BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid What a great way to start off my reading year! There was so much hype about this book on all the reading Facebook groups I belong to and the hype was worth it. This is the story of the adult Riva children. Their dad was the great Mick Riva, a very famous singer, who left his family when his 4 children were young because he basically couldn’t keep it in his pants. The story is one day in their lives in 1985 when Nina, the oldest is throwing her annual rager party in her massive house on a cliff in Malibu. Her siblings are all there and at this stage they are all trying to figure out life after a childhood being raised by an alcoholic single mom. It’s this party that defines and changes everything about the siblings. The party is also the epicenter of a massively destructive California wildfire, and you know this the whole time you’re reading the book and you just know that one of the Rivas is responsible for the fire… but who??

BJ Knapp author of Beside the Music enjoyed Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

The Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno Marin is a student at a private school in Massachusetts. She’s on the fast track to getting accepted at Brown, her boyfriend is a star on the lacrosse team, and she’s the co-editor of the paper with her best friend. But it’s a crush on her English teacher that completely derails everything. When he makes a move on her she has to decide whether or not to report him. When he tells her that he wants things to be cool between them she snaps. She starts to notice all those subtle things about what it means to be a girl and publishes an editorial in the paper about all those rules that girls have to follow. “Be assertive, but don’t be bossy. Don’t be a slut but don’t be a prude, etc.” The blowback from that editorial is huge and she ends up reporting the teacher. At which point every thing unravels. She doesn’t get accepted to Brown and she learns it was the teacher who she reported who made her rejection happen. An awesome insight in how all the microaggressions form teenage girls, and how despite how far we think we’ve come we still have a million miles to go.

BJ Knapp is the author of Beside the Music, available for purchase here. Please sign up for the Backstage with BJ Knapp mailing list to get updates on events, signings, dog pictures and so much more.