The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Narrated By: Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles
Length: 12 hours, 10 minutes
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Recommend: Heck Yes!
Content Disclaimers: Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse,
Underage Marriage, Marital Abuse,
Emotional & Physical Abuse, LGBTQ+ Romances,
Sex, Homophobia in Hollywood & the US,
Civil Rights for the LGBTQ+ Community, Drunk Driving,
Death, Illness, Suicide

Thank you so much to Angharad @ Two Book Thieves for recommending me her favorite book to read! I also gave her one of my favorite books to read, and I truly hope that she enjoys it as much as I do. I liked this so much, that I’d love to do this again.

Evelyn Hugo is Cuban and the titular character. She’s an enigma. Only thing that I didn’t personally like was that she dyed her hair blonde and that’s what seemed to make her preternaturally beautiful. She also changed her name to Evelyn Hugo, as that was not her birth name. It sounds more American or something. And yes, she had to do this on purpose. It wasn’t her choice – from what she says, but I just hate that she literally had to change her identity to be famous, and it worked in her favor.

“Don’t be afraid to grab life by the balls, my dear.”

Evelyn Hugo to Monique Grant, Chapter 4

Evelyn also mentioned something about how the more her body developed, the more she had a fear in the back of her mind that her father may end up using her for himself, not just sell her off to one of his friends for better money. That… wow. That just really hurt.

Celia St. James is first seen as a “threat” to Evelyn Hugo’s career because she is an amazing actress, but she ends up becoming someone so much more important to Evelyn, and I absolutely adore Celia.

Monique Grant is a biracial news reporter who was chosen to do the exclusive on Evelyn Hugo by her publicist. Basically, Evelyn only wanted to speak to her, and nobody else. She was inspired by her boss Frankie, Editor in Chief of Viveunt (I may be spelling that wrong, I listened to the audiobook) to get into journalism. Who knew that she would end up working for her inspiration?

Frankie is the Editor in Chief of magazine Viveunt. She’s a black woman in charge, and that’s what inspired Monique to get into journalism. We don’t really see her that much because Monique and Evelyn spend all their time together working on the project, but I mention her because this is who Monique was inspired by.

Monique and Frankie have a meeting that basically goes like this:

Frankie: “Hey, Evelyn Hugo wants to give us the exclusive on whatever she has to say. The catch is she only wants to talk to you, Monique, or there’s no deal. I know you’re still a low level fluff piece journalist, so don’t mess this up.”

Monique: “Holy shit! Why does she want to talk to me? I want to do this though, so I’m gonna fake it and be more confident in myself and prove all of you that I’m gonna make this an amazing piece.”

Frankie: “Good, because I think they want to manipulate you into having them control the narrative, but I think they are underestimating you.”

Monique [internally]: Holy shit. I want this. I need this. I want to be the boss one day, but why the hell does Evelyn Hugo want to talk to me?

Monique: “Got it, boss.”

And thus the story begins.

You have a black woman in charge, a biracial woman on her way up in the world. Females get shit done.

“Make them pay you how much they would pay a white man.”

Evelyn Hugo to Monique Grant, Chapter 4

And then this happens in the very beginning? Like, damn. Yes, that’s so true.

Monique is biracial – I said this already – and she was reminiscing about a time where her cousin called her an “oreo”, and honestly I felt that. I’ve been called an oreo because I may look black on the outside but apparently I talk “white”, and I absolutely hated that. I’ve been called a mutt because I’m mixed with a lot of other things, and I just felt like I was a dog that wasn’t wanted. It’s such a weird feeling, but I actually like that there’s a main character that voices this instance happening to her because then, I know that I’m not the only one? It’s a weird feeling.

Don’s apology to Evelyn about what he did to her and Ruby, and how he said that he won’t hurt anyone else like he did them sounded really genuine. I also like that he didn’t bullshit about whether he would have really changed if the rest of his life didn’t go the way it went when Evelyn called him out on it. I don’t condone abuse at all, but I am glad that he actually apologized.

“When I was with Celia, I was WITH Celia.”

Evelyn Hugo

This whole thing is freaking breaking my heart.

“I wasn’t the only woman getting hit these days.”

Evelyn Hugo about her husband Don Adler

Do you know how much that infuriated me? To know that she’s been hit by not only one husband, but her father too? Other men that were in her life and she’s learned to just accept that’s the way it is and not say anything? And then to find out that this guy ended up hitting his next wife? And what hurt me too was that the two women were friends, and she said “why didn’t you warn me?” And omg. That just seriously broke my heart. Why didn’t Evelyn think to say something? But then again, would anyone have believed her if she brought it up?

I was just… really upset that there were some actions that both Evelyn and Celia took that ended up hurting the both of them. I know that it needed to happen in this book to show that they needed to learn how to love one another and treat one another correctly, especially in this world. It just hurt.

The double standard of what happened with Evelyn when she filmed that sex scene with [redacted]. She couldn’t even get applauded for it because the nerve of having a woman enjoy sex on screen is just too taboo. That was irritating too, because it’s so true, and yet duh, women like to have sex to ENJOY IT.

Also why did people keep trying to say that Evelyn was a lesbian when it was clear that she loved MEN as well? Ugh.

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

Evelyn hugo

I always love having multiple narrators, and I think this one did well. I loved the shorter chapters of the news articles about Evelyn throughout the years. I loved that we heard Evelyn’s point of view without it sounding like it was an actual interview. It was just… wow. I was mesmerized by this novel, and I’m really glad that I got to listen to this audiobook because that experience made it so much better.

