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Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evely Hugo

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid32620332

Evelyn Hugo is a famous actress and she became a celebrity icon because of her incredible life from the 50’s to the 80’s. She was not only famous because of her roles, but also due to her seven marriages. She has always carefully hidden her private life, but now she decides that it is time for the public to really get to know her and who she really is (was).

But, she is willing to share her life story with only one person in particular – with a fairly unknown magazine reporter Monique. Monique doesn’t have an idea why she is the one. The only things she knows is, that this is a chance fo her life.


Evelyn Hugo, glamorous icon, decides to share her intimate life with the public. She demands that the only person she’s willing to share all aspects of her glamorous and scandalous life is unknown magazine reporter Monique. First, Monique thinks that she’ll just write an article, but soon she’s surprised by Evelyn suggestion about exclusive biography offer.

Monique, who is currently in the phase of divorce from her husband, naturally wants to know more about Evelyn and her loves. The book is formed of different parts – the Monique story and her visits to Evelyn. Longer chapters where each one is dedicated to one of Evelyn’s husbands. And short newspaper articles, which are presenting the media’s response to Evelyn’s circumstances at a given moment. Because of the structure, the book is even more remarkable. But the plot itself is the one which makes this book so incredible.

The main point of the story is, that Evelyn Hugo, a sex symbol and celebrity icon, wants to reveal her private life to the public. Through decades of acting career, she gained an intangible celebrity status, men wanted her, women wanted to be like her. Yet, was Evelyn Hugo really what the public saw? At the very beginning of her story, we quickly find out that she wasn’t. Public image is very different from that of private life. We realize that she is not as flawless as one may think. That she used many tricks to succeed and many more to stay on the top. What did she have to sacrifice in her way, and was it (at all) worth it at the end? Her life story is even more interesting since it begins in the 1950s and is then a representation of different times.

The book also exposes how the media present their truth, and how easily they can be manipulated. Of course, the advantage is that Evelyn’s story takes place in the past, before the time of the Internet. Now, it would be harder for Evelyn to manipulate with media or hide some stuff she’s done.

A character of Monique was not my favorite and her personal story didn’t interest me. And besides, she’s put into a shade of beautifully designed character of Evely Hugo. I am not sure whether this was authors intention, to expose Evelyn even more, or is Monique’s character simply weak. Overall, all the characters in Evelyn’s story were astounding and truly vivid.

This book really surprised me in a good way, because at first, I didn’t have the intention to read it. I thought that this story wouldn’t be something I was interested in. But it is beautifully written, the plot is interesting and full of twists. Evely Hugo’s life was not a fairy tale, though it seemed so in public. When reading, it’s interesting to think about what Evelyn has done for fame and who was using who – all her husbands her, or was it opposite? And, was it worth it?

Great book and I highly recommend it.

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Did you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

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Book Review: Rosemary’s Baby

Title: Rosemary’s Baby

Author: Ira Levin

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“Rosemary Woodhouse and her struggling actor – husband Guy move into the Bramford, an old New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and only elderly residents. Neighbours Roman and Minnie Castavet soon come nosing around to welcome them and, despite Rosemary’s reservations about their eccentricity and the weird noises she keeps hearing, her husband starts spending time with them. Shortly after Guy lands a plum Broadway role, Rosemary becomes pregnant and the Castavets start taking a special interest in her welfare.

As the sickened Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated, she begins to suspect that the Castavet’s circle is not what it seems.”

Source: Goodreads


Despite the fact that both, the book and the movie, are considered classics, I had no idea what this book (or movie) is about. According to the title and genre of the book, I concluded that it would be about baby, a devil (?) and that would be tense or creepy.

The book is quite short, so I read it quite quickly. It was fantastic from the first page and if I would have more time, I would probably read it in one sitting.

The tension is rising through the story. It starts innocently when Rosemary and Guy are searching for an apartment, and they find a perfect one but later hear a lot of unpleasant things about it. Nevertheless, they move in and Rosemary is beyond excited. She focuses all her energy on the decoration and the idea of having a baby. At first unusual neighbors, soon become part of their new life.

I didn’t found book neither scary or horrifying. I was just excited about what was going to happen. Since I didn’t know anything about the story, with each page I expected a shocking twist. As the thrill grows, the story becomes more mysterious until it reaches its peak. And during reading, we get to know Rosemary, who is a central figure in the book.

Rosemary is a girl/woman who would I consider as a person with no character. This is also a reason why she finds herself in this peculiar situation. It’s quite easy to manipulate with her because of her character. She is completely subordinate to her husband – although she would probably have claimed otherwise. But she is completely dependent on the husband, both financially and emotionally. She doesn’t know how to stand for herself, so she becomes a victim.

