—and her friendship with Luke and Blair—apart, she flees to Buenos Aires and recreates herself as Liz Sullivan. Flashing between her ascent in the ski world as Katie and her descent into the underbelly of the tango scene as Liz, WE CAME HERE TO FORGET is, according to Taylor Jenkins Reid, a “searing, gripping . . . [and] complicated story of sisterhood.”
From the author of She Regrets Nothing, which BuzzFeed called a “sharp, glittering story of wealth, family, and fate,” a vivid novel about a young Olympic skier who loses everything and reinvents herself in Buenos Aires, where she meets a man keeping dark secrets of his own.
Katie Cleary has always known exactly what she wants: to be the best skier in the world. As a teenager, she leaves her home to live and train full time with her two best friends, brothers Luke and Blair. Their wealthy father hires the best coaches money can buy and after years of training, the three friends are the USA’s best shot at bringing home Olympic gold.
But as the upward trajectory of Katie’s elite skiing career nears its zenith, a terrifying truth about her sister becomes impossible to ignore—one that will lay ruin not only to Katie’s career but to her family and her relationship with Luke and Blair.
With her life shattered and nothing left to lose, Katie flees the snowy mountainsides of home for Buenos Aires. There, she reinvents herself and meets a colorful group of ex-pats and the alluring, charismatic Gianluca Fortunado, a tango teacher with secrets of his own. This beautiful city, with its dark history and wild promise, seems like the perfect refuge, but can she really outrun her demons?
“Searing, gripping…a complicated story of sisterhood unlike any told before” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & The Six), We Came Here to Forget explores what it means to dream, to desire, to achieve—and what’s left behind after it all disappears.
Pianist Julia Forrester returns to Wharton Park, the grand estate where her father once tended to exotic orchids, to recover from the loss of her husband and child. There, she and the estate’s heir, Kit, find an old diary that holds the secrets to a long-ago love affair that almost tore the estate apart. Told in alternating time lines between the present English countryside and 1940s Thailand where two star-crossed lovers were separated during World War II, THE ORCHID HOUSE has all the poignancy and time-spanning grandeur of the most epic Taylor Jenkins Reid titles.
Set in a magnificent estate in interwar Britain, this sweeping novel tells the tale of the prominent Crawford family, whose shocking secrets lead to devastating consequences for generations to come.
Perfect for fans of MALIBU RISING, SONGS IN URSA MINOR is set in the sultry summer of 1969, when folk icon Jesse Reid is scheduled to headline the Bayleen Island Folk Fest. When his motorcycle crashes on the way, however, local singer Jane Quinn is asked to perform in his place. As her star begins to rise and Jesse stays on the island to heal, the two form a bond and Jesse becomes Jane’s number one advocate. But once on tour with Jesse, Jane discovers the darkness beneath Jesse’s music and must grapple with the secrets in her own past.
As we learned in DAISY JONES & THE SIX, combining business and pleasure is almost always sure to backfire spectacularly. Such is the case for Carli Henton. Daughter to a famous musician father, Carli would like nothing more than to enter the industry as a player. But unfulfilled dreams don’t pay the rent and she’s forced to accept a low-level management gig at a major media company. That’s where she just so happens to meet Tau Anderson, the rising pop star. Having been burned by a producer’s advances years earlier, Carli initially isn’t interested when Tau begins making romantic gestures. But soon she can’t help but become involved with Tau—both personally and professionally. Much like Daisy and Billy’s relationship, Carli and Tau’s entanglement leads to some incredible works of art, while also putting Carli’s professional life on the line. She’ll have to decide: Is it worth the risk?
For fans of My (Not So) Perfect Life and Jasmine Guillory’s While We Were Dating, a disarmingly fun debut novel follows Carlisa Henton as her life comes undone after a chance meeting with a rising pop star.
Carlisa “Carli” Henton is a musician and songwriter hoping to follow in her father’s musical footsteps. But, biding her time until she makes it big in the music industry, she works as a junior account manager at a big-name media company to cover her New York City rent. Carli meticulously balances her work with her musical endeavors as a songwriter—until a chance meeting with rising star Tau Anderson sends her calculated world into a frenzy. Their worlds collide and quickly blur the strict lines Carli has drawn between her business and her personal life, throwing Carli’s reputation—and her burgeoning songwriting career—into question.
A smart, timely, energizing romance, Good Morning, Love shows us what the glamorous New York’s music scene is really like and takes us into the lives of a rising but somewhat troubled R&B star and a promising protégé who knows her job better than she knows herself.
With fresh and honest prose, Good Morning, Love examines the uncertainty of being a new professional looking to chase a dream while also trying to survive in a world that’s not always kind to ambitious women.
The grass always appears greener on the other side. It was true for DAISY JONES AND THE SIX’s Billy Dunne, who, despite having a loving wife and family at home, couldn’t help but risk it all. And it is true for Hunter, boyfriend of MAYBE SOMEDAY’s protagonist, Sydney. Sydney believes all is well in their relationship right up until she discovers Hunter is cheating on her . . . with her best friend. After moving out, she finds solace in the music of the mysterious Ridge, her new neighbor. The two bond over their mutual love of songwriting and—much like Billy and Daisy—begin to collaborate. And, also like Billy and Daisy, that collaboration goes far beyond the music that they’re creating. Funny, heartwarming, and filled with Colleen Hoover’s signature spice, MAYBE SOMEDAY will have you singing away.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Starts with Us and It Ends with Us comes a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance.
At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.
Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
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