Well well well… if it isn’t one of the internet’s most favorite queer adult stories. I am so late to the game to review this and honestly, I don’t think I’m going to say anything that hasn’t been said before or really contribute much to the conversation as a whole…. but I’m still going to talk about it haha. I know I said that I was going to try and read this last year, but I didn’t so I read it this year and what do you know, I still love it.
Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood starlet re: Elizabeth Taylor. She’s had a glamorous life and has been married, you guessed it, seven times. Currently she’s a bit of an enigma. She does no interviews, hasn’t been in a movie in years, and the only recent news involving her was her daughter’s untimely death from cancer. Until one day, she reaches out to a magazine to do a story on her dresses that she is putting up for auction and she specifically requests Monique, a new hire that isn’t really even doing stories. Why Monique? Why this person out of all of the journalists available? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out.
I think this book tackles a lot of topics and does them really well. Evelyn is Cuban American but in order to break into Hollywood, completely erases that side to her, changing her name and dying her hair to keep it hidden and make her seem like an ideal white girl. While this isn’t the most touched on topic, it is brought up later when Evelyn is confronted with the fact that she has barely spoken Spanish in years and that she almost erased that identity for herself. This also tackles biphobia among the queer community, being queer in 50s-80s America, and domestic abuse. There really is so much that this book covers and I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book. There is a section where Evelyn is living in New York and it is honestly the happiest part of my reading experience. The joy I felt in those chapters…
If you’ve even minutely considered picking this book up, I encourage you to do so. It’s a fast read and it offers such a wonderful, complex, emotional story. You think you know what’s happening or where things will end up and you just don’t. You can’t predict half of what this story throws at you which I think is amazing. I really fell in love with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style in this book and have picked up two other books by her and intend to pick up more. If you’ve read any of her other books, let me know what you thought of down below, and, as always, let me know your thoughts and feelings about this book too.