People, who read books are smarter, more successful, and nicer? At least, that's what recent research reported in TIME says, and I'm inclined to agree.
We're spending every waking minute with our favorite books as the summer draws to a close. While the sun is still shining and the beach is still calling, here are some of the tales we're cramming in. We'd like to share these with you to help you finish your summer on a high note.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Monique Grant a struggling writer, was unexpectedly offered the chance to interview an aging and famous starlet, Evelyn Hugo. Stunned by the news, Monique saw a life-changing opportunity to kickstart her career. When Monique arrives at Evelyn's apartment, she learns that Evelyn has asked her to tell her story-her real story- not the story the public knows.
Monique listens to the actress narrates her tale with rapt attention. Evelyn recalled losing her mother at a young age, noticing others noticing her developing body and how she traded her virginity, not for a ride to filmland, but to become something more. Upon arrival in Hollywood, Evelyn changes her name, dyes her hair blonde to hide her Cuban roots, and climbs the ladder of success, one husband, at a time, until she wins an Oscar. With a few pauses for Monique to report back to her editor, Evelyn recounts her setbacks and successes in chronological order, one marriage at a time.
Contrary to appearances, this is not the tale of a sultry, glamorous woman with seven spouses and a bad reputation. This is the complex narrative of a woman who has spent her entire life as two people, two images overlapping. Which of her seven husbands was her true love? Why did she choose Monique to tell her story? but I guess if you want to find out, you have to read the book.
When asked if it bothers her that “all anyone talks about when they talk about you are the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo,” she says no: “Because they are just husbands. I am Evelyn Hugo.” I'm blown away by how well this narrative was told. It made me believe Evelyn Hugo was a genuine actress who was writing her autobiography rather than a fictional fabrication. I don't believe the author intended for us to adore or loathe actress Evelyn Hugo; instead, I believe she wanted us to understand her.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The Guest List, with its island setting, celebrity wedding, and body count, would be this summer's must-read beach novel. In a world fascinated with uncovering the next big thing, going back to fundamentals is sometimes the best way to stand out. Lucy Foley, a British novelist, has created a reputation for herself by writing two suspense thrillers that do exactly that.
On a distant island, old classmates, lovers, and rivals gather for the wedding of Will and Jules. Will, the groom, rose to popularity on television as a Bear Grylls-style survivalist. Jules, his bride, is a successful lifestyle editor and Internet influencer. For months, Jules has been looking forward to this weekend. She's delighted to start her married life with the handsome Will. Despite the fact that the anonymous note she got in London continues to bother her. It cautioned her not to marry him, to call off the wedding, and that Will is not who he claims to be. The story is multi-POV and we see it unfold from the perspectives of 5 narrators including Johnno, mischief-maker, and best man; Aiofe the all-seeing wedding planner; Olivia, the bridesmaid with a weak emotional state; Hannah, concern about her husband and Jules close friendship. Everyone seems to have a reason and a dark tragic secret from their past, and the sense of impending doom is thickening.
The tagline from the back of the book reads “All have a secret. All have a motive. But only one is a murderer”. Something awful happens during the evening wedding event, most likely a murder, as you know at the start of the novel. However, until the very end, you have no idea who is murdered or even if anyone is murdered. I liked how everything came together in the end while still wanting to know more, and I'd happily read more books by Lucy Foley in the future.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
When you make a deal with the devil, it will be a no-win situation.
Addie LaRue is a young woman living with her parents in a little village in 17th-century France where people live their entire lives and die within a mile radius. Addie, on the other hand, has ambitions beyond her little town and her parents' desire for her to marry a suitable bachelor. So, she struck a deal with the Dark: in exchange for freedom and time, she would give up her soul when she no longer desired to live.
But instead of receiving a gift, Addie is cursed, everyone she ever meets is bound to forget her. She is free of anyone's memories, emotions, or feelings about her, which prevents her from forming meaningful bonds. To add insult to injury, she is also eternal. And she wanders the planet alone for 300 years, surviving on her wit, charm, and ingenuity until she runs upon a bookstore clerk who remembers her. Of course, she has no idea how the devil with whom she struck a bargain would respond if he discovers that the rules of their 300-year-old game have changed. The novel jumps back and forth between the past and the present, giving readers more insight into how Addie managed to survive on her own, the laws of her curse, and the loneliness that drives her relationships.
This is a darkly romantic and suspenseful story that spans decades and continents, written by a master storyteller.