Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Hi Readers

I’ve been having a rough time with books lately. Nothing I’ve been reading has met my expectations and only 1 book has gotten higher than a 3 star rating from me so far this year. Until now.

evelyn hugo

 

Published: June 2017 by Atria Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 388 Pages

Source: Own

Goodreads Avg. Rating: 4.24

My Rating: four half stars

 

It’s safe to say that this book has been read by basically everybody by now and that I am definitely late to the party. But I heard the hype, I listened to it, and I let it pull me in. Suddenly, I couldn’t let this Summer go by without me having read this book.

This book follows writer Monique as she is given a special opportunity to meet and interview Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood star who has lived a scandalous and well publicised life. Now, at 86, Evelyn is ready to tell the whole truth about her and her seven husbands. 

Like I said, this is the first book in a while that I’ve actually fell head over hills in love with. I was starting to think I’d already found all of my favourite books and I’d never feel that kind of love again. But I found room in my heart for this one. 

Hollywood is not something I’ve read much about, and the old movies have never interested me. This book gave me a new insight into how Hollywood worked back then, and now I can truly appreciate the Hollywood we have now. It’s not perfect, but it’s a darn sight better than Evelyn’s one. 

The way Evelyn was treated, the things Evelyn had to do and was made to feel like that was her only option, that was all she was worth. It made me angry and sad and I felt real sympathy for her. 

This really helps as the book continues. Evelyn is a very flawed character who does some questionable things, but I never once hated her or felt against her. I felt angry at Hollywood and sat for her and any film star who has actually been through the things she went through. 

The way this book is written and the way Evelyn feels so familiar made this story feel so real. I started believing this was a biography of an actual Hollywood actress because the things she went through aren’t some wild stretch of the imagination. The things Evelyn went through, real Hollywood stars we know went through as well. It made me really connect to the story. 

Because of that connection I felt with every single character in this book, I finished the book feeling very emotional. It’s gut wrenching but so much more so because you care about these people. I was sobbing whilst reading the last pages. 

Everything you’ve heard about this book is true. It’s captivating, heart-breaking and breath-taking and you will absolutely fall in love with it. 

If you’ve put this on your ‘Want To Read’ shelf, I hope you enjoy it!

If you haven’t, do it, now, seriously, now. 

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

(Birthday) Book Haul #3

Hi Readers

Today I’m going to share with you the books I acquired since the last book haul I posted, including the ones I got for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Now this is technically only my second book haul of this year so you would think I’ve got a ton of books to share with you, but there’s actually only 7. I would say I’m proud of myself but I’ve just been saving my money for the upcoming Autumn releases I’m excited for. 

Anyway, here are the books I’ve bought.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – I think this (other than OATEOTL) is his most beloved book and it’s certainly the one that I have the highest expectations for. I love a good urban fantasy.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – I’ve never read a book set in Iceland so that’s what captured my attention first off. I also love mysteries. 

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante – Now I finally own the whole Neapolitan Series. I binge read these books last Summer after borrowing them from the library and they quickly became favourites. I just had to own them for myself. 

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood – I loved her book The Handmaids Tale and this is another dytopian she has written.

My Birthday:

Harry Potter, A History of Magic – I’ve been meaning to buy this for ages but I finally own it, I’ve read it, and I loved it. I would love more HP content like this. 

Harry Potter, Page to Screen – This book is so big and intimidating and I could barely lift it up high enough to put it on my bookshelf so I’m kind of scared to take it off again. But I will have to brave it as it looks wonderful.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’ve just finished reading this book and my next post will be a review of it. Spoiler alert, I loved it.

So, those are the books I’ve bought over the past couple of months. Let me know if you’ve read any of them.

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Down the TBR Hole #7

Note: Created by Lost In A Story.

Hi Readers!

Welcome to another edition of ‘Down the TBR hole’ where I visit my Goodreads ‘Want To Read’ shelf and give it a good sorting out and only leave books that I actually have an interest in reading. 

  1. Because You Love To Hate Me by Booktubers and Authors – Delete – I feel sad that I never read this because I do love booktube and watch basically every booktuber that contributed to this book. But I’m just not interested in it.
  2. Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes – Delete – I get the feeling I just wouldn’t appreciate the humour in this book.
  3. Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley – Keep – Sometimes I just need a good coming-of-age novel.
  4. Quiet – The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain – Keep – Very interested in reading this book. I’m very much an introvert and I’d like to be told that’s a good thing for once.
  5. The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman – Keep – I’m not entirely sure what this is about, but I love the title.
  6. Still Life by Louise Penny – Keep – I go through phases where I just need a good detective book and these Inspector Gamache have a lot of praise (plus, the second in this series is a Christmas book!)
  7. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang – Keep – This has mixed reviews, but it sounds so interesting.
  8. Winter Town by Stephen Emond – Delete – The covers cute but the story sounds meh.
  9. Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O’Toole – Keep – I really need to start reading these feminist books I have racked up.
  10. Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye – Keep – OMG I need to read this already!