This was a great book. I definitely think it’s a good introduction into the historical fiction world, and the love story involved in here is great. It’s not perfect, and it shows that both parties have to work so hard to get the life they want, and it will be worth it in the end.

20 thoughts on “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. What a lovely layout! I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for this book. I appreciate that you included some of your dislike about this book since I hardly ever heard anyone not liking it. Thanks for sharing your well thought out review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! I’m pretty proud of how I have it set up now. I think it makes it more fun for me, honestly.

      I always like to make sure I talk about all aspects as much as possible, and maybe what I didn’t like about it will be what someone likes about it so it’s better not to leave it out, right? Anyway, I hope it works out when people read my review.

      Like

  2. I MUST REREAD ASAP! That’s all I can think of now. I’m seriously probably going to start reading this again tonight because discussing it with you and then reading your review has got me itching to go back into Evelyn’s world. I 100% agree about Evelyn & Celia and how they constantly hurt each other and themselves. I think that was my least favorite part of the whole book? Like, I of course hated the abuse and the homphobia and the lack of LGBTQIA+ rights but I know that the author wrote about those things because they were real and important during the time period. But Evelyn and Celia just could NOT get their shit together!? Their relationship reminded me a lot of Meredith & Derek on Grey’s Anatomy (if you’ve ever watched it!): they both want to be together but seem to constantly push and pull each other and toy with their relationship.

    PS- I really love the formatting of this and how pretty and big you made the quotes!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG okay. If you end up rereading it, we neeeeeeeeeeed to do like a casual video discussion about it and post about it. I feel like we have so many thoughts that it would work out better if we filmed it instead of typed it all. LOL now that’s all I’m thinking about!

      No I haven’t watched that yet but my grandma loves that show! I may have to watch it since everyone keeps talking about it and loving it so much!

      So instead of doing regular quote, I did a “block quote” or something like that? It worked out better, at least I think so. I’m going to start using those instead of the regular quote block.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been thinking about somehow integrating videos into my blog posts for a while, since I’m far too nervous to try out youtube itself lol. The video discussion sounds like such a fun idea!! And yes, you should DEFINITELY watch Grey’s Anatomy! I’m doing a rewatch of it right now actually 😅 And I use block quotes as well but your theme makes them look so much nicer than mine!! I love the themes that make the block quotes really stand out because I think they are an important part to reviews and yours look really nice with your aesthetic!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh this was my favorite book I’ve read this year, and really one of my all-time favorites in general and I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Though there are indeed some heavy topics, such as the abuse, the racial issues and the homophobia, not to mention the pain Evelyn and Celia do cause each other, so it can be a tough book, but I also thought it handled them well. Love your review, made me want to reread right now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see why it was a lot of people’s favorite book this year! And I’m so glad that you loved it so much that it’s one of your all-time favorites in general. That’s a pretty high ranking book IMO.

      It really was tough to listen to sometimes, but it just… it was written beautifully and I felt very invested in Evelyn’s story. Haha if you do end up rereading it, I’d love to know about it!

      Like

    1. The way you structured this review is beautiful!

      I love how you did the exchange between Frankie and Monique!
      It took me forever to get around to this book but I loved it when I did!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Susan, seriously you are such a sweetheart. Thank you so much!

        Haha yeah I mean… I know it’s not verbatim but it was the gist of it lol. I’m glad you ended up loving the book when you finally got around to it! I was the same way. It was hyped up so much and I try to not read a book while it’s being hyped up because I don’t want to have a not so popular opinion and feel terrible.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m really not puppy dogs and rainbows my dear. I was raised in Brooklyn lol.

          Oh but why not have the unpopular opinion? It is so much fun!!! I am pretty sure I’m the only one who liked Nocturna and didnt like Devouring Grey. I’m all good dying on those hills lol.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard great things about this book, and I’ve read one of her other books and was impressed. You’ve convinced me even more that this one is a must read. Thanks for an awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YAY great review, Leelynn! I LOVED Evelyn Hugo. I didn’t know what to expect going into it and it just… It really blew me out of the water. I didn’t really feel a connection with Monique, I often felt she was just used as a plot device rather than a character that contributed to moving the story along, but I really felt for her when she finds out the truth. I was hella shocked! LOL I also developed a love/hate relationship with Evelyn. I mean, I loved her. She was spunky, fierce, a total go-getter and I know she had to do some of the things she did to prove herself in a ‘man’s world’ but that didn’t make me like it lol I got so frustrated that Evelyn and Celia would hurt each other with their actions, and in turn hurt others in the process. I got annoyed that Evelyn would shrug off the hurt she inflicted on others because it wasn’t her hurt. But I still loved her anyway lol and Harry Cameron! He stole my heart as well and his storyline had me bawling so hard! I love how much we experience so much through Evelyn’s story. Ah, I loved this book 😍I could go on gushing about it forever!! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dini, thank you so much! I swear you are so kind in supporting my posts and reviews even when I feel like they are trash. You’re the best, seriously. THANK YOU!

      Monique was totally a plot device. How else was Evelyn going to tell her whole life story when she’s been keeping everything to herself for years? it’s like the character of Monique was created to give Evelyn the medium she used to tell her story. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved her story and even though it wasn’t all perfect and pure, I could see someone’s life happening that way in Old Hollywood.

      Harry was such a great guy. He still makes me cry when I think about him. We are going to need a video discussion on Evelyn Hugo! So you, me and Brittany can gush about it!

      Like

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