Member Reviews

Thank You to NetGalley, Henry Holt & Co., and Crystal Smith Paul.

I enjoyed the book. I loved the different point of views and time frames. I loved the settings of old Hollywood glamour and the modern Hollywood business, I loved the mystery when Kitty Karr Tate, star of the old Hollywood screen, dies and leaves her home, an estate, to the St. John Sisters. This causes quite the stir as the St. John sisters are three young, wealthy Black women.

As the sisters sort through Kitty's things, especially her journal, they learn about Kitty's rise to becoming a famous star, growing up in the segregated South, and her family's choice to give her a better life and break free.

As one of the sister's, Elise, digs deeper into Kitty's past, she reflects upon her life, her choices, and the consequences of those choices.

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3 ⭐’s this was a good story with a lot of potential that got lost in timeline editing.

I loved the story, the characters and the exploration of the past and present lives of Black women and their experiences and impacts.

I did feel very much like I was reading two different books for the first 10+ chapters. The back and forth timelines was especially choppy and with so many name changes it made it extra confusing to follow until those changes happened. I wish the timeline jumps had been edited differently.

Generally the “twist” is something you see coming from the beginning, which isn't bad, it's more a story of how/why you got there.

Overall it was a good story worth checking out of the library and I would check out future works by this author.

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In Crystal Smith Paul's debut novel, "Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?," tough topics like slavery, rape, Jim Crow, segregation, and discrimination take center stage. The story follows Kitty Karr, a Hollywood actress passing as White due to her light skin, as she navigates difficult decisions and the consequences they bring. While the character development of Kitty and her mother, Hazel, impresses, some may find the portrayal of the St. John sisters lacking depth, and the ending wrapped up too swiftly.

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This was a fun story about Hollywood, race and family secrets. It didn't blow me away but I enjoyed it and found it entertaining. I am not sure I would recommend it, but I would certainly try another book by this author.

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I love a good family saga, and this did not disappoint. A step back into old Hollywood with all glamour and not-so-glamourous parts that went with it. I really enjoyed the mysterious take this book offered and how the story built while exposing many secrets about what lies underneath Hollywood and really us all.

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Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? by Crystal Smith Paul is about Kitty Karr Tate, a Hollywood star, and the St. John sisters. Kitty Karr leaves her fortune to the three sisters who through the course of the book learn much about Karr. I voluntarily read and reviewed this complimentary copy of this well-written, engaging book.

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I enjoyed this book and found Kitty's story quite interesting. I usually like dual timelines, but it didn't really work here. The present day story could have just been incorporated into Kitty's story and the flow of the story would have been smoother in my opinion. Also there were a few chapters where way too many characters were introduced rapidly, causing me to almost lose interest. Once past that the story really picked up. 3.5 stars rounded down.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.

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A wonderful in depth plotted novel. Characters came to life on the pages. Family and friend dynamics explored. Not to be missed.

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This book was completely brilliant. It grabbed me right away. I love books with dual perspective, so I really enjoyed the bounce from the 1930s, 40s and 50s to 2017 and 2018. When the first pieces of Kitty's story came together with Elise's discovery of her own history, I was so invested. There were definitely some surprises tucked in. I was worried for the women who were passing and nervous they'd be "found out" and what would happen to them if that happened. I was also worried for Elise's connection to her immediate family as the rest of the puzzle came together, since things were tenuous at best with her mother for most of the book. This was so well done; would LOVE to see it made into a movie for Netflix. Will recommend to friends over and over., while looking forward to the next book from Crystal Smith Paul! Thanks Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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When award winning actress Kitty Karr dies and leaves her fortune to the St. John sisters, the whole wants to know why.
I liked how this book tackled racism, classism and sexism and the ways that the Hollywood industry treats women and people of color. I wish that the present day story of the St John sisters had been fleshed out much more; it felt lacking and incomplete and I kept waiting for more background and story there. I really enjoyed the Kitty Karr plot line and think the book would have been stronger if it just focused on her story instead.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for this ARC!

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This was my first book to read by this author but it won't be my last! This was a beautifully written novel that evokes so many emotions and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Don't miss out on this one!

