I admit, when this book first did its rounds, I didn’t feel like reading it. Book blogs and BookTube posted raving reviews saying how amazing this book was. I wanted more description than the synopsis but everybody and their mothers kept on saying I just have to read it. That is not intriguing. It is still a mystery to me why I decided to pick it up this time but I am glad I did. This story is full of diverse representations. From racial diversity to LGBTQ+ characters, they are all here and it’s glorious.
The story begins when Monique Grant, main character one, gets summoned by Evelyn Hugo to do an interview at her house. When she gets there, Evelyn Hugo reveals to her that instead of an interview, she actually wants Monique to write her biography. This then begins the wild story about Evelyn and her seven husbands. It was insane and I LOVE IT.
At its core, the plot of the story sounds simplistic. However, it feels closer to an emotional train wreck, what with all the twists and turns that is Evelyn’s life. I felt so many emotions while reading this, from anger to depression to yelling ‘Go, girl!’ while at the train (people stared, I don’t care haha). The wild thing too is, I either felt them one at a time or I was assaulted by everything at the same time. Does this sound like a great exaggeration? I wish. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a naturally emotional person or whatnot, but I felt everything. I am not ashamed to say I cried in public on the way home after work.
The portrayal of the different kinds of love is also very refreshing. Is it possible to fall in love with more than one person in your life? Taylor Reid made sure to distinguish between platonic and romantic love. She also showed how in some ways, both types tend to overlap. The state of stupidity that we get into when we fall in love is also present in the story and it was glorious. Like, seriously, we never learn do we? It was such a pleasure reading this, I can say it deserves all the re-reads.
Every single person that Evelyn met during her lifetime is extremely interesting. All of her seven husbands had distinct characteristics that made them more memorable to me, as a reader. Even the other actresses that she befriended were very colorful people, and I think the author did a great job at not making them too much of a caricature. I would say that Taylor managed to spotlight all the important characters while also making the side characters readable. I never felt like anyone was too one-dimensional.
Evelyn Hugo’s voice made me like her at times, and dislike her other times. I empathised with her, through all her happiness and hardships. Granted, if it was me, some of her life choices were questionable and I wouldn’t have done it. But the magical thing is, I understood where she was coming from. Evelyn Hugo is human, and we are complex creatures. The amalgamation of her life experiences made her who she is and Taylor Reid did fantastically to show that.
The Writing Style
The author’s writing style is very immersive. I appreciate the fact that her narrative style felt like a conversation between two people. She didn’t use words that were too flowery and her sentences were not too long. I don’t hate flowery prose but to be honest, if I want to read for pleasure, I don’t like having to decipher what the author means too much. To me, good writing means being able to convey any concept or idea using words that the mass can understand. To make knowledge accessible is one of the jobs of any writer.
Quotes, this is a very quotable book. Quotes can be used as inspiration or as page breakers in book reviews. Do you like to collect quotes? (drink every time you read ‘quote’)
This book is set up so it reads like a biography. The format was super effective to me because I’ve had a few times of confusion where I thought Evelyn Hugo was real and I wanted to Google her. I kind of wished sometime in the future, Taylor Jenkins Reid would come out in public to reveal that (ironically) this book IS actually about someone. That is like, biography-caption. Taylor wrote this book about a writer writing the life of a famous actress because she wants to hide the real actress she’s writing a biography of. *brain explodes*
So please check this book out! Who cares if it’s backlisted now? There’s always time to read new-to-you books. I can’t guarantee this but it might change how you see the world. It did to me. By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t do star ratings. It feels a little stifling to me so I just write the pros and cons instead.
What do you think? Have you read this book? Comment down below so we can talk about it! Also, check out my 2019 reading goals!