Star of the silver screen, Evelyn Hugo, has agreed to her first interview in many years, but she stipulates that she will only meet with a junior writer named Monique Grant. Monique’s never met Evelyn, but she’s not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. When Monique shows up at Evelyn’s apartment, Evelyn reveals she doesn’t want Monique to interview her about her upcoming charity auction, she wants Monique to write her biography. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime; it will establish Monique as a major player and make her very rich. But, the more Monique learns about Evelyn, the less she trusts her.
Unpopular opinion: I didn’t love this book. I thought I would. I loved Daisy Jones and the Six and I love stories of old Hollywood. I’ve been mulling it over for the past few weeks, trying to figure out why this didn’t strike a chord with me. There are two related issues. First, Evelyn doesn’t really self-reflect. We’re told why she does things, but we aren’t given very many anecdotes to make us understand why she does them. Second, since Evelyn’s story is only told from Evelyn’s point of view, her motivations cannot be explained or filled out by other character’s narratives.
Mild spoiler…For example, Evelyn and Cecilia’s relationship goes from nothing to everything. Before Evelyn kisses Cecelia, there are no longing looks, no moments of sexual tension. Their friendship isn’t even really built up. In Red, White, and Royal Blue, Alex and Henry’s relationship is built slowly. We see multiple in-person interactions and text chains. We hear Alex’s confusion about his interest in Henry. It’s really a disservice to the LBGTQ storyline that we don’t get that for Evelyn and Cecelia.
There’s so much potential in this book. I’m disappointed it wasn’t fleshed out more.