Read The Blonde by Anna Godbersen Online


From the  New York Times  bestselling author Anna Godbersen and Alloy Entertainment, a chilling reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe that is part biography, part love story, and part thriller.   Marilyn Monroe is at the height of her fame, the object of the world’s desire. Attention is her drug, the very definition of who she is. Her own wants and needs have become flFrom the  New York Times  bestselling author Anna Godbersen and Alloy Entertainment, a chilling reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe that is part biography, part love story, and part thriller.   Marilyn Monroe is at the height of her fame, the object of the world’s desire. Attention is her drug, the very definition of who she is. Her own wants and needs have become fleeting at best, as if she sees herself only through others’ eyes. But there is one thing Marilyn still wishes for beyond all else—to meet her real father. That’s the part you already know, the legend—but here’s the part that’s never been told.   In Anna Godbersen’s imaginative novel, set at the height of the Cold War, a young, unknown Norma Jean meets a man in Los Angeles—a Soviet agent? A Russian spy?—who transforms her into Marilyn the star. And when she reaches the pinnacle of success, he comes back for his repayment. He shows her a photo of her estranged father and promises to reunite them in exchange for information: Find out something about presidential candidate John F. Kennedy that no one else knows. At first, Marilyn is bored by the prospect of, once again, using a man’s attraction to get what she needs. But when she meets the magnetic Jack Kennedy, she realizes that this isn’t going to be a simple game. What started with the earnest desire to meet her father has grave consequences for her, for the bright young Kennedy, and for the entire nation. The Blonde is a vivid tableau of American celebrity, sex, love, violence, power, and paranoia....

Title : The Blonde
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781602862227
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 390 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Blonde Reviews

