Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


Aging Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell her life story, but she only has one person in mind to write it. Monique Grant is a writer at a large magazine, but she isn’t well known. When Evelyn insists that Monique write the article, the editor has no choice but to send Monique for the job. However, the job isn’t what she expected. Evelyn actually wants Monique to write Evelyn’s memoir, and Monique is the only person who can write it. Over a few days, Evelyn tells Monique the story of her life in Hollywood, including her marriages to each of her seven husbands. When Evelyn finishes telling her life story, Monique can finally find out why she was the only one who can tell it. 

I’m very late to the Evelyn Hugo party, but I’m so glad I finally read it! This book is definitely worth the hype. Though these characters are fictional, they all feel like real people. There were surprising reveals throughout the story, but everything led to a satisfying ending. 

Evelyn would manipulate the media stories about her, using her marriages to change the public narrative about her life. If she thought one story was going to break about her, she would do something more shocking to deflect from the news she didn’t want to make the front page. This is still done with celebrities today, who will use surprising relationships to deflect attention from something else in their lives. I liked this behind-the-scenes view of a Hollywood icon. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a great story and worth the hype!

What to read next:

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Have you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? What did you think of it?


Happy Pub Day – June 28

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar

The Sizzle Paradox by Lily Menon

Katzenjammer by Francesca Zappia

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Sometime in Summer by Katrina Leno

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Blood and Moonlight by Erin Beaty

Godslayers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow

Ride With Me by Lucy Keating

The Song That Moves the Sun by Anna Bright

A Secret Princess by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Blade Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman

My Name is Jason. Mine too. by Jason Griffin and Jason Reynolds

The Wife Before by Shanora Williams

Sea Glass Summer by Miranda Liasson

Summer on Blackberry Beach by Belle Calhoune

For the Love of the Bard by Jessica Martin

A Shoe Story by Jane L. Rosen

The Clackity by Lora Senf

Outside by Ragnar Jónasson

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

Stealing Infinity by Alyson Noël

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Katzenjammer

Title: Katzenjammer
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Contemporary
Publisher: HCC Frenzy
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Cat lives in her high school. She never leaves, and for a long time her school has provided her with everything she needs. But now things are changing. The hallways contract and expand along with the school’s breathing, and the showers in the bathroom run a bloody red. Cat’s best friend is slowly turning into cardboard, and instead of a face, Cat has a cat mask made of her own hardened flesh.

Cat doesn’t remember why she is trapped in her school or why half of them—Cat included—are slowly transforming. Escaping has always been the one impossibility in her school’s upside-down world. But to save herself from the eventual self-destruction all the students face, Cat must find the way out. And to do that, she’ll have to remember what put her there in the first place.


Cat lives in her high school along with a bunch of other students. None of them are able to leave. The school expands and contracts like it’s breathing, and the showers pour with blood. Cat wears a cat mask that she can’t remove, and her best friend, Jeffrey, is turning into cardboard. Many of them are transforming into animals or inanimate objects. The problem is that Cat doesn’t know why or how they got there. As she slowly regains her memories, she discovers the events that led them there. 

This story was very good but also very unusual. It was inspired by the story Metamorphosis by Kafka, in which the main character wakes up to discover he has turned into an insect. This story was complex and disturbing. It’s one of those stories that I can’t say much about without spoiling it. 

There were some disturbing scenes, but that’s expected with a horror. There was a lot of trauma experienced in the present story, along with bullying in Cat’s memories of the before time. The one thing that I didn’t like at the end was that there were a lot of questions left with open ended answers. I prefer it when everything is answered at the end, but that’s just my preference. 

Katzenjammer is a suspenseful, high school horror story!

Thank you HCCFrenzy for sending me a copy of this book.

What to read next:

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Have you read Katzenjammer? What did you think of it?

Review: Out of the Blue

Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Jason June
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Crest is not excited to be on their Journey: the monthlong sojourn on land all teen merfolk must undergo. The rules are simple: Help a human within one moon cycle and return to Pacifica to become an Elder–or fail and remain stuck on land forever. Crest is eager to get their Journey over and done with: after all, humans are disgusting. They’ve pollluted the planet so much that there’s a floating island of trash that’s literally the size of a country. 

In Los Angeles with a human body and a new name, Crest meets Sean, a human lifeguard whose boyfriend has recently dumped him. Crest agrees to help Sean make his ex jealous and win him back. But as the two spend more time together and Crest’s pespective on humans begins to change, they’ll soon be torn between two worlds. And fake dating just might lead to real feelings…

This instant New York Times bestselling novel from Jason June dives into the many definitions of the world home and shows how love can help us find the truest versions of ourselves.


Crest is a mer, who lives in the Blue, and must go on the journey that all of the merfolk do, which is go on land and help a human. When Crest goes on land, they go by the name Ross, and meet Sean. Sean is a lifeguard, whose boyfriend has just dumped him for another swimmer. When Sean’s ex boyfriend sees him with Ross and looks jealous, Sean realizes he can use Ross to make his ex jealous and want to get back together. Ross agrees to it since that will fulfill their journey by helping Sean. As Sean and Ross fulfill all their tasks for their fake dating plan, they end up developing real feelings for each other, which makes them wonder what will happen when Ross’s journey is finished and it’s time to return to the Blue. 

