Ok. It’s been a while since I’ve done this post….. like 2 months long time! I’ve got a list of recommendations but other posts have gotten in the way. But I’m making it happen! And this is a good one. The two books I’m going to recommend to you today were books that I never intended to read. I read their synopsis but they didn’t grab my attention. Thanks to reading book reviews though, I was convinced otherwise. And what ended up happening is I found 2 books that left such a profound impact on me. These books were so emotional and spoke of human connections that I didn’t know were possible in books. If you’ve read either one of these, then I know for a fact that you’ll like the other!
THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid
First we have this book. We meet Evelyn Hugo as she’s nearing the end of her life. She chooses a lower journalist to tell her life story to. Seems like a simple story but, as her life unfolds, it proves to be anything but simple. She’s a Hollywood starlet that’s lived her life in the spotlight yet they don’t know everything. We learn about her life before Hollywood, the movies she made, the people she met, and the loves she had. I normally hate anything to do with Hollywood, but this book was so amazing. This book more so focused on her life behind the camera flashes, and I cried like a baby. CLICK HERE if you want to see my full review.
THE HEART’S INVISIBLE FURIES by John Boyne
This book intimidated the crap out of me. It’s long! But after I realized that this was the same author that wrote The Boy In The Striped Pajama’s, I knew I had to read it. His writing style is so wonderful and packed with emotions. After reading the first chapter I knew this book was going to be amazing – actually, more than amazing! This book went straight to my heart and pulled it in so many directions that I could feel it physically. We follow Cyril from his upbringing with his adoptive parents all the way through until his final year. He struggles to find himself in a time where being gay in Ireland was impossible. He’s constantly forced to decide between his heart and what’s considered normal. This was possibly my favourite read so far in 2018!! CLICK HERE for the full review.
HERE’S WHAT THESE TWO BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON:
- LGBTQ main character – In each book we have a main character that is gay/bi. Both characters know who they really are, but struggle to accept it themselves. They struggle to see what’s “normal” knowing full well that that’s just not who they are. Both characters attempt to suppress their true selves to be accepted, and both fail to cover themselves. Finally both give in to their hearts and the result is truly beautiful.
- Not accepted by society – Actually, both of these books takes place in roughly the same time period, in the 50’s through to the 2000’s. Evelyn Hugo is in America, while Cyril is in Ireland and America. But they have the same thing in common no matter their geography – that is they’re not accepted. This was a time where gays faced hate and violence just for being who they were. They were both forced to hide themselves under the cover of a straight person in order to protect themselves. They could lose their friends, career, and even life if they were found out. Being that this followed the characters for many years, we got to see how they were viewed many years ago to current day. Things obviously changed (thank goodness!) and we get to see them from hiding themselves to being proud of who they are.
- Following lives from youth to death – Possibly my favourite thing about these books is that we follow them from for their whole lives. This doesn’t make the pace a super fast machine, but it’s a slow and steady story that builds a strong emotional timeline. We piece together them being immature and confused, making tough decisions, reflecting on the wrongs and rights they made, and finding happiness. Both were just SO beautiful and powerful.
- Human connections – Because we follow these characters for many years, we see how they made connections and how pieces of their puzzle come together to make a whole. Each of them meet new people and have old connections come in and out of their lives. Each and every person leaves an impact, makes their mark, and changes the characters direction.
Because these books are so highly character driven, they may be intimidating to some. But I flew through these books so fast! I was so engrossed in their stories, needed to know where they went in their lives, and read as fast as possible. I became a sponge, soaking in the details of these characters lives, and I was left with stories that I will never forget. I can’t recommend these books enough!! Have you read either of these? What did you like most about them? Would you be interested in the other?
Until next time, happy reading!