Cover Image: Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?

Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?

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Did you hear about Kitty Carr- Elise receives a generous estate from family celebrity friend Kitty. When going through Kittys diary, Elise uncovers secrets that could unravel her families lives. Thank you @henryholtbooks
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First, as a storyteller, I think this debut author has a lot of promise. Drawn in by the Evelyn Hugo comparison, I think this is an oversimplification- really the only thing the two novels have in common are they are both about women of color in Old Hollywood - the subject matter is really so very different!
Told from a 1930s-1950s and 2017 alternating timelines, centering around screen legend Kitty Karr leaving her enormous estate to her former co-star and neighbor’s children, the St. John’s sisters, with no explanation.
Without spoiling the entire plot line, which was a compelling one, it could have used a much sharper editor - there are too many extraneous characters who just serve to distract and confuse, and far too much dialogue and details that go on for pages on the most minute of points not integral to the story. The novel could have easily been 50-100 pages shorter to be more effective, I was kind of slogging through to the end. 
Overall, probably a 2.75 stars, rounded up to 3 being the author’s first and an ambitious one at that.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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While this book is extremely popular due to it's connection to Reece's Book Club unfortunately this book wasn't for me.  I was excited to dive in and immerse myself into Kitty Karr's life based on the comparison to Evelyn Hugo but I found that this story wasn't what I expected.

The writing, character development and timeline were well written but I found myself confused by the many characters entering the story in the beginning chapters.  For me personally, it was a bit overwhelming, trying to keep up with each character, their place in the story and the family.  

While the characters were written well I didn't feel a connection to them which is a very important factor for me when reading.

I do believe that this story will have a large audience and will entertain many.
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My goodness this book was great. I could have read the whole thing in one sitting, but didn't have that kind of time. Everytime i picked it up, i couldn't put it down. I loved the flashbacks between the fifties and the present, it allowed for us to live through the decisions and hardships of kitty and her mother as well as figure out who she really was. 

It was beautifully written, eye opening and i can't wait to see what the author writes next.

Thank you netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Did You Hear About Kitty Karr is a wonderful story told in 2 timelines, the golden age of Hollywood  and the present time.   A story of secrets and protecting yourself through lies and pretenses.  A story of a racism in the past and present time.   

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC for an honest review.
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I had no idea what this book was about when I started it, but I am sure glad I read it! A multigenerational story about three sisters, their mom, and next door neighbor. Extremely eye opening.
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An amazing story with a dual timeline that intertwines the history of those seeking their racial identity and trying to survive in the adult world.  Elise St. John is a Black celebrity in Hollywood and she and her sisters have soared to more celebrity status as they have been made heirs to a multimillion dollar estate of a recluse White Hollywood star who lived next door.  The press is clamoring to know the connection and understand why.  And Elise's mother is no help, although she seems to be harboring a secret. As the executor of the estate, Elise uncovers Kitty's journals and the secrets of her past. The story itself was far more entertaining and interesting as we hear Kitty's story of growing up, surviving in a segregated world, and passing over into a world of whiteness.  But at what cost to her?  And was she happy?  Kitty was the daughter of Hazel, a maid in a White prominent household, and the product of a rape by the son in a Southern home. Her mother groomed her to one day rise above her community,  and pass over into the White culture. Many books lately have been written with this common theme, but that aside, I found myself easily reading this story as it carried me on.  For a debut novel, I I found it well-written and detailed as it followed Kitty's story.  Elise's story was merely the vehicle for which Kitty's story was told in context. A good read, but not great read as there are other books out there with the same themes of racial identity and family,  Even so, I did enjoy it, and would say yes, read this one as the theme of choosing to seek what is perceived as an easier path in life is a sad commentary on yesterday and today's society. But there is always a cost. 
Many thanks to #netgalley, #didyouhearaboutkittykelly #henryholtandsons for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I'm giving this 2.5 stars. I struggled with this book. Let me start off by saying that themes of race, passing, Jim Crow laws/era and being black in America, whether it's now or in the past are all very relevant topics and a part of history. Having said that, this storyline of black women trying to or having to pass as white has been way overdone in the past year or two. If I hadn't recently read multiple books on this subject, I may have enjoyed this one a lot more.

Besides the overdone storyline, there were a few other aspects that didn't work out for me. First, there were too many POVs, making it confusing at times. It would often get jumbled and I had to re-read certain chapters to make sense of it all. This is a slow burn book, so it took awhile to get into the story. The book was too long and I struggled with the execution. The writing itself left alot to be desired. I really could not relate to the St. John sisters. You are already millionaires, who just inherited more millions and they were unhappy, ungrateful and overall seemed miserable in their lives.

While the storyline is one that's been overdone, it was still an interesting and intense story. The decisions that Kitty and her mom had to make, the historical aspects of this book, were thought provoking and heart breaking. The book does deliver on an interesting twist of who Kitty Karr was and why she left her inheritance to the St. John sisters, even if some of it was predictable.