This story was set in contemporary Los Angeles, but it was a world where fantasy creatures exist. Mer can go on land, losing their tails and taking on a human appearance. There were other supernatural creatures mentioned, like vampires and elves, so hopefully more of this world will be described in other novels. 

I enjoyed the gendered exploration in this novel. Mer were a gender neutral species, so Ross went by the pronoun “they.” It’s ironic, since we usually talk about “mermaids” as being female, and don’t usually mention a male equivalent. Making all mer gender neutral meant there were no mermaids or mermen. They were all mer. 

Out of the Blue is a great original story!

What to read next:

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June

Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee

Have you read Out of the Blue? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: To Kiss a Wallflower

Title: To Kiss a Wallflower
Author: Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, Anneka R. Walker
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Mirror Press
Source: Austen Prose
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 21, 2022
Rating: ★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

THE WALLFLOWER’S DANCE by Jen Geigle Johnson
Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren’t too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she’s not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?

Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.

Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.


To Kiss a Wallflower is a collection of three Regency romance short stories:

The Wallflower’s Dance: Lottie has always been a wallflower at dances, but when she suddenly inherits a fortune, all of the eligible suitors want to dance with her. She enlists the help of her best friend, Denny, to figure out who is genuine, but Denny be the man who can sincerely love her. 

Letters to a Wallflower: Ellen’s been called the “diamond of the season,” but when her cousin bets her that she can’t attend a dance as a wallflower, Ellen takes up the challenge. Lord Ravenshire is looking for a ticket out of London and the season, so he stages a fake courtship with Ellen to get them both out of their seasonal duties, but they may find the love they didn’t know they were searching for. 

To Marry a Wallflower: When Charlotte’s father suddenly arranges a marriage between her and Lord Templeton, she wants to get to know him before they officially meet. Charlotte poses as her cousin, and Lord Templeton poses as his friend, so they can secretly get to know each other, but they end up falling in love along the way. 

This was a nice collection of stories about wallflowers. Each story explored a different romance trope: friends to lovers, fake dating, and miscommunication. The main issue I had with these stories is that they were so similar that they blended together. They had similar premises, with the heroine acting as a wallflower but ending up with their love interest in the end, so it’s not surprising they were so much alike. The stories also ended abruptly, like they could have been full length novels, but they were rushed at the end. 

This is a good collection for fans of Regency wallflower stories. 

Thank you Mirror Press and Austen Prose for providing a digital copy of this book.

What to read next:

The Inns of Devonshire by Sally Britton, Annette Lyon, Deborah M. Hathaway

A Seaside Summer by Jodi S. Kilpack, Martha Keyes, Heather B. Moore

Have you read To Kiss a Wallflower? What did you think of it?

Happy Pub Day – June 21

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley

This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron

Epically Earnest by Molly Horan

Jumper by Melanie Crowder

A Year to the Day by Robin Benway

The Name She Gave Me by Betty Culley

Never Coming Home by Kate Williams

We Weren’t Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn

In the Dark We Forget by Sandra SG Wong

Juniper and Thorn by Ava Reid

A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey

Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score

The Missed Connection by Denise Williams

Lies I Tell Myself by Beth Vrabel

The Drowning Sea by Sarah Steward Taylor

The Loophole by Naz Kutub

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun (Onyeka #1)

Title: Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun
Author: Tọlá Okogwu
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: June 14, 2022
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Black Panther meets X-Men in this action-packed and empowering middle grade adventure about a British Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers—perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers, The Marvellers, and Rick Riordan!

Onyeka has a lot of hair­—the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. At least she has Cheyenne, her best friend, who couldn’t care less what other people think. Still, Onyeka has always felt insecure about her vibrant curls…until the day Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka’s hair takes on a life of its own, inexplicably pulling Cheyenne from the water.

At home, Onyeka’s mother tells her the shocking truth: Onyeka’s psycho-kinetic powers make her a Solari, one of a secret group of people with super powers unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies…


Onyeka has a lot of hair that is out of control most of the time. One day, when her friend begins to drown, Onyeka swims after her, and her hair somehow pulls them both out. Onyeka’s mother tells her that she’s inherited these special powers from her father, who was a Solari. The Solari are a group of people with super powers in Nigeria. Her mother brings her to Nigeria to find her father and get answers on how to control her newfound power at the Academy of the Sun. 

This book is described as Black Panther meets X-Men and that’s the perfect comparison! Most of the story was set in Nigeria, in an advanced school filled with kids who have various super powers. The school was divided in four groups, by the type of power students had. The groups had to compete against each other and all the students had to compete against one another with grades and challenges. 

