book reviews

A book worth its hype by Taylor Jenkins Reid aka a review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Hello everyone!! I hope everyone is doing good and staying safe!! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a book I have heard a loooot about, and a book that spent well over a year on my Goodreads shelf (even though I wanted to read it a lot). So, I FINALLY read this marvellous book, and I loved it just as much as I thought I would.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Contemporary

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Date published: June 13th 2017

Rep: Biracial (black father, white mother) main character, Cuban main character, bisexual main character, gay and lesbian side characters, Black and Asian side characters

Length: 401 pages

Content warning: abusive parent, sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, underage sex, lying about age, smoking, misogyny, abusive relationship, car accident, off-screen parental death, abortion, cheating, suicide, cancer

Find this book on Goodreads

Summary:

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—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 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—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.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.


I don’t really have anything bad to say about this book, so here’s a list of everything I loved!!! (I probably forgot a lot of things, oops)

  • Monique (one of the main characters) is biracial. As a biracial kid myself, this made me super happy!!!
  • Similarly, Evelyn is Latina – from Cuba – which I also loved. I related so much to her struggles about hiding that part of her and not speaking Spanish anymore. How that changes as the story developed was an amazing thing to see.
  • BI MAIN CHARACTER! And the struggles/erasure that comes with being bisexual. This is an important discussion worth having and I am so glad it was talked about in the book.
  • the writing. is. AMAZING. 10/10
  • Surprisingly, I really loved the moments where it switched to second-person. It’s very unique and extremely well-done!
  • I loved the plot. It moved at just the right speed for me, keeping my on my toes. The little breaks coming-back-to-the-present and the breaks “article from a journal” added so much to the story.
  • MORALLY GREY CHARACTERS are so!!! interesting!!!!!!!! I loooooved Evelyn!!!
  • Each husband was very interesting to me. I couldn’t wait to see who was going to come next, why, and what they were going to be like.
  • Women using their bodies to get what they want. Women are usually praised for their bodies but then shamed when they try to use it to their advantage. fuck that.
  • Harry. I loved Harry to death. (ha)
  • I loved seeing the changes in Monique throughout the story and how she was affected by what Evelyn was telling her. Her character development is 10/10
  • Unreliable narrators. 10/10
  • Honestly, just the 50s. Reading about the struggles of being queer and of colour during that time was very interesting even if it broke my heart. But also, completely unrelated, it’s a period of time I find fascinating!
  • I cried.
  • I’M STILL SO MAD ABOUT THOSE WHO DIED. smh. I’m sad
  • Reading about how the film industry and Hollywood is in general was eye-opening. Also very interesting!
  • Just, the character development in general. 10/10
  • people’s relationship with their bodies and their beauty. How it can sometimes be a burden as much as it is a blessing
  • How the characters just felt real. They were so well-written and well-rounded, and weren’t perfect (at all).
  • How marriage is represented.
  • The overall message of the book
  • EVERYTHING OKAY. Imma stop here but everything 😭

I could probably keep going, but I think the most important thing to take away from this review is that this book is so worth the hype it’s getting. It was absolutely phenomenal, and you should read it!!!


Stay safe everyone!! Sending you lots of love!!! ❤️

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