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Review for “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

Review for “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

Synopsis:  A down-and-out writer gets the opportunity of a lifetime when an aging superstar asks her to write her biography.

 

Monique’s career and life is going nowhere.  She is getting a divorce.  Living in an apartment she hates and a career that is basically on pause.  Out of the blue, Monique gets the news that could change her life forever.  Charismatic screen legend Evelyn Hugo wants Monique to write the story of her life–the good, the bad and the ugly.  She’s ready for the world to know everything.  But neither woman is ready for what happens during this journey.

I have to say that Evelyn Hugo was one of the most interesting protagonists ever–in print, movies or TV.  It is really hard to believe that she’s not a real person.  Evelyn felt very real, very much human.  I liked how honest and straightforward she was.   She was very smart and calculating.  She came across as colorful and nuanced.  She made all the other characters more real than they would’ve been on their own.  Harry was a great character as well.  He was so sweet and I liked his and Evelyn’s special friendship and bond.  He was easily my favorite husband of hers.  Monique was pretty good on her own.  She seemed to learn a lot from Evelyn in such a short time.

The story is told in an unique way.  Instead of the usual chapter format, each husband gets a chapter.  Different men, different periods in Evelyn’s life.  They’re more about Evelyn than her husbands, but it was highly original and well-done.  It’s written like a memoir, a gossip magazine and a diary all rolled into one.  The format was also surprisingly easy to read.  That is kind of ironic because Evelyn is such a complex character. The two biggest twists in the book– Evelyn’s true love and Monique’s connection to Evelyn–came about in a very interesting way.  This is my first time reading a book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but it definitely won’t be the last.

While I found Evelyn Hugo to be one of the most intriguing protagonists ever, there were lots of times where I didn’t like her so much.  Some of the things she did to get ahead were just wrong.  It often seemed like she cared more about fame and fortune than she did about the people in her life.  And those mistakes proved to be quite costly.  She didn’t seem like a good person.  But at least she’s honest about it.  And she was true to herself.  Like a person or don’t, you have to admire someone who’s honest and true to themselves.  My only other grievance was Monique.  She wasn’t a very interesting character on her own.  Kinda boring, really.  It was like the friendship between Monique and Evelyn was supposed to happen.

Hands down, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of best novels I’ve ever read.  It’s highly original, smartly written and well-researched.  I wonder who inspired Reid when she wrote this book?  I highly recommend it, giving it a 9.5 out of 10.  You can find on amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other such bookstores.

Random Theories for Big Little Lies

Random Theories for Big Little Lies

“Big Little Lies” is highly addictive.  The book is probably one of the best I’ve ever read, and the show is amazing.  Great cast, great characters, good mystery etc.  That being said, I have some random theories about BLL.

 

  1. I don’t think that Ziggy hurt Amabella.  He seems to be a very kind, loving and friendly little boy.  None of the evidence so far suggests that Ziggy would even consider doing anything like this.  Plus, Ziggy is the only one being accused.  Usually, in that case, it means that the person is innocent.  Even though there is a slim possibility, I doubt Ziggy hurt anyone.  I think the opposite is true–he’s being bullied too.

2.  Celeste.  In the novel, I thought Celeste was the best character.  She was a little more multidimensional than the others.  She’s great here too.  I feel so scared for her in every scene she has with Perry.  That man makes my skin crawl. The therapy sessions are also creepy, but well-acted.  Especially the first and last ones.  I really hope she leaves him before the series is over.  As far as the mystery goes, she could be on either side of it.  But I doubt it.

3.  Jane.  On the show, Jane is probably the character I sympathize with the most. Seeing her struggle with PTSD?  Those scenes are certainly relatable because I’ve dealt with that too.  For different reasons.  The way it’s portrayed in the show is very realistic.  I really hope that Ziggy is innocent because I don’t think Jane could deal with it.  I’m rooting for her.  It’s possible that she killed the victim in self-defense and she could be the victim.

4.  Madeline.  I actually like Madeline a lot.  She’s the type of person who fights for what and who she believes in.  She’s cute and funny.  She is a really good friend to Jane and Celeste.  A great mother.  She has so many likable qualities to her.  You’re almost willing to overlook the fact that she’s having an affair.  Or that she’s in a petty war with Renata.  Ed is an entertaining guy.  In the book, he and Madeline were happily married.  Why does there always have to be cheating?  Happy relationships can be fun too.  I don’t believe she is the victim or the killer.

5.  Speaking of Ed, something is a little off.  The comments he makes about other women.  Taking pictures of them without their knowledge.  People have always commented on the looks that he gave Abigail.  Was it desire? Attraction?  Or did the look mean nothing?  Body language is weird and diffucult to interpret.  Maybe the writers just want Ed to be a viable suspect in the upcoming murder.  Or victim?  Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about Ed.  Is he just a nice guy who is just really weird?  Or is a huge pervert? Kiler? No.  Victim? Possibly.

