Hello Bookworms, it’s MINI-REVIEW TIME(cue the applause)!! Okay, settle down, people, now these three novels are books I read in 2020 and have been meaning to review for months. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and City of GIrls were two books I read in quick succession and loved both. Admittedly, I did love City of Girls more, but both these books’ overall writing and atmosphere need to be shared. Now, Daisy Jones and the six is a book I read with my book club, and boy oh boy. Phenomenal. This book introduced me to Taylor Jenkins Reid, and now I’m never going back.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
My thoughts :
EVELYN EVELYN EVELYN EVELYN !! I BETTER BE HEARING APPLAUSE! Evelyn is such a queen. Just read this book for this queen, honestly.
But if THAT isn’t enough to compel you (not sure how that’s possible), know that this book is insane. It destroyed me. The writing…phenomenal. The plot…perfection. The ending….stopped my heart.
Simply put, this book is so easy to read. The characters are so well crafted, the dialogue is exquisite, the plot progression is flawless?! The way the book is written is unique in itself too, not only is the entire premise. I am not one who typically reads Historical Fiction apart from a few here and there(yes, this is why I am so shocked at how much I enjoyed these two), so if you aren’t the biggest fan of the genre, don’t be put off! I was initially worried about how the author would explain the past and if the book’s atmosphere would feel a little cumbersome, but I could not have been further from the truth.
Further, reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and LIVING FOR IT solidified my respect for this author. I read this shortly after Daisy Jones and the Six, so two four/five stars from one author? Unheard of from me, but I’ll take it. So, if the summary or any part of my review intrigued you at ALL, I would urge you to pick it up. You won’t regret it.
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.
Now ninety-five years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life – and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.” Written with a powerful wisdom about human desire and connection, City of Girls is a love story like no other.
My thoughts :
Where do I start? This book is just top-tier perfection. As much as I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, it doesn’t even come CLOSE to how much I adored City of Girls.
To this day, even though it’s been over six months since I’ve read it, I still cannot pinpoint exactly why I love it so much. Of course, we have the apparent parts of a fantastic novel; influential writing, incredible characters(more on this below).
The characters, the side characters…that one guy who had one line. How is it that EVERY character had an impact on the story and was important? Not only that, but the characters were so REAL! They make mistakes, they are far from perfect, and that’s why we love them.
Overall, it made Erin cry = great book. Add it to your tbr, read it, buy it, yep… also that cover can step on me.
A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
My thoughts :
Here’s a little excerpt at my Goodreads review that was written….about two minutes after I had finished this:
This book is beyond incredible, I definitely think it’s better than The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.Overall, I cried towards the end so that’s that. This book is just written so beautifully, it’s so raw and real, the characters…guys…possibly the most wonderfully written and well-rounded characters I’ve ever read….truly.
Anyway, this is such a unique book. I don’t think I’ll ever read or experience something like that ever again. Taylor has such a gift in terms of how she crafts her characters and can seamlessly weave their stories together to create such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. If you enjoy a little more of an emotional read, I did cry while reading this…
I can’t write a review without mentioning the cover. The cover of all her books is impressive, but this one is so unique. I have grown to love it, and it fits the atmosphere and overall ~vibes~ of the book so well.
I’d recommend this to anyone who has read a book by Taylor before and loved it, readers who enjoy books about “bands” or music, OR a historical fiction lover!