Book Review| Not Without You by Harriet Evans

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I had bought this book the same time I bought The Imposter Bride, and really thought I was going to enjoy that one more than this. This totally proved me wrong.

The Synopsis from Goodreads
Sophie Leigh’s real name is Sophie Sykes. But she hasn’t been called that for years, not since she became an A-list movie star. Living in Hollywood, she can forget all about her old life in England and the tragedy she left behind. But in the process, she’s lost something of herself, too.
Eve Noel didn’t choose her name. A Hollywood producer did. In fact, he makes all the decisions for her—what to wear, when to smile, who to love. A product of the 1950s, Eve has none of Sophie’s modern self-confidence, but she knows she must follow her heart. One day, she simply vanishes: no one knows where she went, or why…
As Sophie’s perfect-on-the-outside world begins to crumble, it seems her life might be linked to Eve’s. And when past and present collide, Sophie must unravel the mystery around Eve’s disappearance to save them both—but is she already too late?

 

Apparently, I am a huge fan of books written with more than one point of view.

Emotions While Reading

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I absolutely hated how long it took me to finish this book, only because I never wanted to put it down! Both Sophie’s story and Eve’s story were so full of mystery and suspense and I just felt for them both so much. This book gave me a lot of feels, which I will explain a little more in the…

What I Liked
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Sophie & Eve – Both characters stole my heart. Actresses in different eras, one the inspiration for the other, their lives entwined without them even realizing it. I fell for each of them separately, and in their own way, but since they were the two main characters, I decided to put them in one grouping here. Sophie was much more aware of her role than Eve. To me, Eve did what others told her to do  blindly. She was completely new to the world of Hollywood, lost in the loud crowds and gaudy parties. Sophie knows how to play the game, and usually plays it well. We come in as she’s trying to get away from the typical “shallow” pictures she makes, bit she’s constantly held back by her agent. Out with the old, in with the new, eh?

How Their Lives Mirrored One Another’s –  Eve was young and new, innocent to what Hollywood had in store for her. Sophie was a vet, knowing what was expected of her and how to play nice with people. Eve was a star when stars were still untouchable, beautiful in a way other people simply weren’t. Sophie constantly has to walk that fine line between strikingly gorgeous and down-to-earth, the girl-next-door. How could two people who are so obviously different have mirroring lives?
• Eve’s parents stopped caring about their daughter once she left for school. Sophie’s mother feigns interest in her daughter, but truly only cares about how her daughter’s fame can benefit her. When Sophie is being stalked and threatened, her mother does the one thing she was told not to: talk to the papers & give them the address Sophie would be at.
• Both of these women were so completely alone. When Eve’s life was falling apart, she turned and found no one to help her, not even the man she had married. When Sophie is laying outside, wanting so much just to talk to somebody, the only person she can think to call is her facile mother. They lack any true friends, anyone who cared about their well being and would help them when they needed it.
• Whenever we flip a  page in a magazine, we are bombarded with large grinning faces, showing us how happy these celebrities or models are, and making us want so much to be just as happy as them. Sophie and Eve were these faces, and neither of them were truly happy. Eve’s photoshoot with her husband showed them waiting for party guests, playing tennis, reading together, being a happily married couple. As the reader, we knew differently. We knew how her husband would threaten her life, cause her emotional and physical harm, and was extremely controlling. Sophie has her whole life staged for her; when she’s “grocery shopping” (why would she when she could pay someone to do that?), getting a drink, everything she does is planned out for her to show just how happy she is. But is she? Of course not. She’s stuck in these one-dimensional roles with horrible one-liners.

What I Disliked

Sarah/The Assistants – I had a feeling she was going to be the crazy person, but considering how odd Sophie’s actual assistant was, I just couldn’t be sure. In fact, maybe I just disliked the way both assistants were portrayed, because they were both a little crazy. I understand being apprehensive about working with a celebrity at first, but the original assistant (whose name I can’t remember) was still so shy that it was almost ridiculous?

My Rating:
4.5/5

I really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who like dual narrators or historical fiction.

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