destiny ♎ [howling libraries]'s Reviews > The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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it was amazing
bookshelves: diverse-reads, lgbtqiap, adult, favorites, feminism, owned-physical

“Don't ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don't do that.”

Let me go ahead and say that I had no idea what to expect from this book. When it first released, I remember seeing it everywhere, and I honestly didn’t take any interest in it until I was told about how diverse it was. It’s full of incredible representation: you’ve got bi rep, gay rep, lesbian rep, a Cuban woman, a biracial woman—so when I heard about all of that, I finally decided to give it a try, and I’m so glad that I did, because whatever I thought Evelyn Hugo was about, didn’t hold a candle to the experience of reading it for myself.

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is 'you're safe with me'- that's intimacy.”

Throughout the entire book, Evelyn is more or less laying her soul bare to Monique, this reporter who she’s asked to write her life story. As this famous actress, Evelyn’s memories are juicy and full of drama, hidden pains and secret triumphs, and most notably, her seven marriages—not one of them having been to the hidden love of her life. Despite the descriptions she gives for judgments she received and the snippets of gossip articles laid out intermittently through the book, Evelyn isn’t ashamed of herself in any way, and it creates this incredibly feminist, sex-positive atmosphere that I could’ve soaked in forever.

“I made it fifty-fifty. Which is about the cruelest thing you can do to someone you love, give them just enough good to make them stick through a hell of a lot of bad.”

Despite Evelyn’s status as this film goddess by this point, she feels so relatable and she manages to work even the celebrity aspects of her life into this narrative that anyone could understand, as she admits to the sins she committed and the lies she told, and even to the baser things like the fact that she realized early on, no amount of fame or fortune would ever truly satisfy a successful actress like herself. She constantly owns up to selfish motives and awful behaviors, yet she’s tremendously likable, and I think that’s a fact that points to how terrific Taylor Jenkins Reid’s storytelling is: because we are hearing everything through Evelyn’s memories, from the mouth of an elderly woman who has settled down and found peace, it makes it difficult to ever blame her for a single crime she committed.

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”

Of course, Evelyn’s not all bad—she overcame circumstances that many people would’ve simply given up under, and yet, she managed to love beautifully and to put her family first at every turn, even if the moves she made to protect them didn’t always make sense on the surface. Whether it’s her hidden love, or her endless commitment to her best friend, or her breathtaking adoration of her daughter, when you reach the end of the story and look back, it’s easy to see that nothing mattered more to Evelyn than the people she held dear, and it makes her feel spectacularly human.

“It’s a hard business, reconciling what the truth used to be with what the truth is now.”

Of course, Evelyn isn’t the only character who’s enjoyable in this book; underneath her memories is the story of Monique, the reporter who’s just trying to find her place in a world that doesn’t like to make room for strong women, much less women of color striking out on their own. She grows so much in a short span of time, and while the circumstances of the writing process aren’t always kind to her, and while she’s never really the star of the show, you can’t help but root for her, too—and everyone else in this complex, layered, masterpiece of a book.

“You have to find a job that makes your heart feel big instead of one that makes it feel small.”

I feel like there is so much more that I want to say, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the most brilliant pieces of writing I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It sets itself so solidly apart from anything I’ve ever read that even remotely resembled it, and is probably one of the most powerful, emotional, and incredible things I have ever read. I am forever grateful for each and every one of who you encouraged me to pick it up, and for Taylor Jenkins Reid, the genius behind the pages. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Buddy read with Meisha, Angie, and Delanna! ♥
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Reading Progress

December 30, 2017 – Shelved
December 30, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
June 5, 2018 – Started Reading
June 5, 2018 –
page 55
13.75% "Damn, this really grabs you from the jump, doesn't it?"
June 7, 2018 –
page 149
37.25%
June 8, 2018 –
page 195
48.75%
June 10, 2018 –
page 302
75.5%
June 11, 2018 –
page 360
90.0% "The devastating luxury of panic overtook me.
And it has never left.


fucking SHIT you guys could've warned me this book would wreck me this much"
June 11, 2018 – Shelved as: diverse-reads
June 11, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
June 11, 2018 – Shelved as: adult
June 11, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
June 11, 2018 – Finished Reading
June 12, 2018 – Shelved as: feminism
July 8, 2018 – Shelved as: owned-physical

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Erin Great review destiny!


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] Erin wrote: "Great review destiny!"

Thank you, Erin! ♥♥


message 3: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz So glad to see your five star review as I have this in my queue. Great review.


message 4: by Alma (new) - added it

Alma This certainly sounds an intriguing book


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] Liz wrote: "So glad to see your five star review as I have this in my queue. Great review."

Thank you, Liz! I hope you love it, too!


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] Alma wrote: "This certainly sounds an intriguing book"

It absolutely is, Alma - I can't say I've ever read ANYTHING quite like it, and I mean that in the best way!


dezzy Such a beautiful and fantastic review! I just borrowed this book from the library and I am SO excited to read it. 😍


MCMXCII omg! Amazing review! I loved this book and the same experience starting out as you. I saw everybody reading it and was like hmmm I don't get the hype. Didn't bother to even read the synopsis. BUT once I found out about all the diversity I immediately checked it out from the library! I'm glad I didn't know what I was getting into when I started. It made the experience that much more enjoyable!


message 9: by Melanie (new) - added it

Melanie These are excellent quotes, I’m definitely going to read this.


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] dezzy wrote: "Such a beautiful and fantastic review! I just borrowed this book from the library and I am SO excited to read it. 😍"

Thank you! ♥ I hope you love it. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] Meagan wrote: "omg! Amazing review! I loved this book and the same experience starting out as you. I saw everybody reading it and was like hmmm I don't get the hype. Didn't bother to even read the synopsis. BUT o..."

Yesss, Meagan! This makes me so happy haha. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too!


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] Melanie wrote: "These are excellent quotes, I’m definitely going to read this."

Thank you! It's honestly full to the brim with incredible quotes - these were just some of my favorites. ♥


(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas I really want to read this one. Great review Destiny.


destiny ♎ [howling libraries] (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas wrote: "I really want to read this one. Great review Destiny."

Thank you! I hope you get the chance to read it (and that you love it)!


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