Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Book Review

Evelyn Hugo is a legendary film actress and has been living in private for many years, so journalist Monique Grant is surprised and honored when she Evelyn specifically requests her for an interview and article. The audiences loved the bleach blonde bombshell on the screen and they couldn't get enough of the tabloid stories that followed her crazy love life. Seven husbands! Now years later, Evelyn has chosen to tell her real life story to Monique and has promised to let her in on the secret of the "love of her life" as long as Monique promises to write a tell-all biography following Evelyn's death.

Not too long ago, I read a fictionalized story of the life of iconic film star Jean Harlow (Platinum Doll by Anne Girard). I found her story and the glitter and glamour of Hollywood to be rather interesting and I thought that The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid would be similar. Reid's novel focuses less of Hollywood and more on romantic life of the actress which I suppose makes sense based on the title.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a quick read, as I've found Reid's other novels to be. Reid writes well and with a style that lends itself to be an ideal read for the beach, airplane or doctor's office. There are definitely times when that's exactly what I'm looking for.

I didn't love this particular novel from Reid. I didn't like Evelyn Hugo much at all and found that I just didn't care about her relationships. The first few husbands are interesting as they follow her struggle to rise to the top in Hollywood but then they become rather dull as the story unfolds. Listening to Evelyn tell her story to Monique is just that--telling. Rarely did I feel any chemistry between any of the characters. Though the twist was kind of interesting and Reid treats the topic well.

Ultimately, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo just wasn't my favorite.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is published by Atria Books and released on June 13, 2017.

Taylor Jenkins Reid lives in Los Angeles and is the acclaimed author of One True LovesMaybe in Another LifeAfter I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her books have been named a “Best Book of Summer” by People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, USA TODAYRedbookUs Weekly, ParadePopSugarBuzzfeedBustleBrit+CoGoodreads, and others.

Atria | ISBN: 9781501139239 | On sale: June 13, 2017 | 400 pages | $26.00
Atria eBook | ISBN: 9781501139246 | On sale: June 13, 2017 | 400 pages | $11.99

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Light We Lost - Book Review

Lucy and Gabe met on that fateful September 11th day in New York City. They were both seniors at Columbia and as the World Trade Centers are falling and the world is changing, they are on the roof of Gabe's building plotting their futures. Over the next thirteen years their paths with cross and intersect and diverge. Lucy can't forget him. He inspired her. He made her feel alive. He left her.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo sets out to tell the story of two people whose lives are so intertwined that they can't forget each other. It's intended to be an emotional love story compared to novels such as Me Before You and One Day. After reading the first 100 pages I was bored. I contemplated just giving up on the novel. The chemistry between Gabe and Lucy was not so amazing that I just had to see what happened. But I persisted. It might get better.

Fortunately, The Light We Lost is written well enough that I finished it quickly without the added insult of spending too much time. I never cared about the characters. I didn't believe that this love affair Lucy and Gabe had was so powerful to consume Lucy. Lucy is super annoying. She is whiny and a pushover and shortsighted. Gabe was thoughtless and self-serving. Perhaps they deserved each other.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is published by Putnam and released May 9, 2017.

**I received a complimentary copy. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received in exchange for this review.**

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Heirs - Book Review

Eleanor and Rupert Falkes have raised five handsome, well-educated and successful sons in upper-crust Manhattan. Their family is admired and revered. When their beloved father Rupert dies, his sons and wife are still grieving his death when a claim is made against the estate. Another woman claims that her sons were fathered by Rupert and deserve an inheritance. Shocked by this revelation that may or may not be true, the sons and Eleanor struggle with their emotions and the possible disintegration of their family.

Written in thoughtful and insightful prose, The Heirs by Susan Rieger was an engaging and consuming read. The characters were humanly flawed and though I didn't really like most of the family members, I was completely intrigued by their reactions and choices in the face of their trial. I tend to gravitate towards books and movies about family relationships and The Heirs successfully explores family and how well they really know one another. Each of the five sons are very unique in their personalities and goals and it's very interesting to see how they react to the news.

The Heirs is a short novel, with taut prose that is beautiful and and packed with meaning. I devoured it quickly and found the characters, especially Eleanor and Sam, to be fascinating and memorable. Though primarily a character study, it combines the characters with a well-formed plot to execute a brilliant novel. It is definitely one of the better books that I've read this spring.

The Heirs by Susan Rieger is published by Crown and released May 23, 2017.

**I received a complimentary copy. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received in exchange for this review.**