(Note: As with my reviews, I will not give a plot summary. I will get right into my thoughts.)
This was one of those books that I wanted to finish for no other reason than to finish it. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters, I didn’t feel like I was rooting anyone on (more on that later). In fact, there were two times during my reading that I took the book mark out and decided I wanted to move on. However, I kept reading.
The book itself is much like the Evelyn Hugo character: you do not know what it is about it that makes you want more. For me, I think it was the writing and editing. This book was edited and written so well that the words and pages flowed effortlessly. While I decided twice to abandon it, I kept reading because it reads very fast.
What I liked:
- Very original plot, main character and story. Although it is an older woman telling a story (which we’ve seen) this was done in a fresh approach.
- The writing and editing made for an effortless read.
- The time period and genre is also a setting I have not seen done in my reading life. I’m sure there are some out there, but this is the first time I’ve seen “old/classic-Hollywood” used as a setting
What I Didn’t Like:
- It felt like the supporting characters were archetypes. I do not want to give anything away, but I found little authentic depth with the characters as individuals. The way the author writes the relationships is, however, very well done. I think that is the reason I kept going.
- Some “Author…I can see you!” moments (which I really hate).
- There is one sentence during one of Monique’s sections where I had to go back and revisit the tense. ***POSSIBLE SPOILER**[Obviously, Evelyn’s sections were flashbacks/retellings. But Monique’s were not written that way nor introduced as such. Her parts are written as if it were an on-going action, not a memory. What threw me off was at the end of one chapter Monique says (paraphrasing) that she didn’t know then that in one week she would hate Evelyn and in fact want to kill her. I thought, “Wait a second…” and flipped back to earlier pages. Perhaps it was my own confusion but I thought I was reading a “live” telling since Monique’s parts were written in present tense but in fact it isn’t? Was it? I wasn’t sure. I decided to let it go and chalk it up to maybe I misread. If you read this and have thoughts on this, please let me know.]*** SPOILER END***
Would I recommend this? I think so.
The way in which it is written and edited makes this a reasonably quick read for an almost 400 page book. It is very entertaining, it deals with interesting characters, a fresh plot, and time/setting. I can see why a lot of people gave this a high rating. I do not disagree with those high ratings.
My Good Reads review does not have a star rating. It is simply marked as read. The Review reads: tbd…
Because while I liked it, there is still lingering feelings of dislike: much like Evelyn Hugo herself!
I think this is one I will decide on a rating many months later.
So, to be continued…