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

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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 in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

I was one of the very few people in the world (it seems) that actually didn’t really enjoy Daisy Jones and the Six. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on ever picking up another TJR book. But then I kept hearing about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and my best friend Courtney loved it so much she gave me her copy when she bought a hardback edition. So I thought I’d give it a go, and I don’t regret it.

I listened to most of this book on audio, and then read the last 80 or so pages in physical format because I just couldn’t put it down. The whole book was so good, but the last part of this book was simply astounding. TJR has woven a brilliant, genius story. I loved it.

People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, 

If there is one thing TJR manages across her books, it’s making her characters seem real. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Daisy Jones and the Six, I can definitely agree that the band themselves felt like a real band. And in this case, Evelyn herself felt like a real star, in all of her good, bad and ugly glory. I was so drawn into her story and into Monique’s, who was writing Evelyn’s autobiography. And although I can’t speak from personal experience about the bi rep, I feel like it was done really well.

The plot was so intriguing, and the ending had me absolutely shook. There are very few books I have been that surprised about, but I was left reeling with this one.

when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.

Overall, this book was so compelling and enjoyable to read. If you haven’t already, please go and pick it up!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split.
Nobody ever knew why. Until now.
They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently.
The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed.
Making music is never just about the music. And sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin.

This book was a 2019 staple for so many people, so even though it isn’t something I’d usually read, I decided to pick it up. And now, I understand what everybody loves so much. There is something capturing about this book. Enticing, just like Daisy Jones herself. There is something that throws you until you don’t know how to feel anymore. It’s enigmatic.

I often find it difficult to read in formats I’m not interested in, like interviews and verse. So when I heard Daisy Jones is written in an interview format, I was very hesitant to pick it up. I just find with interviews, some of the character development can be missed. But this one was different.

I used to think soul mates were two of the same. I used to think I was supposed to look for somebody that was like me. I don’t believe in soul mates anymore and I’m not looking for anything.

Unfortunately, in some ways, I was right. I did enjoy the interview format, as it worked well for the subject and made it a super quick and easy read. But I just….didn’t feel a connection to the characters. I didn’t even like Daisy and Billy.

I think this was where the majority of my disappointment about this book fell. Even though I often felt drawn to them both and sympathetic for them, I couldn’t bring myself to really like them as much as I wanted to. And this was just…quite a big drawback and happened with more characters than I wanted it to. I loved a lot about Daisy, and all the members of The Six. But then something would happen that would put me off them completely.

But if I did believe in them, I’d believe your soul mate was somebody who had all the things you didn’t, that needed all the things you had. Not somebody who’s suffering from the same stuff you are.

Other than the characters, this book was fascinating, and I found it hard to put down. I enjoyed it a lot, but characters mean a lot to me. I can definitely see the appeal of this book, and why it blew up so much in 2019. It’s enticing and somehow alive. I’ll definitely recommend it to people. But there were a few things about it that unfortunately made it not quite as much for me as I wanted it to be.

★★★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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