I loved the message that something that was perceived as a weakness is actually strength. Onyeka’s mom had strict rules for how she had to treat her hair. It was often a mess and going in every direction, until she learned how to control it. What she thought was her weakness ended up being the source of her super power. 

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun is a great start to a middle school adventure series. 

Thank you Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of this book.

What to read next:

Shuri by Nic Stone

The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

Have you read Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun? What did you think of it?

Review: Her Majesty’s Royal Coven (Her Majesty’s Royal Coven #1)

Title: Her Majesty’s Royal Coven (Her Majesty’s Royal Coven #1)
Author: Juno Dawson
Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A Discovery of Witches meets The Craft in this the first installment of this epic fantasy trilogy about a group of childhood friends who are also witches. 

If you look hard enough at old photographs, we’re there in the background: healers in the trenches; Suffragettes; Bletchley Park oracles; land girls and resistance fighters. Why is it we help in times of crisis? We have a gift. We are stronger than Mundanes, plain and simple.

At the dawn of their adolescence, on the eve of the summer solstice, four young girls–Helena, Leonie, Niamh and Elle–took the oath to join Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, established by Queen Elizabeth I as a covert government department. Now, decades later, the witch community is still reeling from a civil war and Helena is now the reigning High Priestess of the organization. Yet Helena is the only one of her friend group still enmeshed in the stale bureaucracy of HMRC. Elle is trying to pretend she’s a normal housewife, and Niamh has become a country vet, using her powers to heal sick animals. In what Helena perceives as the deepest betrayal, Leonie has defected to start her own more inclusive and intersectional coven, Diaspora. And now Helena has a bigger problem. A young warlock of extraordinary capabilities has been captured by authorities and seems to threaten the very existence of HMRC. With conflicting beliefs over the best course of action, the four friends must decide where their loyalties lie: with preserving tradition, or doing what is right.

Juno Dawson explores gender and the corrupting nature of power in a delightful and provocative story of magic and matriarchy, friendship and feminism. Dealing with all the aspects of contemporary womanhood, as well as being phenomenally powerful witches, Niamh, Helena, Leonie and Elle may have grown apart but they will always be bound by the sisterhood of the coven.


Her Majesty’s Royal Coven was established by Queen Elizabeth I to protect her. Now, centuries later, Helena is the High Priestess, leader of the coven. Her friends are: Niamh, a vet who uses her powers to heal animals, Elle, a housewife leading a secret life as a witch, and Leona, who left to create her own intersectional coven. After Helena discovers a young warlock with extraordinary powers they’ve never seen before, she brings him to be trained and examined by Niamh. However, the warlock holds a lot of secrets which threaten to turn the coven upside down. 

As soon as I saw this title I knew I needed to read this book, but I went into the story without knowing what it was about. It was a fantastic witchy story that we need right now. 

This story explores gender and gender stereotypes. This witch world was divided into female witches and male warlocks with nothing in between. However, when a transgender character entered the novel, it threw some of them off. There was a lot of transphobia which was disturbing to read, but that’s the point. The real world and fictional fantasy worlds have not been nice to transgender people, especially in recent years. This intersectional look at witches was such an important and powerful read. 

The final few chapters of this book were completely shocking and unpredictable. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. 

Thank you Penguin Books for sending me a copy of this book.

What to read next:

The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

Have you read Her Majesty’s Royal Coven? What did you think of it?

Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1)

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings . . . until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing. 

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy. . . .


Evangeline Fox believed in true love and fairy tales, until the love of her life left her to marry her stepsister. To stop the wedding, Evangeline makes a deal with the Prince of Hearts. He asks her to give three kisses, when and where he chooses. However, each kiss leads to danger, so Evangeline’s wish to get her fiancée back will lead to the destruction of many others. 

I haven’t read the Caraval series, and I didn’t realize that this book was a spin-off until halfway though. This could be read as a stand-alone story, though there wasn’t much worldbuilding in this book that was probably in the original series. However, I loved this book. 

There were so many fairy tale elements in this story that I loved. Evangeline was an orphan who lived with her stepmother and stepsister. There were curses and deals made, with some magic potions involved as well. Though this wasn’t a retelling of a fairy tale, I loved these fairy tale elements in this fantasy story. 

Once Upon a Broken Heart is an exciting start to a new series!

What to read next:

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Have you read Once Upon a Broken Heart? What did you think of it?

Happy Pub Day – June 14

Happy Pub Day to all of these new books!

Thank You, Next by Andie J. Christopher

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tolá Okogwu

The Edge of Summer by Erica George

The Blood Traitor by Lynette Noni

The Sea Knows My Name by Laura Brooke Robson

Go Hunt Me by Kelly deVos

Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey

Love and Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean

Vows of Empire by Emily Skrutskie

The Silence That Binds Us by Joanna Ho

Feather and Flame by Livia Blackburne

Island Time by Georgia Clark

The Dawnhounds by Sascha Stronach

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

The Beach Trap by Ali Brady

Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering

The Bridesmaids Union by Jonathan Vatner

What books are you most excited for this week?