Results:
Keep – 7
Delete – 3

Not many delete’s this time around but that just means more books for me to read. Yay!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

NEWTs Readathon Update #2

Hi Readers!

Today I wanted to give you another update on how my NEWTs are going and my plans for the last part of the readathon. 

First, an update on the subjects I’ve completed. (The ones in bold are the books I’ve read since the last update).

Ancient Runes:
A – East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Divination
A – Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Arithmancy
A – Wonder by R.J. Palacio
E – The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
O – P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Defence Against the Dark Arts
A – We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
E – The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahieh
O – Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Charms
A – Harry Potter, A History of Magic
E – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Muggle Studies 
A – Save the Date by Morgan Matson
E – I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing by Maya Angelou
O – The Surface Breaks by Louise O’ Neil

Potions
A – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

We are now in the final full week of the NEWTS readathon and I still have so much I want to read!! 

I still have 12 books on my TBR and a week and 4 days to complete them. That probably won’t happen which is fine but that is what I am aiming for. Some are rereads, most are pretty small (under 300 pages) so who knows. 

Let me know how you’re doing in this readathon!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

New Releases I’m Looking Forward To

Hi Readers

So, we’re now in that exciting season of publishing where basically all of the best and most exciting releases are happening and I have a whole list of books I want to buy and read the day they come out. 

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith – September 18th

We knew this was coming, I’m so glad it’s so soon. I thought we would have to wait until 2019 for this book and I just couldn’t take the suspense anymore. I am very invested in these novels and characters. 

What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli – October 9th

So far I have loved every Becky has ever written. Adam’s a bit hit and miss for me but seeing as this book doesn’t seen to have any sci-fi elements I’m pretty certain I’m going to love it.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – October 23rd

I have kind of given up on her books but I loved Throne of Glass initially so I want to at least finish this series. I’ll be doing a huge reread/catch up in September and October so I’m prepared. 

Queen of Darkness by Cassandra Clare – December 4th

As incredible frustrating as I’ve found this series it’s still an absolute must that I finish it. I have no doubt that it’s going to be a happy ending (for the most part.)

Becoming by Michelle Obama – November 13th

I just love the Obama’s.

Let me know any upcoming releases you’re looking forward to getting your hands on!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

 

2018 Man Booker Longlist and My Plans

Hi Readers

A short while ago the Man Booker longlist for 2018 was announced and this year I want to get in on the action.

I’ve never normally been fussed about the Man Booker before but for some reason I am always curious about who wins.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to read the entire Longlist. I tried to do that for the Women’s Prize for fiction and honestly didn’t enjoy it all that much as I felt I had to rush them to get them all in on time. For the Man Booker I’m going to set myself the easier and more enjoyable task of just reading the books I’m interested in.

I may attempt the Shortlist once that’s announced in September. But, for now, I’m going to be reading – books from the Longlist.

Green – Will Definitely Read
Blue – May Read
Red- Have No Interest In

Warlight By Michael Ondaatje

Set in post-war London, this follows two abandoned children left in the care of an enigmatic figure named ‘The Moth.’ They suspect he’s a criminal but grow less concerned as they get to know him and his eccentric group of friends, who seem determined to educate and protect the children. 12 years later, the children begin to uncover all they did not know then.

This premise weirdly reminds me of Lemony’s Snicket’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events.’ I’m intrigued.

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

A feminist sci-fi, this is a world where women are not safe in their bodies and where mothers much make desperate measures to raise their daughters. 

I will mainly be reading this because I was accepted for it on NetGalley. The premise isn’t overly intrigueing me but I do love a good feminist sci-fi so we’ll see.

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

Video games, conspiracy theories, breakdown, murder: Everything’s gonna be all right—until it isn’t.

I’m not normally a fan of graphic novels and don’t really have a lot of interest in them. However, I’ve never known a graphic novel to make the Longlist for the Man Booker Prize, and I’m intrigued by this one. There’s a lot going on in the premise.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

An Air Force loadmaster, an artist, an undergraduate, a scientist and five other strangers are summonded by trees to save the last few remaining acres of virgin forest. 

The premise is certainly different but I just have a feeling I wouldn’t like this book. I also have the feeling this book will make the Shorlist so if it does, I will read it.