  • Katherine
    2019-04-21 21:13

    ”When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I'm already better than them.”- Marilyn MonroeSetting:Washington D.C; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Dallas, Texas; 1950-1996Coverly Love?:No; there’s a gun pointing in my face people. That’s not particularly attractive to me, thank you very much. Plot:All her life, Marilyn Monroe has desperately wanted to be accepted and loved by someone. She also wants to be famous. So when a handsome, charismatic man walks up to her one day and offers to give her the big break she’s been craving, she immediately agrees. There’s one catch though; the man who helped her catapult to fame is actually a KGB spy for the Soviet Union, and he wants her to become a spy as well. Bound by this unspoken agreement, she reluctantly agrees. Her first assignment? Get close to the handsome, charismatic Democratic presidential candidate, John F. Kennedy, and get some dirt on him. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with him in the process. But as the old saying goes, country before love, and her boss is not very happy with this unexpected development. So when she uncovers a plot to assassinate her lover, will she protect him? Or will she stay loyal to the ones that control her.I always thought there was more to Marilyn than the dumb blonde persona she’s generally associated with, so when I heard that this book would reinvent her as a Soviet spy, I literally squealed with excitement. Marilyn Monroe? As a KGB spy? Heck yes, I want to read this!!!!And then I read it. And I wanted nothing more than to throw it in the trash and pretend I never read it at all. Because it was horrible. The KGB plotline? Yeah, that went nowhere. Her assignment is supposed to be getting information out of JFK (spoiler: she fails miserably), but we’re never told what kind of information they want. How many packs of cigarettes he smokes each day? What he eats for breakfast? Does he wear boxers or briefs? What do they want from the man?!! And don’t even get me started on the horrible portrayals of JFK and Marilyn. The author completely tarnished their reputations. Characters:When most people think of Marilyn Monroe, they think “dumb blonde”. All looks and no brains, the ditzy lady who was constantly tardy to her movie sets and never had her lines memorized.But she was so much more than a pretty face.Marilyn Monroe was an extremely active reader and writer. She had a library of over 400 books in her home, and her favorite was James Joyce’s Ulysses. While I’ve never read that particular book, I do know that it’s not some light-hearted chick lit novel. It’s a serious work of literature. What I’m trying to say is that Marilyn was probably more intelligent than we credit her for. I was seriously hoping that this book would portray Marilyn as a smart woman who took no prisoners and what not, since she was supposed to be a KGB spy. And what I got… was the ditzy, dumb blond Marilyn we’ve all come to expect. What a huge disappointment. And kind of pathetic, really. Her entire adult life she wanted to be taken seriously as both an actor and a person, but she never got the chance to. And to be honest, I don’t think she ever will be, which is sad. Though the KGB spy business didn’t work out for her in this book, because she ended up falling in love with the man she was supposed to be spying on. Speaking of which, the man she’s supposed to be spying on just so happens to be… John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 35th President of the United States. Leader of the Space Race. Winner of a Purple Heart, and countless other military awards. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize. Consistently ranked as one of the top ten most popular presidents by the general public.And this book portrays him as nothing more than a horny d***. What the actual fuck.He might have been, for all I know. Did he have his faults? Oh yeah, he probably did. But what the book portrayed him to be is not only atrocious, it’s offensive. The entirety of this novel, all he does is have sex with Marilyn. That’s it. Oh sure, there’s a little talk of politics, and how Daddy Dearest Joe Kennedy and the Irish Mafia rigged the election so he would win. All he cares about is his precious Marilyn. The only time poor Jackie comes into the conversation is when he (or other people) are badmouthing her. Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. Alexei is Marilyn’s KGB boss and the one that helps her hit it big in Hollywood. He expects a little repayment for the strings he’s pulled for her though, and that means becoming involved with the KGB and discovering some inside intel on the American government. If he was meant to be the evil Russian bad guy in all of this, he failed in the evil department. He honestly just wasn’t all that scary. Then there was this Douglass Walls dude, who was an American agent (?) who was spying on Marilyn… who was a spy herself…. I honestly didn’t know what purpose the guy served in this novel. Other than to confuse me, which seems to happen a lot lately. Pros:When the book ended. XDCons:Pretty much everything, to be honest. This was my first atrocious read of 2015, and I wish I could get all those hours back I spent reading this. The character portrayals of Marilyn and JFK were downright offensive, the plotline with the KGB went absolutely nowhere, and the entire book was just one big long train wreck. Love Triangle?:In the beginning; Arthur Miller vs. Marilyn vs. JFK. Arthur and Marilyn are already on the rocks when the book starts, so the marriage ends pretty quick into the plot. Instalove?:Yep; A serious case of instalust brews between Marilyn and JFK. A Little Romance?:Let’s face it; Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy have been the target of endless speculation about whether or not they had an affair. To be honest, if they did have one it wouldn’t surprise me. John was rumored to be a notorious womanizer, and Marilyn doesn’t have a much better reputation. As my dad likes to joke, the only women that didn’t sleep with JFK during that time period are my mom, my grandmothers and his sister. And the only men who didn’t sleep with Marilyn are himself and my grandfathers. Everyone else is fair game, LOL!!This book portrays their affair as a very real thing. But if you were expecting a deep emotional connection between these two, you’re going to be severely disappointed. Their relationship is based on sex and sex only. I can count on one hand the number of deep conversations they actually had, and I’d only need one finger on the one hand to do it. There’s no substance, there’s no emotion. Just sex. And they do it everywhere; in the car, in the shower, on the ground, in the bed, on the bathroom counter IN THE WHITE HOUSE… they were like rabbits, I swear. Conclusion:When I closed this book, I asked myself, “What would Marilyn and JFK think of this?” And to answer their question, I think they would be highly offended, outraged and disgusted over this book. Marilyn wanted to be known as so much more than the sexpot she was portrayed to be, and JFK, while he had his faults, was a good man (or at least he tried). You’d never know it by reading this book however. This book tramples whatever dignity these two had, and portrayed them as to be nothing more than hormonal dumbbells who couldn’t keep it together. And the whole KGB plotline? Laughable. Don’t waste your money on this.

  • Ais
    2019-03-29 03:18

    edit : Dec 15th 2013 Holy Schmokes look at that COVER! #LOVENew Anna Godbersen book???? YES PLEASE!March 2014???