The story is actually rather simple, but it’s written so fantastically that I understand why it’s considered a classic. It does not contain turnarounds or unexpected situations. Ira Levin simply wrote the story so fantastically that it doesn’t even need them. Everything is in place. At first, I was a little bit disturbed by the ending, which seemed to me to be very average for such a book. But after thinking about it, I came to the realization that the ending is excellent. It’s simple, just like the story itself. But it still shocks the reader.

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Book Review: Das Mädchen von Louisiana /The Girl from Louisiana

Title: Das Madchen von Louisiana

Author: Ernst Joseph Gorlich

The story is set in American South before Lincoln became president. Mr. Brand, the owner of a cotton plantation, has fallen from his horse and because of the accident, he died. Since his wife died a long time ago, his daughter Susanne inherits his wealth.

When Susanne returns from boarding school to her father’s funeral, their family lawyer immediately recommends she has to find her father’s testament. Without it, she can’t inherit plantation. Susanne’s mother was black but she as well didn’t know that because she’s so light-skinned. The only one who knew this was a lawyer because Mr. Brand told him.

To her horror, she can’t find testament and lawyer start to treat her like other slaves. Susanne ends up on the auction with other slaves and things from the plantation.


First of all, I want to point out that this book was originally written in the German language. I own it in Slovenian translation but I couldn’t find if an English translation exists. Probably not. But it truly is a beautiful book and I reread it many times since I was little.

The book takes place in that period of history when slaves were working on plantations and had absolutely no rights. They are treated like animals or objects. It also shows a difference between the mentality of South and North America. In the North, things are slowly changing and going for better, while the South still remains conservative and white people are still superior.

Soon, a fourteen years old Susanne discovers this. Initially, she’s shocked because of her father’s sudden death, then at the news that her mother was black and later when she’s completely astonished when she finds herself in the role of a slave. A girl, with a good education, which always got everything she desired, finds herself in chains and on auction, where she’s sold like a horse. She realizes how unfair white people treats slaves, what kind of injustices are happening and how are they treated by their masters. Her new life is difficult, her new mistress is evil and she’s lost in a new situation.

This book will break your heart. It breaks mine every time I read it. It’s a simple story for younger readers. But still, it’s an excellent display of particular period in our history, a time of discrimination and humiliation based on skin color. It also shows, how quickly life can around and how someone’s life can change in a second. It’s a short and bitter story, which I recommend to read if you have a chance.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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Book Review: The Last One

Title: The Last One

Author: Alexandra Oliva27245997

A new reality TV show begins in the wilderness of American forest. It’s the biggest, the most expensive show and the contestants will have to show maximum strength and skills to survive. Twelve contestants are venturing into an adventure for a big prize and they’ll have to survive at least three weeks in the wild, or until all will surrender and the last one will survive.

Contestants soon get used to the presence of cameras and cameramen around them and challenges that test the limits of their endurance. They lose their sense of reality and the only thing they have in mind is winning the great reward. Just like one of the contestants, called Zoo, who is wandering alone and disoriented through the wild, even when cameras and her co-contestants are not around anymore. Even more and more bizarre challenges, desolated cities and mannequins which look just like real dead peoples can’t discourage her from continuing and the only goal she has – be the last one.


This was such an incredible book! Every page was more intense and entertaining and I couldn’t put it down.

Through the chapters, we get to know all twelve contestants and about filming a reality show and also Zoo, who is the narrator of her own chapters.

Background of shooting a show and getting to know all the contestants was such a fun! I also watch reality TV shows sometimes, I know that everything is not like they show us but still, I was surprised how things actually work. All characters (competitors) are show suitable – they are the most diverse characters that you can imagine and of course they are all completely different among each other. They soon show their nature and find out how to play this game and what “role” they were assigned to show.

Zoo is of all the most likable character, but she also stands out from average. Her devotion to a game and the fact that she’s willing to do everything to won was stunning. She just keeps hold on to the illusion of reality show, even when she starts to doubt a little bit and this was just fascinating to me. How can someone be so focused on a goal that he’s not able to realize reallity?

The idea of the plot seemed incredible, but yet completely real. It wouldn’t surprise me if something like that would really happen. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some tv show would really manipulate their contestants to believe they are in some sort of dystopian reality show.

Because after all, I really believe this is a book about media manipulation, how they affect people and our minds and are taking advantage of our naivety. Even the most spontaneous events/scenes are well thought out and nothing is left to chance. And people still don’t separate between reality and illusion.

