Do you ever read a book so good it makes you worried all future reads are going to disappoint? This book did that for me. Here’s my 5-star book review of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Age group/genre: adult fiction
- Publication date: June 13th, 2017
- Pages: 400
- Average Goodreads rating: ★★★★☆
- My Goodreads rating: ★★★★★
- Read as an ebook.
For unknown reasons, magazine writer Monique Grant is asked to write a biography on the great star Evelyn Hugo. The two work through Evelyn’s entire life story, from her youth as a poor Puerto Rican kid in New York, to her glamorous lifestyle as the biggest actress in Hollywood and beyond. Evelyn tells the stories of her seven marriages along the way, and reveals who was her one true big love.
The first third of the book I didn’t care for the plot. It was evident something big was going to be coming, but that was not what I was reading for. I read for the characters. I enjoy character-driven stories the most, and this novel had both a character-based storyline and an eventful plot.
About two thirds in, I’d become really attached to the characters. So much so, that the book was often on my mind whenever I wasn’t reading. I was trying to come up with actresses that could portray Evelyn Hugo in an old-school film based on this book (for a moment I lingered on Blake Lively, but that would be whitewashing). I started to become slightly curious for this intense climax I knew we were waiting for.
Then came the chapter where I sensed something bad was about to happen, and I knew it would be happening the very next page. Without giving away any spoilers, I was as shocked and grieved as Evelyn Hugo herself. I felt like somebody had shoved me hard and punched me in the heart. I must’ve sat staring into the distance in complete since for about 15 minutes, just processing the heartbreaking events of Evelyn Hugo’s life.
From that moment on, the last third of the book, I sat reading almost non-stop, constantly on the verge of tears. I have cried for very few books in my life. This is now one of them.
Although I really didn’t care for the hinting of a nasty plot twist at the start of the book, I felt it was cleverly done in the end. I had gotten so lost within these characters and their lives, I forgot to pay attention to the plot. The twist totally worked for me.
Frankly, I think there are no words to do this novel justice, other than: read it. Please just read it.
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