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3.5 stars

I really enjoyed Did You Hear About Kitty Karr. It was such a good book, and the historical aspect was a bonus for me. It brought a real human aspect to the book and tackled real-life issues of rape, Jim Crow, misogyny in Hollywood and race. All of these encapsulated within this book led to a very real and eye opening read. There were times I feel the story was rushed, more towards the end. And in the beginning it was a bit slow and took me several chapters to really get into. But if you can get passed this, overall it’s a good book and I definitely learned a bit from reading it.

***thank you Netgalley and Henry Holt & Co for an ARC copy in return for an honest review***

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I'm a Reese's Book Club stan and usually enjoy most of her picks but this one was a bit lackluster- the premise was interesting but multiple times lines and POV made it difficult to follow, slow pacing, and other books have pulled off a similar storyline better.

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The premise of the story was very interesting. I was really intrigued by Kitty’s story. I found myself skipping to read her parts. I did not really care for the modern storyline. It did not really appeal to me. I think it should have focused solely on Kitty’s story. I liked how it explained the hardships that women had to go through. Nevertheless, I recommend this for fans of The Yellow Wife, The Great Mrs. Elias, and Take My Hand!

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This book gave me Evelyn Hugo vibes, but was a little slow with a disconnected writing style. While it touched on some important topics, I had trouble engaging at times.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc!

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While the writing is brilliant, I just couldn’t get into this book. I tried over and over and dnfed at 30%

I wish I was invested, but I’m just not.

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(Finally getting through some of my backlist ARCs)

This was one of the books I was most excited about earlier in the year. I was so, so happy to receive the ARC for it, so imagine how guilty and horrible I’ve been feeling that I’ve tried picking it up dozens and dozens of times the last few months. I don’t tend to struggle this much with books, but this one was a doozy. I even picked it as my BOTM thinking I would enjoy it more if I read it as a physical book rather than just on my kindle. Still, no luck.

I loved the premise of this. I loved the cover! It was intriguing and I loved the old Hollywood vibes. It looked like the perfect story to get lost into. However…the execution. The writing style of this was really, really difficult to get into. I felt like it was just slightly overwhelming but not in a good way? And at times it didn’t feel like the past/present chapters were blending in the way they were meant to. I strongly preferred Kitty’s historical chapters to the sisters. And I’ve found that when this happens with past/present chapters, it makes it so only half of the story is enjoyable. I just. I’m so sad this one didn’t work for me. I’m still going to keep my eye out for this author’s next novel because I think the story idea is definitely there, I’m just not sure the execution fell through all the way.

As always, thank you to Henry Holt & Co for the chance to give my honest review!

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I loved this story. Such an interesting weave of generations and I loved the old Hollywood element. Loved both main female characters.

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📖 Book Review 📖

🎧📱”Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?” by Crystal Smith Paul

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

A slow start and a rushed ending but the story was interesting. Kitty Karr Tate, a white Hollywood icon dies and her multimillion-dollar estate goes to the St. John sisters- three young, wealthy Black women. The story goes back to the late 1800s when many white slaveowners took advantage of their black slaves. Children born of these circumstances were often not viewed as heirs, and struggled to fit in to society. Kitty, originally Mary, was often taken into the city by her much darker complexion mother and told to treat her as her nanny. When Kitty is barely 17 her mother sends her to Los Angeles to live with an old friend. Kitty realized then her mother had a plan- Kitty was light skinned enough to pass as white, and with a back story and a move across the country her mother gave her everything so Kitty could do great things.

I loved reading about Kitty and all that she accomplished. Her grit, smarts and determination to make things better while battling racism, women’s rights, marriage and friendships was amazing. My biggest complaint is the jumping forward to the St. John sisters as they prepare for Kitty’s wake, and the allocation of her wealth. It would have read smoother if that was all done at the end instead of bits and pieces throughout via a journal of Kitty’s.


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DNF at 10%

The blurb sounded so promising, but this book just isn't for me. There is such a fine line with really pretentious characters. They start off with a hill to climb. They have to be really interesting to overcome the ick factor that comes with their pretentiousness. These three girls don't even attempt to climb that hill. I'm just not invested enough in them to go on.

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