This was really a unique dystopian novel that I would recommend to every reader.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Did you read The Last One? What did you think about it? 

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Book Review: The Passage

Title: The Passage

Author: Justin Cronin6690798

Six-year-old Amy lives with her mother. But circumstances force her mother to leave her. She leaves Amy in a convent where nuns could take care of her and disappear without a trace. Sister Lacey takes care for Amy but soon two men appear, claiming to work for Secret Service and they need to take Amy away. Special Agent Brad Wolgast and his partner had already traveled across America, with a secret project to bring twelve, to death convicted criminals, to a secret base where special government experiment is going on. Amy is their final task.

However, things go terribly wrong.  Wolgast is fascinated by little Amy and wants to do everything to protect her. But he can’t do anything against apocalyptic destruction which is a result of failed experiment.

He’s protecting Amy as he can but at the end, he’s only human who’s suffering the same fate as all the others. And then Amy remains alone. Her faith is to wander around aimlessly, while decades are passing by. The world is destroyed, full of fear and terror. But Amy has the power to restore it.


What to write about a book, which is one of best books you ever read? The Passage is a book, that I read for the third time and each time it was better. The reason is probably also, that with each new reading, I discovered new details and understood a story better.

But despite reading this book many times, it would be probably easier if I would write a review after first reading. Now, it will be probably just bragging how this book is amazing. And, I already read the second book (twice), so I know everything that happens.

As I mentioned, this book is multi-leveled and full of details that can be easily overlooked if you don’t pay enough attention to them. But precisely those details create the story, although sometimes seems as unnecessary information. There are many side characters, that Cronin devotes a lot of attention, a reader learns everything about their life and past and then they’re gone. However, this also has its charm. But despite detailed writing of characters and events, this book never becomes boring, even though is huge!

Characters are amazing! I loved main characters, Amy and Wolgast. Especially Wolgast. He’s such an amazing man, and his character develops so well through the story. I liked him even more than Amy. And believe me, it’s hard to love somebody more than her. Despite being quite and shy little girl, she has such a powerful role in this book. But still, I think, that Wolgast really stands out!

The world after the apocalypse, when a world was destroyed by the virus is creepy and horrible. Vampires are just like they should be, horrible and bloodthirsty. I usually don’t like books about vampires because they are too romanticized, but here are scary and perfect.

Reading about the world after a virus was enjoyable. Perhaps, it was little too similar to the world before, which annoyed me. After all, so many decades passed by and I would assume, some things would be different, people would act differently. But nevermind, diversity of characters is fascinating and I didn’t have any problems with connecting to them and enjoying their story.

Maybe it’s just the last part of the book, which can be confusing and I was all “what’s going on?”. But exactly this part is full of tension, action, and events.

In spite of the diversity of characters and different stories, everything connects at the end. Again and again, I was amazed, how the fates of people connect one way or another through the novel and that Cronin manages, despite detailed narration, to unite all the elements in the story.

Once again I can say, that this book is just amazing. Enjoyable characters, great background stories and gruesome vampires. Tense, emotional and frightening.

Rating: 5/5 stars

What were your thoughts about this book, if you have read it? Do you have any other vampire books recommendations? Or did you read any similar books that I would like?

 

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Book Review: The Wise Man’s Fear

Title: The Wise Man’s Fear

Author: Patrick Rothfuss1215032

On the second day, Kvothe continues with storytelling about his life. His story is written down by Scribe and Bast is keeping them company.

The story continues where the first ended. Kvothe continues with his study in University and his feud with fellow student Ambrose is still not over. Because of the circumstances, Kvothe decides, he’ll take some time off and he travels to Severen city, far from  University, where he’s serving to Maer Alveron. Soon he employs Kvothe to lead a group of mercenaries in the hunt of bandits. Kvothe hunts them but on the way back he comes upon beautiful Felurian and after that he continues his journey to an unknown country of Ademre. But wherever he goes, he’s looking for mysterious Chandrians who killed his parents.


I’ve been waiting for this book for so long! I read the first book in Slovenian translation and then I had to wait that the second one would also be translated. And finally, I had a chance to read it! But it was so worth of waiting because I liked the second book of The Kingkiller Chronicles even more than a first one.

Kvothe is still one of most likable characters for me. He’s charming but not without mistakes and so nice and funny. And precisely because of the mixture of good and bad qualities, you just have to love him! I think his character is realistic and I already miss him. But a thing I loved the most was his relationship with his friends and their (and Kvothe’s) humor. Their relations were so relaxed and full of teasing that I just wanted to be part of their group.