5.  Renata & Gordon.  Their relationship seems to be the healthiest on the show.  They’re both very angry and frustrated over Amabella being bullied.  While I understand how Renata feels, I think she’s taking it too far.  With each episode, the chances of Ziggy being the bully grow smaller and smaller.  Amabella is terrified of her tormentor.  This is about Amabella, not Madeline.  And I think the feud between them is ridiculous.  Entertaining but ridiculous.  I think Gordon’s approach is better and more rational.

6. If I’m dealing with a jerk, I’d rather deal with one like Nathan.  He knows he’s being an ass and isn’t hiding it.  I hate how he isn’t taking Madeline’s concerns about Abigail seriously.  I kinda that’s why Abigail moved in with him and Bonnie.  He lets her do whatever she wants, probably out of guilt for abandoning her and Maddie. Both father and daughter are annoying.

7.  Perry is a jerk times 100.  I cringe every time he’s on the screen.  He’s a monster and he’s never going to change.  Celeste has a strong case of Stockholm Syndrome.  People say that Perry hates himself for hurting his wife, that he feels guilty.  I honestly don’t care if he does.  He’s a horrible person.  I think the whole point of that first therapy session was to trick Celeste into staying with him and he succeeded.  He blames her for her own abuse.  He knows what he’s doing and he doesn’t care.  Plus, he turns their own kids against Celeste.  I think if Celeste stays any longer, Perry is going to kill her.

8. Chloe.  In a lot of ways, she’s a pint-sized version of her mom.  I like how the writers fleshed out the child characters as well.  (Most of them.  We still don’t know much about the twins.).  She seems so smart and intuitive and funny.  I like her.  I hope she isn’t the bully.

 

Now I have to reread the book for potential clues.  This mystery just gets better and better.

HTGAWM: Worst. Finale. Ever.

I was fully prepared for this to be the best part of season 3.  Episode 313, “It’s War” was easily the best episode this entire season, and I believed that nothing could top it.  Nothing could top the masterpiece that was the finale of “How to Get Away with Murder”‘s first season.  Turns out….I was right.  Last night’s episode was the cherry on top of a disappointing season.

Let’s start with who killed Wes.  It wasn’t Oliver or Connor.  It wasn’t Bonnie or Frank or Laurel.  Not even the Mahoneys.  All of those would’ve made much more sense than having him killed by some stranger.  I thought that Wes would leave the show in some heroic way.  I was expecting Laurel to hunt down Wes’ killer and really make them pay.  None of that happened last night.  Wes died in a brutal and demeaning way…for no good reason at all!  Worse yet, the hit was ordered by Laurel’s own father!  Wes was screwed over in life and he was screwed over in death.  I am so furious with Annalise and the rest of the Keating crew.  Expect for Laurel, of course. How could they do that to Wes?!  Turn him into some violent psycho killer?!  All Wes did was protect the people he loved.  He wasn’t a bad guy.  He was obviously broken, but he was a good person.  Probably the most human character on the show.  He fought hard to make a decent life for himself.  Life beat him up, but he didn’t stay down.  Not until, yeah.  That.  He deserved so much more than this.  And I guess I’ll have to use my Charmed approach–pretend this whole season doesn’t exist.  After Prue died, the show just wasn’t the same.  The same is true for Wes on How to Get Away with Murder.

All these months theorizing and looking for clues turned out to be a waste of time.  If you wanted Laurel’s dad to be involved, you should’ve made him a more prominent character.  You wasted too much time on Attwood, Meggy, and the whole “Under the Sheet” debacle.  It turns out they were nothing but pawns and red herrings.

It’s a shame too.  Attwood was probably the best villain the show’s ever had.  I didn’t like her very much.  But she was cunning, smart, determined and quick.  She was a perfect adversary for Annalise Keating.  I would’ve loved to see her in another battle with Annalise in season 4.  But that isn’t going to happen.  It turns out that Attwood was just a pawn in Denver’s game.  Denver on his own probably would’ve made a good villain.  But Attwood?  Wow.

Speaking of wasted, what about Meggy?  It was crystal clear from the start that her relationship with Wes wouldn’t work out.  That Wes and Laurel would wind up together.  She probably would’ve made a nice bad guy, but she was basically reduced to being the needy ex-girlfriend.  And she wasn’t the only one.   It would’ve been better if the character never existed, to be honest.  Nice people don’t last on this show.  Look at poor Wes….

Speaking of needy ex-girlfriends, what about Laurel?  I hate what they did to her character.  Where was the spunky, confident young idealist we met in season 1?  The sweet seeming girl with a dark side?  There was no trace of her in season 3.  It was like she was some boy-crazy high school student instead of a serious law student in her twenties.  The obsessive behavior over Frank would’ve made sense if she were pregnant then. I did enjoy the relationship between her and Wes.  It was nice to see someone happy for once, and Wes definitely deserved happiness. This is another thing I hated about the season.  Meggy turned out to be a nice yet distrusting person, but it would’ve been better if that relationship didn’t happen.  I wish there were more sweet moments between Laurel and Wes.  I wish the relationship began sooner.

 I guess this should’ve been a big clue.  Nobody is ever happy for more than 2 seconds on this show.  It always ends at some point.

Wes Gibbins was probably the best character on the show, besides Annalise.  I’ll miss him.  

Okay, rant over.