Saturday, June 24, 2017

Double Book Review: THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid 
Release Date: June 13th, 2017 
Genre: Contemporary Women 
In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

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
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This. Book. You ever read a book and it's not what you thought it was going to be at all...it's better. That's this book. Reid has written an astoundingly beautiful book that will leave you breathless and reeling for more. 

I had been highly anticipating this book having heard so much about it already from magazines and reviewers. So when I got the chance to review, I jumped on the chance to dive into this book. And oh boy...did it leave me asking for more. I never wanted this book to end. 

It's so relevant without being shoved in your face and so contemporary in our time without actually being in our time. I found scenarios in this book that where like modern day and how we treat people, and how we act in society that resonated with me. This made the book so effortlessly beautiful. 

The story follows the life of Monique, a writer that works for a magazine just waiting for her big break. Her life isn't what she had planned for it to be. But quickly Monique's life is spinning out of control when she is asked to write a story over the gorgeous and mysteries Evelyn Hugo. 

After meeting Evelyn, she realizes nothing is as it seems and she isn't prepared for the story of a lifetime she is about to receive. Evelyn takes Monique on a journey and teaches her so much over such a short time. 

I found myself lost to this story and learning about the mystery of this Hollywood Scarlet. This is a book that I will remember for years to come and will definitely be re-reading. I'm utterly obsessed and I don't see that changing anytime soon. 
Until this year I had never read a book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I don't know why, probably the curse of the never ending TBR. In February, I decided enough was enough and ended up binge reading MAYBE IN ANTHER LIFE and ONE TRUE LOVES back-to-back. I absolutely adored and devoured both of these books. I probably finished each one in less than 48 hours. TJR has captivating writing style. She really gets you thinking!


When I originally saw the synopsis for THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, I thought to myself "this book really isn't for me." Mind you, this was prior to reading any of her books. After my TJR binge I knew I had to have this book. I needed more of her words and her stories. So when I saw the NetGalley request opportunity, I jumped at it!

Words I would use to describe this book: 
Unique. Captivating. Bold. 

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO had a layout like nothing I've read before. It reads mostly as a narrative of Evelyn's life. Like I was Monique Grant, sitting there listening to Evelyn tell me her story. I was swept away by each tale and each husbands story. All the while I kept wondering and formulating ideas on WHY Evelyn had specifically wanted Monique to hear her story. Let me tell you, none of my ideas were right.

I want to note that the book touches on many different subjects that are "taboo" or that could potentially trigger someone. I'm not going to state what those are because I feel it would detract from the storyline. If you're someone that is sensitive to certain subjects or likes to know when a book has a trigger warning, well.... maybe don't read this book. At least not without asking around first.

Overall, I highly recommend this books and it quickly became one of my favorite reads this year. If you're in the mood for a quick, but deep read, this is the book for you. If you're looking for something new and fresh in the writing world, pick this one up! I can't wait to see what Taylor Jenkins Reed comes up with next.

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review*

Taylor Jenkins Reid lives in Los Angeles and is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as well as One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and more. Her novels have been named best books of summer by People, US Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, PopSugar, BuzzFeed, Goodreads, and others.

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