Snap by Belinda Bauer

On a stifling Summers day, 11 year old Jack and his two sisters wait in their broken down car for their mum to come back. She does not. 

Three years later, Jack’s mum wakes up in a bed with a knife and a note saying ‘I could have killed you.’

I love a creepy premise and this premise is creepy af. I’m so intrigued, I want to read it right now.

In Our Mad and Furious World by Guy Gunaratne

Three London teenagers who are looking forward to a Summer that is drastically changed after a British Soldier is killed. Riots are spreading across their city and while two of the teenagers attempt to continue as normal, the third becomes rapped up in his mosques increasing radicalism.

I want to read this as it sounds very close to home and radicalism is a theme I’m seeing more and more in books and on TV. I’m thinking this will be a very impactful novel.

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

This follows Gretel who as a child lived with her mother on a canal boat where they made up a language of their own. Years later, Gretel hasn’t heard from her Mother since she was sixteen and those memories have faded. Until a phone call brings those memories back, making Gretel question everything. 

The Mars Room by Rachel Kashner

This follows Romy, a young single Mum who worked as a stripper and has just been given two life sentances for murdering her stalker.

Okay, the premise of this does intrigue me. However, I’ve seen some negative things about this book that’s kind of put me off. 

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne both grew up in rural Ireland but have very different lives. But when they both get into Dublin University they grow a connection that will last for years. 

The synopsis for this book doesn’t really give much away but I’ve heard some good things about this book. I’m more interested in reading Sally’s debut first, so we’ll see how much I like that.

From A Low and Quiet Sea by Donel Ryan

A refugee. A dreamer. A penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men are searching for some version of home. 

Obviously, this topic is very current so I’m intrigued by any book that tackles it. 

Milkman by Anna Barns

Set in a small, unnamed town, to be noticed is dangerous. Middle sister is doing her best to keep Mother from finding out about her maybe Boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with the Milkman. But rumours start to swell and middle sister becomes ‘interesting.’ 

This book has intrigued me. The fact that nobody in the premise is given a name. The way it’s exploring small town gossip. What ‘Milkman’ means. It sounds interesting. 

Washington Black: A Novel by Esi Edugyan

A story of slavery, this follows two British brothers who arrive on a sugar plantation, bringing with them darkness beyond what the slaves their have already known.

Books on slavery are never easy to read but I definitely want to read this story. 

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

Walker, a young Canadian, returns from the Normandy war, demobilised and with PTSD. Unable to face his family he goes in search of freedom and change.

So, this one is poetry. I am not a fan of that. I’m also not a huge fan of war stories so I may give this one a pass. 

Let me know your plans for the Man Booker this year!

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X

Predicting 5 Star Reads #4

Hi Readers!

I have finally read all of the books from my last 5 star predictions post. So, now I can give you an update on how I did and more books I think I’m going to love.

First off, here’s how I did last time;

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neil – When I first put this book on my TBR it had 100% glowing reviews. Now that I’ve read it and look at the reviews now, there’s a lot of criticism similar to mine.

Verdict: 3 Stars
The Surface Breaks Review

Save the Date by Morgan Matson – Even though I did predict this to be a 5 star read I did actually have lower expectations for this book than the others. It’s a good thing I did because I did not like this book and ended up giving it 2 stars.

Verdict: 2 Stars
Save the Date Review

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Steven Turton – This was probably my favourite from this list. It wasn’t what I was expecting but was mind-twisting and so different from anything I’ve read before. I feel if I ever reread it, I would give it a higher rating.

Verdict: 3.5 Stars
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle Review

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman – This was the book I had the highest expectations for, and I honestly don’t know how I feel about it. Again, I feel it needs a reread.

Verdict: 3.5 Stars

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – I found this book so boring. I just didn’t care about it at all. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book, it just was not for me.

Verdict: 1.5 Stars

I’m starting to think I’m not very good at guessing books I’m going to love. Better luck this time around?

East of Eden by John Steinbeck – I’m actually currently half way through it. It was a rocky start but I’m starting to really get into it.

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee – This book just sounds amazing. It’s one of those YA novels that just about everybody has read and loves.

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I feel like this book is on everybody’s radar at the moment and it’s certainly high on mine.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini – I’ve read his two other books and gave both of them five stars so obviously I have a feeling this ones just as good.

Furious Love by Sam Kashnar and Nancy Schoenberger- Okay, so I totally ordered this book because I saw Taylor Swift (my favourite singer ever) was reading it in an insta story. But I actually think I might like this. It tells the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and I’m in the mood for a Hollywood romance.

Thanks for reading,

Jess X