Monday, June 12, 2017

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID - BLOG TOUR



Hello everyone!

I am so excited to kick off a new blog tour with you! I am working with Simon and Schuster Canada as well as some other amazing bloggers to share our thoughts on the latest from Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! We have seven days of reviews for you to check out!


Here is my book review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Thank you again to Simon and Schuster Canada and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


Ok, where do I begin with this one? I've only read one other book by Jenkins Reid, One True Loves, and I really enjoyed both, but this book is just so different from that one and so many others I've read recently.

The story is told in a frame narrative, the illustrious classic movie star Evelyn Hugo is telling her life story to a journalist, Monique. We see both Monique's life, her impending divorce and her general life in New York City, as well as Evelyn's rise to fame and the stories of her infamous seven husbands. The book looks at what it's like to be a woman in Hollywood from the 1950s onward, as well as looking at social and cultural reactions to issues like homosexuality, AIDS, racial tensions, etc.

I really loved the set up of this book. It's been a while since I read a frame narrative and I haven't really read any in the first place. But I appreciated the way the book was laid out like this, even though most of the book is about Evelyn's life, it was nice to have a couple breaks where we were reminded that this all happened in the past, and everyone Evelyn was protecting back then is dead and can't be hurt by her telling her story. I really liked Monique the few times we got to see her, I almost wish there was more of her story in the book. A couple times, I felt like her story took a backseat to Evelyn's, which I understand, but I felt like her life with David wasn't really elaborated on enough to make me too concerned about her.

Jenkins Reid does an amazing job of making Evelyn come to life. In my e-ARC, there was a letter from the senior editor of the book and she mentioned how she kept wanting to Google Evelyn Hugo's Oscar dresses. I felt the same way. I was fascinated with learning about her life, both personal and professional. I kept wanting to find clips of her movies or look at pictures of her gowns. She felt like a real person to me, someone who I was able to visualize and connect with.

Sexuality is a major part of this book and I was a little taken aback. I'm not used to such bluntness, but it was something I appreciated. Fairly early on in the book, we find out that Evelyn is bisexual. I won't get into spoiler-y specifics but I will say that I was intrigued by this fact, mainly because I can count on one hand the number of bisexual MCs I've read. She talks about her life, half-closeted, half viewed as straight by the world, juggling that with finding happiness in an intolerant time. I won't go into too many details because I want to avoid spoilers, but I will say that Jenkins Reid handled Evelyn's sexuality with great care - it wasn't just another plot point.

I'm not really a big movie person, but I really enjoyed learning about the ins and outs of Hollywood. I loved learning about Evelyn's life and her marriages, many of which she is judged harshly for but really, it's just a number. Part of the appeal is "Evelyn and her seven husbands!" but she makes it very clear that these relationships don't define who she is. She is not "Evelyn: the woman who married 7 times," she is "Evelyn: the woman who fought to the top."

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and think it would make a great beach or summer read where you want something with substance, but still has the star-studded appeal of a celebrity magazine.

I hope you pick up a copy of this book when it releases in store and online TOMORROW! And don't forget to check out the other blogs and their reviews!