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-04-06 04:22

    I made it through the first 100 pages and found this so utterly distasteful, I don't care to continue.After reading this I'd like to know, "Why in the world do people like MM so much?" If she was anything like this character portrays her, she was a weak harlot. Not a strong, amazing woman at all.Oh, I could feel somewhat sorry for her, especially when she said things like this: "'s hard, when nobody's ever really loved you, to have the confidence to do a thing right..." but when she'd slept with three men by page 75, I realized this is not a woman I care to know more about or even read about for fun. Her behavior and lack of confidence and whining and preening--yes, preening--is just distasteful.And Did we really have a president who behaved so atrociously? I remember Clinton being impeached for (I think) one indiscretion. This man just walks up to women, pretty much commands they sleep with him--underage or not--, and they do? He's not even president yet. And to show what kind of ditz MM is in this story. She worries she'll fall in love with him. They've shared all of four flirtatious sentences before he just bangs her quickly in a backseat. You fall in love with that?Another thing I hated...she's constantly posing. Every time MM moves, she's posing, making sure a curl falls just so, that her shoulder hits her chin...etc. I get it; I do, but doesn't mean it makes good reading.Is the writing solid? Yes. It's good writing, but the path this story is taking and the unlikable characters make it not for me. I will say the whole, "Spy for us and we'll take you to the father you've always wanted to meet" twist was cool, but that's about all I liked.I also have to flat-out disagree with reviewers who are saying teenagers should like this. I wouldn't let my teenager read this due to the sexual situations. I'd also hate for this to be my teenager's role model. What I was expecting was a cool spy story. What I got was a dumb blonde who can't keep her legs closed.

  • Joy (joyous reads)
    2019-04-23 23:07

    I’ve always held a fascination with Marilyn Monroe’s bright and short-lived life. When I saw this book at the bookstore, I just know that I had to get it. I must admit that I was equal parts skeptical and thrilled. Skeptical on how convincing of a spy she’d be, and thrilled with the prospect of whatever conspiracy theories I would be taking away from this novel.Little Girl Lost.When she was a girl on the cusp of adulthood, her father, a travelling salesman, left one morning and didn’t come back. She’d been looking for him ever since. With every men that comes into her life, she creates a perception of what her father might be like.A Woman Made-up.When she was a struggling actress trying to make it in Hollywood, a Soviet agent decided she’d make the perfect spy: with her blond tresses, a voice of childlike innocence, and the hourglass figure, no one would know the better. They created this sexual persona that very few men could dare resist. Norma Jean shed her skin, and Marilyn Monroe was born.A Man on the Scope.John F. Kennedy was a senator whose star was on the rise. When the KGB set their sights on him, Marilyn was tasked to infiltrate the life of a notoriously known womanizer with a brilliant political future. Jack, because of despite his staunch Catholic upbringing, was unable to resist the sensational actress. An affair ensued.This is not Marilyn Monroe.We only know of Marilyn’s legendary life through what we’ve been told, heard, seen, and read in the years following her death. We know of the failed marriages, the alleged affairs, and her apparent suicide. Among the number of males linked with her name is one John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A man whose family name is synanymous to royalty in America. This is a fictional account of a different Marilyn Monroe, her illicit love affair with the president, and her role – directly and indirectly – in his assassination.It is everything you’ve come to expect from a novel whose main character exudes her legendary sexual allure: erotic, exciting, and a visceral depiction of a life lived in the grasp of a powerful organization.Godbersen perfectly captured the voice of a vulnerable woman in desperate search of a familial love. She was an easy prey to a man who knew her weakness, and knew how to manipulate it to work in his advantage. However, he grievously miscalculated the passion and loyalty of a person in love.We see an intelligent, cunning, and a strong woman who hid behind the quivering lips, the cloud of silken white hair, and the soft voice meant to enrapture the male audience. Marilyn Monroe behind the public eye, was a different creature altogether. It was difficult to see the demarkation line between fact and the myth; the fiction and the legend; the truth and the imagined.We also see a different JFK. He is portrayed as a man weak with desire, but whose drive is powered by his political aspirations. I’ve always been curious about the iconic, Happy Birthday song, so I was ecstatic to read the bathroom romp that followed thereafter.This book perfectly exemplifies Marilyn’s relevance after all these years. Our never-ending curiosity about her fabled life will always spark someone’s creativity to satiate an itch more than seven years in the making. Anna Godbersen allowed her readers to see Marilyn in a different light, while remaining true to the icon that we’ve all come to know.

