book reviews

Alyssa’s Mini Reviews – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

The two most talked about books of 2019 thus far were both written by highly aclaimed author, Taylor Jenkins Reid. Over the past two days, I have read her two most well-known novels, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and “Daisy Jones & The Six” – which is her most recent novel (it came out just last week!). If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw me talking about these on both my Instagram stories and posts, and a lot of you wanted to read my opinions about both of them… so that is what I am going to share with you today!

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Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

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.
Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth.

WOW. This book was truthfully unlike anything I had ever read before. The characters Evelyn, Monique, Harry, Celia, Rex, and everyone else literally felt like they were real people. Ms. Reid wrote the characters with such grace and elegance, and they honestly felt so real. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve read the book. I will admit that it took me about 100 pages to really get into the book, but I really loved it after that mark. And even though I figured out the main plot twist/point that occurs about 100 pages in the book, that did not stop me from loving it. Plus, the plot twist at the very end SHOCKED me, as I was not expecting it at all. This book discusses so many important themes and topics that are so relevant to society, and were basically whispered about back then, although they were still crucial and important. From LGBTG+ discrimination, to women working in a male dominated workplace, there were many things that this book discussed with such urgency. As I said before, the writing of the book was phenomenal, and deserves recognition on its own. It felt like I was literally reading a biography of a real celebrity that I had known for years. Everything in this book popped off the page, and I visualized it beautifully. Evelyn Hugo is a character I won’t soon forget and will stay with me for a very long time. I gave this book 4.75/5 stars!

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Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their 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.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band 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 that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

This book was great, but I definitely enjoyed Evelyn Hugo a lot more. Surprisingly, I’m part of the unpopular opinion, as I liked the first half a lot more than the second half. I liked reading about the rise of Daisy Jones and The Six separately, and how they came together. While a lot of people felt that the beginning was all over the place, I really really loved it! However, I honestly thought that the middle of the book was kind of… *whispers* boring?! I don’t know. I was bored with the song writing process, and I felt that the same events and emotions just repeated for every song they wrote. I guess you could say that I was underwhelmed for a large majority of the plot, especially because I knew what Taylor was capable of writing since I had just finished Evelyn Hugo the day before reading this one. The ending picked up the pace a little bit, but it didn’t save the book from the dull middle. I loved all of the characters in this book, and Taylor continued to make these characters come alive off the pages. Her words are truly magical, and her writing is out of this world. She made it seem like I was reading a non-fiction book/conversation from a real life band! I also LOVED the writing style she used in this book, as it is all formatted like an interview. I’m a sucker for “unconventional” writing styles, and this one hit it out of the park. Overall, I gave this book a rating of 3.75/5 stars. To be honest with you, I feel like if I had listened to the audiobook instead of physically read the book, I might have enjoyed it a bit more, as so many people absolutely adored listening to this story. Although, I don’t really enjoy listening to audio books in general.

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In conclusion, I enjoyed “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” quite a bit more than “Daisy Jones & The Six”. Throughout both books, Taylor Jenkins Reids’ writing was phenomenal, and the unique cast of characters featured in both books came to life wonderfully.

Have you read either of these novels? I’d love to discuss your thoughts in the comments!

Good Night Book Owls!

16 thoughts on “Alyssa’s Mini Reviews – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. I’m so jelly you got a copy of Daisy – I wasn’t approved at Netgallery – I’ve been too greedy and my ratio is low ;o

  2. Great reviews! I read my first TJR book yesterday (neither of these!) but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to finally pick up Evelyn Hugo! These two books have been so hyped up that I’m a little worried I won’t feel the same but I’m excited to dive into these 🙂

  3. I really liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t a true story, but it felt like one! Haven’t read Daisy Jones, but it is on my to-reads!

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