Evelyn Hugo was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. She managed to marry 7 husbands, each marriage different from the last and a bit of a surprise to the public. Evelyn has never let fans into her life behind the scenes, until now. Evelyn is almost 80 years old and has sought out an unknown journalist, Monique Grant, to record her final interview. As Monique gets to know Evelyn more, she realizes they may be more connected than she originally though.
Without giving any spoilers, this story hooked me. I don’t know enough about Taylor Jenkins Reid to know if this would be considered an Own Voices work, but I’m curious to see reviews of those in the particular marginalized community. As someone not in the community, I saw Evelyn (and Monique) as a character struggling to have the world accept all of her and not just stick her into a convenient box.
I really enjoyed the format of the story. It switches between Monique’s POV, Evelyn’s POV, and news articles about Evelyn. This allowed a complete picture to be formed and really showed just how much was going on behind the scenes that the public didn’t know about.
As the titular character, Evelyn really captivated me. She had much more depth than I was expected, and I couldn’t help but root for her. Monique was the perfect ‘naive journalist’ that I struggled with as she figured out how to stand up for herself. The plot itself was gripped and very entertaining to read.
This would have been five stars for me, but the end brought it down. I can’t quite figure it out, but the story wrapped up quickly and didn’t feel entirely connected to the rest of the plot. I think if there had been more explanation and character development following the reveal, I would’ve been happier. Instead, I gained a somewhat-predictable twist and was unsure how the characters were going to handle it. Overall, this was a great story that I couldn’t put down.
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