Updated: Mar 29, 2020
I recently was lucky enough to win a giveaway from the lovely @LiteraturewithLylan and was able to receive a book of my choice (She's a sweetheart and I love her account!) For my giveaway choice I went with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.I have seen a lot of bookstagram hype over Taylor Jenkins Reid (TJR) and have her latest book, Daisy Jones & The Six, but have not cracked it open yet. I thought Evelyn would be a good way to get into Reid's writing style. This book was structured differently than the types I usually go for, but that made it a fun and quick read. It was an interview format and read like a documentary. I actually really enjoyed that about the book, because I could imagine it easily being adapted to a movie. When I read books, I usually try and think of someone I know or a celebrity who I can imagine in my head as I read. This one was fun to do that with because I pictured a combination of a few old Hollywood starlets and felt like I could envision Evelyn.
Evelyn Hugo is an old Hollywood movie star who is a mix of a sexy Marilyn Monroe and an elegant Elizabeth Taylor. She came from humble beginnings and scraped her way to the top of stardom. She married seven men along the way, breaking hearts and headlines, but she is much more than the media portrayed her. Evelyn Hugo asks journalist Monique Grant if she is willing to write her biography to be published after her death. Monique is an up and coming journalist and far from the most experienced at her place of work. But when a famous movie star like Evelyn Hugo specifically requests you, you do not turn her down. Monique accepts the offer and after listening to Evelyn's life story, finds out the real reason Evelyn specifically requested her.
Evelyn's story runs deeper than what people think, which is a great reflection of living in the limelight. Media portrays famous people in any way they wish, usually to generate ratings, and it is easy to forget that they are ordinary people beneath all of the glitz and glam. To Evelyn's fans, she seems like an untouchable force who has misfortune with love. But every decision, every marriage, Evelyn has, there is a reason behind it. Evelyn lived her life knowing people were always watching and, in doing so, she had to hide her true self. Though Evelyn is a fictional character, hers is a story that I am sure many people living under the glow of the spotlight can relate to. Life is hard enough and making decisions never comes easy, but I cannot imagine having the added pressure of so many eyes on you, judging your every move.
The character development in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is so vivid, it was hard to believe Evelyn was not a real person. You can tell that TJR pulled inspiration from several old Hollywood actresses and combined their traits to create Evelyn. Evelyn walks Monique through her entire acting career, as well as each of her marriages. The book was structured around each marriage, which made it a total page turner and a quick read. The real reason behind each of Evelyn's marriages is revealed, as well as who was the love of her life, and why she specifically chose Monique to write her life story. I enjoyed walking through her rise to stardom and learning the reasons behind the choices she made to get there. TJR is an extremely captivating writer and I am looking forward to reading more novels by her.
I gave The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★.5 stars. It was glamorous, fun and captivating. I am looking forward to reading Daisy Jones & The Six now that I have experienced TJR's writing style. There has been a lot of hype surrounding both books, which tends to set me up for disappointment, but not in the case of TJR. I really enjoyed her style.