Friday, May 12

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Genre: Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 398
Published: June 13, 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon 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 is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Been eyeballing this book for a little bit, but then it was picked for Book Club SO I got the push I needed to read this emerald. 

Here we follow Monique and Evelyn. Evelyn Hugo is and was a Hollywood movie icon. She is aging and wants to tell the truth behind her glamorous and scandalous life. She tracks down Monique who is a nobody writer trying to make her way and now her husband has left her. Monique takes the job to tell Evelyn's story. Write a biography and maybe this will jumpstart her career. By the end of it, Monique will discover and learn so much about Evelyn and herself. She will also learn the tragic way her life intersects with Evelyn's. 

I was literally hooked from page 1. There is something about Monique and Evelyn that is dazzling. I literally stayed up way too long finishing this because I just HAD.TO.KNOW. There is a BIG reveal near the end that just cemented my love for this book. 

What I loved most about this was that Evelyn knew she wasn't a good guy all the time. She knew her flaws and what she was willing to do to get to the top. I love a good complex character like that. She had a heart and she wasn't evil, but she knew what she wanted and she knew how to get it. 

I found the format really interesting. Each section of the book (there are 7) is named after her husband. She had 7 of them and married them all for VASTLY different reasons. I also loved that we learn Evelyn's story as if we were listening to the recording. It is her story in her words. It felt right. 

Now...I shouldn't be surprised she fell in love with a woman. That is part of the whole story and not a spoiler. However, I was surprised by WHO she fell for. That was a bigger shock than the big reveal at the end. And to be frank.................I think she could've done better. That lady was meh and by the end, I did warm up to her a bit, but I didn't like her. I might be in the minority here, but I felt like Evelyn deserved better. But you love who you love I guess. 

I loved Harry. I loved his and Evelyn's friendship. 

The ending....damn. That was good. 

My only "issue" with the book is that I wanted more time with Monique and the aftermath of what she writes. We get to see a clipping of her feature (like an excerpt), but what did she end up doing? I want more. Maybe a sequel. Call it.....'The Seven Books of Monique Grant' and have another person take her story. GAH! That would be fun. 

But yes, I ended up really adoring this book. I feel like this is a good contender for book of the year. It's up against some goodies already, but I really liked this. I wouldn't mind checking out the audio one day. 5 stars from me.

- #16 for Romance Reading Challenge - Green dress


Melliane said...

Oh it looks great!

Mary Kirkland said...

That sounds really good. I love finding a book that hooks me from the very beginning.

Carole Rae said...

Melliane, it was certainly a gem.

Mary, same!! Love a good book from page 1!

Jen Twimom said...

Wow! This isn't my normal read but it sounds utterly fascinating!

Carole Rae said...

It was sooooo good. I'm glad it was picked in Book Club.

Blodeuedd said...

And I still have not read it

Carole Rae said...

its a goodie ;)