My thanks to Crystal Smith Paul, Henry Holt & Co. and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much NetGalley for this ARC. I am always intrigued by books about an infamous celebrity, and this book did not disappoint. The story focuses on three sisters whose Mom acted with the infamous Kitty Karr, and who were raised in her mansion. When Kitty dies, she leaves her billion dollar fortune to the three sisters, much to the dismay of their Mother and the public. We learn about Kitty's backstory and how she became the legend the world saw her as. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who liked "The Secret Lives of Evelyn Hugo" , and enjoy the story of Kitty.
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As many others, this book captured my attention due to the similarities to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I found that, while it was enjoyable and quick to get through, the story was messy and a bit confusing to follow. So many big, important plot things happened but were only briefly mentioned, which made me have to do several double takes. The modern day plot was also much less interesting than the historical plotline; however, I think the author knew this and made sure to give us a majority of Kitty's life story in the middle without a present day break, which was nice considering I got nervous towards the end of each chapter, afraid the next one would punt us into the present.
All in all, not the best written, but a very solid debut. I will definitely be looking out to see what Crystal Smith Paul does next!
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Kitty Kar lived a mysterious but glamorous life.  When she died, she left her considerable fortune to three black sisters, and the world was obsessed with finding out why.  We jump back and forth between timelines to learn about present and past struggles with race and gender and how circumstances were set in motion to try and enact change.  

This book really sucked me in!  I initially was drawn to this book because it was giving me Evelyn Hugo vibes (old Hollywood).  While it did have a taste of that, this book was so much more.  I was intrigued by "passing" and had not really read about it much at all before this.  I now want to go see what else I can find/learn about this topic.  I was in awe of these women and what they were doing. The struggles they went through were heart-wrenching. There were raw moments, mystery, ambition, bravery, and perseverance, all wrapped into one book.  I loved how the past was weaved in beautifully with the present.  I absolutely recommend checking this book out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction and firece women.  
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Crystal Smith Paul hit it out of the park with "Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?" A story smoldering with Old Hollywood glamour, dangerous, suspense, and seductive fame.
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I cannot stress enough how much I disliked this book. It's touted as a mix of Evelyn Hugo and Vanishing Half, but honestly I think there's no comparing this book to those two great ones. I really had to muscle my way through this book to finish it and considered DNFing several times even though I need to review it for NetGalley. All of the characters felt flat with little to no reader access to their emotions or mental state. The author would tell us how they're feeling or what they're thinking without ever showing us any of it. Also the writing was jumping all over the place, making leaps that were really hard to follow, right from the beginning. I would get confused about people and places, there was no continuity in terms of where people were placed in space, and the dialogue would take incredible leaps that made me feel like I had missed something. I know some folks have enjoyed this book, but for the above reasons, it's definitely not for me.
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3.5 stars. I love the premise of this but the storytelling was uneven. I was very interested in Kitty's timeline and less interested in the present one, though that picked up towards the end.
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A slower burn historical fiction but I really enjoyed. Lots of characters to keep track of but if you stick with it, the payout is worth it!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt for the ARC! This is a multi-layered novel that tackles the concept of passing as related to race and the many complex implications and reasons behind choosing to do so. The dual POV is incredibly interesting, with my favorite being the portions taking place in the past. I couldn’t help but be riveted by the life of our titular heroine. 

I am stunned that this is a debut novel - the writing is incredible. The subject matter is eye opening, engaging, and critical reading material.  I highly enjoyed this and recommend it whole heartedly.
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I read this one the second I got approved for it because it gave Evelyn Hugo vibes from a diverse perspective but I think I was a little let down. I loved reading about the secret Black women's group that worked behind the scenes to fight discrimination and learned so much about the experience of Black women passing as white women and what that entails, but I think I just wanted more out of this book. 

While I loved Kitty's story, I got a little lost in the present day POV. Maybe I missed something important at the beginning, but it felt like there were so many characters and I was getting them all mixed up. 

Again, because Kitty's POV was SO interesting and beautiful to read, I have a hard time rating this. Maybe I would've liked it more if it was just about Kitty? Idk, but regardless I think that this was such an important read and one I really enjoyed! 

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I really enjoyed this book. I had been kind of iffy on the last few Reese's Book Club books but this one reeled me in.

Kitty Karr (real name Mary Magadalene) has passed away and she has passed on her secret to Elise. Unknown to Elise, Kitty was her grandmother and had lived her life passing as a white woman. It really explains the animosity her mother Sarah showed Kitty, who lived right next door to them.

Kitty (Mary) was the product of her mother's rape by her boss's son. Hazel was their maid. Kitty was born very fair and Hazel wanted her to have a bigger life than living in their world. This was during the Jim Crow south.

Hazel makes it to Hollywood and makes it to the big time even her husband not knowing. She also becomes a member of Blair House, a place for passing women to do good for the world of black people.

A lot of secrets and life goes on, I don't want to give away too much. I was totally interested in the story and also in Elise's story. Reese picked a good one this month.

Thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt & Co for a copy for review.
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I loved this novel told from two different characters perspectives with multiple time lines. It was very well told and kept me hooked throughout. Quick, easy read. A must summer/spring vacation/beach read!
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I devoured this page turning debut by Crystal Paul Smith in one night.    When reclusive former silver screen legend Kitty Karr passes, she sets the tabloids and news media alight with her choice of who receives her vast fortune.  Her hidden diary reveals a sweeping web of secrets and lies that examines race, class, and gender in old Hollywood. Great for fans of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.  Please note that I was provided with a digital advance reader copy by NetGalley.
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