  • Katie
    2019-04-11 02:12

    This book has such a compelling premise--Marilyn Monroe: RUSSIAN SPY--that I don't understand how it doesn't have ALL THE HYPE.And this was really interesting and I found it a believable portrayal of Monroe (Russian spy thing aside!). Maybe a little less so of JFK. Or, at least, it was a less full picture of him. I didn't get enough sense of his motivations to become president. Family pressure? His own desire? Both? Something else. This book didn't really tell me.It did take me a long time to get through. I guess the writing didn't hook me enough. I read a few of Godbersen's 1900's YA books and her writing keeps me at a bit of distance, I guess.The ending of this left me kind of sad and dissatisfied, but that is history's fault! Oh, but (view spoiler)[what happened to her dog??? Did the bad guys kill him???? Don't give me a cute dog and then never mention him again!!! (hide spoiler)]

  • Meg - A Bookish Affair
    2019-04-16 00:59

    3.5 stars. "The Blonde" imagines if instead of just being a sexy starlet, Marilyn Monroe was actually a Soviet agent charged with carrying out one of the most confounding crimes ever. This is a departure for Godberson whose other books include YA historical fiction such as "The Luxe" and "Bright, Young Things." This book is most decidedly not young adult fiction but it makes for a nice entry into the world of adult fiction and thrillers. She definitely gave me a lot of things to think about in this one. This book will appeal to mystery lovers who like being at the edge of their seats.The genre of this book is not my usual fare but oh how I love Marilyn Monroe. I still absolutely love reading about her and find her fascinating. What I liked about this book is that it plays into the idea that Marilyn was merely feigning her sort of ditzy-ness and damsel in distress persona in order to cover for what her true position as spy/agent was. From many of the things that I have read, I do think that much of the damsel persona was an act that Monroe used to get what she wanted so it was interesting to see how Godberson turned her acting that way into a cover, very sneaky indeed. The pacing of the book was pretty good most of the way through. I wish that there had been a little bit more information about a couple things that were loosely tied for me. I wanted to know more about Marilyn's motivation for doing what she did. Did she want a way to show that she wasn't just another pretty face? What did she think she was going to get out of it? Overall, I think this was a good thriller that had me turning the pages!

  • Heather
    2019-04-20 00:13

    Don't waste your time. Godbersen has written some very fun, unique series and I thought this would be good but I was terribly mistaken. Marilyn Monroe as a spy. Ok, sounds ridiculous but could potentially be a fun, interesting story. No, it was basically her being a slut (which I think people too often do that to her) and what killed me was the brash language just thrown around randomly. Like look how cool I am by throwing in the word c**k among other words. Just dumb. I have never done so before but I actually RETURNED this book through audible and will be posting a negative review there too. Don't waste your money, or your audible credits on this stinker.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-24 23:21

    The Blonde is Anna Godbersen's first adult novel. And boy oh boy did she start off with a bang! (ha ha) The Blonde is the fictionalized historical telling of Marilyn Monroe. Going off the premise...what is Marilyn Monroe was a spy. Does that sound cool? Well it really was. There is tons of classic Marilyn woven into these pages. Lot's of sexy, flirty Marilyn, and under it all- a very lonely woman. The story starts with a flashback to her childhood and from then on it flashes forward to the height of her fame. The chapters are each labeled with the location, month and year. It was a nice progression for the story. Sometimes there were multiple chapters per month and sometimes only a few. The actual story line was wonderfully imaginative and addictive. I had so much fun reading about the actual historical events wrapped up in Godbersen's intriguing re-telling of it all. And the most impressive part was that she captured the spirit of Marilyn so well. I felt like I was reading some of Marilyn's lost diaries. Anna Godbersen introduces us to a russian man called Alexie who was the one that jump started Marilyn's career, simply saying that he would be calling in a "favor" later with her. And so started her secret career as a spy. The espionage and spy thirller aspect of the story was the coolest melding of history and fictions. I just ate it all up. Anna Godbersen's writing is magic. That is the only way I know how to describe it. She casts this spell with her words as she weaves them into a story that even though you know is fiction, seems both too fantastical and yet somehow plausible. It is crazy. I had so much fun living in this re imagined view of history. I loved picturing Marilyn as this reluctant bombshell spy. It was a cool twist on her relationship with the President. The Blonde is so unlike other stories. It was so well thought out and expertly created. I loved The Blonde and I think you will too.

  • Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
    2019-04-13 01:08

    Did I enjoy this book: I like the ending.There’s a quote on page 342 that sums up the novel beautifully. “There are already too many stories, and you know how once there’s a little scandal people love to fabricate on top of that.”That’s what Godbersen does. She takes an over-sensationalized story and adds a lot of fabrication. It’s too bad because I like the idea of the book. In the end, I’m just not much of a conspiracy theorist.The other problem for me was the characters. I couldn’t cheer for any of them. The Kennedys are portrayed as wicked. Marilyn is nauseating (until the very end). Alexei, the CIA, and FBI; they’re all bad guys. We really don’t have a protagonist in the story. Without someone to cheer for the novel falls flat.Would I recommend it: I think there’s an audience for this book. Conspiracy theorists will love it. Otherwise, just check it out of the library and read the last three chapters. Note of caution: Anna Godbersen’s previous series was geared for young adults. This is an adult book with profanity, graphic sex, and other mature situations.As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews.(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

  • Paige Gill
    2019-03-30 21:00

    "I've never fooled anyone, darling. Sometimes I've just let men fool themselves."**4.5** This book has such an incredible and unique premise - Miss Marilyn Monroe, the most famous woman in the world. A Russian Soviet spy sent to uncover the secrets of the President of the United States. If that doesn't excite you, then I really don't know what will.Anna Godbersen has captured the voice of a woman, who underneath the candy-floss hair, painted lips and perfected strut, was fiercely intelligent, and strong and desperate for a loving family to call her own. It was everything I expected from a novel that challenged my favourite icon: exciting, erotic and engrossing. (And it is the prettiest book cover out of all the book covers. Ever.)We go on a journey through glittering Old Hollywood, meeting characters like Arthur Miller, Frank Sinatra and Clark Gable, while getting a colourful look into the most powerful political organisation.There is always going to be mystery surrounding Marilyn and the Kennedy's, and who's to say this book is any more far fetched than every other conspiracy theory?

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-06 04:09

    I wanted to really like this book as it sounded different from the Marilyn Monroe stories that are out that. I have not read a lot of stories on Marilyn but still everyone is familiar with her story. However not the fictionalized one about her being a spy. However I found the storyline moving extremely slow. It seemed to take me forever to read a page or two. Like trying to run through quick sand. It just does not work out well. Marilyn did not jump off the pages for me. Thus she is the main focal point of the book and if she and I could not get a connection, then there was no sense in me attempting to finish this book.

  • Laurel-Rain
    2019-04-09 22:04

    What if the Marilyn Monroe we all thought we knew had more layers than any of us realized? What if the ditzy blonde she often cultivated for her movies and her public was a careful cover for something much more?In "The Blonde," the author combines what we know, factually, with a fictionalized version of what was going on between Marilyn and JFK. We learn of a sinister agenda and the control that someone held over Marilyn. We also learn of her attempts to wrest that control away from her "handlers."A captivating story that takes us behind the scenes of the publicity machines, into the bedrooms, and into the heart and mind of a woman in love.Other characters include an FBI agent named Douglass Walls, bent on proving that Marilyn is a Soviet spy...and the behind the scenes life of a man named Alexei, who is also much more than he seems.We follow the characters beyond August 1962, to Dallas in November 1963. And then thirty-three years later, there is a postscript to the story.A love story, a tale of obsession, and a thriller: I could not imagine some of the unexpected twists and turns, and the ending left me wanting more and imagining more. The details were rich, almost as if I, the reader, were in the middle of the action. I closed the last page wishing...Definitely a story that brings to life a period that many of us still ponder. 4.5 stars.

  • Dawn
    2019-04-10 21:24

    *I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads*Okay, I had a bit of trouble getting through this one. What I really liked about it was the synopsis on the back. I imagined a smart, fast paced, spy thriller featuring two of the most famous people; Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy. Instead what I got was a stereotypical representation of these two character. Marilyn comes across as a vapid spoiled teenager with daddy issues instead of the strong intelligent woman she was and John comes across as the womanizing power hungry senator who when he snaps his fingers Marilyn comes running. The spy intrigue wasn't all that much intrigue and the dialogue seemed childish with lots of swearing and 10 cent words. I was hoping for so much more with this one especially with the synopsis on the back which makes this book sound amazing.I would say either wait for this book to come out in paperback or check it out from the library. Although, if you are looking for something mindless to read for a vacation or on a plane trip then this one just may be perfect.