Wilem and Simmon are comical fellows but they’re always there when Kvothe needs them. Even in book #2, they have saved his ass more than once even though it was completely his fault to get into the mess. Oh yes, Kvothe is still reckless and he doesn’t learn anything from his mistakes.

What bothered me, was Kvothe’s relationship with Denna. I just don’t like her. With every read page less actually. For me, she’s exploitative, not serious and selfish. I think that she’s making a fool of Kvothe all the time and I just wish he would find some other girl to fool around with, haha.

This book is even longer than previous one but I finished with reading quickly. I was so joyful when I read about University, students, and teachers there. Feud with Ambrose remained but it was pushed in the background this time and I must admit that I missed Ambrose a little bit.

Language and the way of describing everything are still perfect. In more that one occasion, I was surprised how effortless was Rothfuss writing about music as its describing would be the easiest thing in the world. But it’s not just the music that’s pictured amazing, but also people, places and everything else. But I have a feeling that this is also Rothfuss’s weakness.  There was a lot of describing, many details and events that otherwise improved the story and the readers understanding of it, but sometimes while reading I wondered why was I actually reading all of this. Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed every sentence, but this was because of writing, and not because I would be so interested in plot events.

The Wise Man’s Fear is amazing fantasy novel and I would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre. But be also prepared, that you will not find out anything new, which really surprised me. I thought I would get at least some answers in this book, but I only have more questions. I guess that means, the third book will be even longer than this one.

Rating: 5/5 stars

What do you think about The Kingkiller Chronicles? Did you like the first book more than second? Share your thought with me in comments.

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Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee2657

The story takes place in the 1930′ in South America when racism and oppression of black people were still highly prevalent in society. The story is told through the eyes of the youngest member of Finch family, Scout. She lives with her father Atticus, older brother Jem and their nanny Calpurnia. During the school holidays, their friend Dill joins them. All together, they’re discovering the hidden corners of the Maycomb and its residents.

Scout’s childhood seems really idyllic. But things change when her father who is a lawyer gets a new case. He’s defending Tom Robinson, a black man, who is convicted of raping a white girl. Atticus knows that Tom is innocent but he’s also aware that he can never win in court.


I had this book on my tbr for so long and I really don’t know why I haven’t read it before. This book is just amazing and I know certainly, that I will read it again.

I would say, that To Kill a Mockingbird is a children’s book, but it’s so versatile and beautifully written that it’s obvious why so many adults love it. The story is told from a perspective of a six-years-old Scout, which is a perfect choice. Scout is curious, eager for knowledge and adventurous but at the same time, she’s unconcerned about the rules which are set in a world of adults. And this perspective makes this book so special – when you read about racism, oppression and injustice through the eyes of a child, who doesn’t understand anything about those things and can only wonder how the world can be so depraved, you realize how twisted adults can be and how absurd rules we are following sometimes. And this creates something extra in a book: it shows a word through eyes of children and the world through the eyes of adults.

The counterweight to young characters (Scout, Jem, and Dill) is Atticus Finch. A single parent, lawyer and besides Scout, my favorite character in this book. His calmness, fairness, and commitment to justice were impressive. I really liked his approach to upbringing and how calm he was in any situation. Other adult characters were a reflection of that time and image of situations and contrasts between people. All the characters were interesting, even the ones I didn’t like for obvious reasons. I would have to say, that characters were presented one-sided and a reader can sense from the beginning, who are the good and who are the bad guys. But again, if I assume correctly, that this is a book, written for children, it becomes understandable.

If at first, I had a great time while reading about children descriptions of town residents, later I was losing my mind while reading about Atticus case with a clear disantanglement before it even comes to a court. Tom Robinson, who is convicted of raping and beating a white girl, was guilty in the eyes of almost everyone. A handful of people who thought opposite were too passive to stand for him. Atticus, however, took the case and accepted a challenge, although he knew how it will end. Probably I knew it too, but I still hoped (like Scout and Jem), that maybe I was wrong and people would see what a farce this trial was. I was so angry while reading about it, about blindness and denial of people and their passivity. I felt furious and helpless and if a book makes me feel this way, I know, it’s a great book.

This book and its message are timeless. To Kill a Mockingbird presents issues that we should already leave behind but unfortunately is not like that. Book is beautifully written, understandable and simple, but nevertheless with a strong message. Of course for those, who want to see it.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Is To Kill a Mockingbird mandatory reading in your school system? If so, did you read it just because you had to, or it was your decision? What are your thoughts about this book?