  • Cait
    2019-04-15 05:08


  • Dana
    2019-03-25 22:15

    I couldn't resist reading Anna Godbersen's "The Blonde", a novel that expands upon the illicit affair between Marilyn and President Kennedy. This was much more than just another exploitation of Marilyn Monroe. "The Blonde" was a beautiful, thoughtful thriller that focused on one of the most famous classic movie stars.  The twist was that Marilyn's relationship was prompted by the Russians, who asked her to spy on Kennedy in exchange for revealing the identity of her father.The descriptions were so vivid, that the entire time I read I felt I was watching a Marilyn movie.  Godbersen used small facts of Marilyn's life to make the story seem realistic. Her stint in the Los Angeles Psych ward was really tied to the relations with the Russians, and even her antics on the set of The Misfits added to her covert operation to be near Kennedy. Each sentence was written with such care and detail I found myself reading slowly, and was increasingly impressed. I especially loved how Marilyn was portrayed as a woman with depth and feelings, not just a blonde bimbo. Although her life was dripping with sex and innuendo, Godbersen allowed Marilyn to be someone who knowingly used those tools to obtain what she wanted, which displayed her intellect and cunning ability very well. The ending was fantastic! Godbersen's take on Marilyn's death and Kennedy's assassination were well planned and very creative.Fans of Marilyn's would adore this book. I can't recommend it enough.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-02 01:18

    For the most part, no. I mean, yes, Marilyn Monroe was liquid sex or whatever, but I'm sorry, a protagonist who is constantly calculating how to appear as desirable and bangable as humanly possible. I mean, it's just too much. Godbersen describes the woman's voice as "melted sugar" when she says hello on the phone for goodness sake. And then the actual sex. I thought this book was going to give Marilyn more depth and substance, but it's still mostly about how sexy she is. It's embarrassingly smutty, but it isn't all bad. The spy plot is reasonably entertaining, in a silly sort of way... Not worth going out of your way for, but if you're really into Monroe it might be your thing.

  • Becky Zagor
    2019-04-24 00:08

    I was totally intrigued by the premise and the writing to support the 'theory' did not disappoint. Knowing very little about the Marilyn and JFK relationship, I found the weaving of historical events and their clandestine meetings and discussions potentially believable and the sponge-like insecurity of Marilyn searching for a lost father very well done. Even the ending took me to a place I could not have imagined and yet artfully crafted amidst the characters. A summer favorite for me!

  • Elise Trommer
    2019-04-15 01:59

    This book did not deserve that ending. Absolutely freaking not.The Blonde's premise is basically that of a history buff's fanfiction; Marilyn Monroe is actually working for the KGB in the early 1960s and her assignment is to get close to JFK and learn a secret and report back. Naturally this does not happen and instead Ms. Monroe proceeds to fall in love with JFK and attempts to escape her handler in the hopes of having a happy ending with her new Presidential loverboy.I should say this book was written very well but it honestly just wasn't interesting for me. And I'm pretty sure the only way I got through this book was by disassociating Marilyn Monroe and JFK from themselves, and I think that sums up this book's problem for me. I would have liked it more if this book was pure fiction; if the story had been about a beautiful actress who was being run by the KGB but fell in love with her target then yeah this would have been great. But it was held down by the fact that it was trying to characterize these two impactful historical figures. I hated Marilyn for at least 3/4 of this book and JFK is about as despicable as he was in real life (probably) so I didn't start rooting for these characters until after I convinced my brain to stop picturing Marilyn Monroe and JFK themselves and instead as fictional people called Marilyn and Jack. And the other issue was that it was so painfully slow. It wasn't until maybe the 3rd quarter that I became invested, and that is just way too far along for me to give this book a good rating.Also can someone please explain to me why Walls was even a character to begin with? Like...what was his purpose again? There was absolutely no point to his character (nor his perspective chapters) except to be there at the end of the book and be a foil to Marilyn (?) and this would have worked out so much better if he hadn't been there at all. This was Marilyn's story to tell, and he was awkwardly trying to get some of the spotlight.

  • Jachelle Fields
    2019-04-12 23:00

    This book had so much promise,couldn't get through with it

  • Stephanie (Chinchillita)
    2019-04-14 05:22

    "I was a beautiful child...That is not a brag."What if there was more Marilyn Monroe than scandal, fame, and the classic 'live fast and die young' complex? What if she were more than a pretty face? (view spoiler)[ What if she never died?I grew up knowing her as a classic icon for sex, success, and beauty. Marilyn Monroe will always be fixed in my mind standing over that air vent while her pure white dress flies up and she is forever trying to "modestly" hold it down. I first discovered Anna Godbersen after Rumors, the second book in her Luxe series was published. I remember seeing The Luxe and falling in love with that gorgeous dress on the cover. Once Rumors came out, I had to know what story came with such beautiful dresses. Ms Godbersen quickly became a favorite and The Luxe series became one of those series where I needed the next one yesterday. Once the series ended I wandered off to author books and watched her Bright Young Things series began and I decided to wait until the series was complete before picking them up. I am ever so impatient when it comes to what I am reading. Before I knew it, 6+ years had passed and I hadn't read them. It was about that time I discovered that the author had written this fresh new look at the story of Marilyn Monroe and I knew I needed to read it. This book started out very strong. I loved the mystique that surrounded how Marilyn became the cultural icon she is today. Ms Godbersen takes a little bit of fact and mixes it with a little bit of thriller and you get a noir cold war spy novel. #chills We follow Marilyn as she is in the final year of her life. Her marriage with Arthur Miller is ending, Misfits is wrapping, Clark Gable dies, and she meets John F. Kennedy as he is running for president. All of this is in the history books, but now we know (in this world) Marilyn is a Soviet spy. Hold up, you say. That's just ridiculous, so far stretched that you just have to sit back and savor what I just said. Marilyn Monroe, darling of Hollywood, a Soviet spy. But it is just so. When Marilyn was born Norma Jean Mortenson and she came to fame in that classic way. She was in a dinner trying to figure out how she was going to pay for the cheese sandwich she just ate when a man approaches her and tells her he is going to make her famous. He promises her all the lights on all the marquees and all she has to do is do a few favors later down the road. She accepts and unknowingly makes a deal with the devil, and we all know the devil is red. (Sorry, I couldn't resist that)Fast forward to Senator Kennedy's election year. Marilyn is promised that she will get to meet her father, who has been absent her whole life, if she can get Senator Kennedy to tell her something no one else knows. Soon, she becomes wrapped up in an affair with the future president. Even worse, she falls in love and decides she can't tell his secrets anymore. In a time where the lights of Hollywood shine brightest and the stars were classic. When Frank Sinatra wooed women with the sound of his voice and the thought of tomorrow was far from thought. In that quiet lull before the cold war started, Marilyn Monroe, daughter of light, was a spy. (hide spoiler)]This book was so much fun to read. Although it is usually found filed in the novels, as opposed to YA, it feels very young adult. I would definitely say that the author's talent is in writing YA, but applaud this adult novel. I recommend it for people who love historical fiction (though don't expect Philippa Gregory), who love Marilyn, or those who just love this time period. A fun twist on an already conspiracy theory filled life.

  • Tamara
    2019-04-10 02:18

    Review originally posted:Traveling With TThis book was sent to Traveling With T in exchange for a fair review.The BlondeEveryone knows the iconic images of Marilyn Monroe. The one of her singing a breathy and sexy “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”. The white halter dress standing on a subway grate with the white dress billowing around her. The beautiful blond hair. We know Marilyn Monroe as the sexpot. The beautiful. The gorgeous red lips. The breathy voice. Oozing sex appeal from every pore. These are the images that are called to mind when many people think of Marilyn Monroe.What if Marilyn was more?What if Marilyn was a secret Soviet spy sent to find something about John F. Kennedy that no one else knew?Be prepared to never think of Marilyn the same again.In 1947, a young Norma Jeane meets a man who will change her life. He will turn her from Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe- and play a role in making many of her dreams come true. One day, though, he will return- and ask for her help in finding something out about the young, good-looking senator, John F. Kennedy. Marilyn agrees- because if she gets close to the senator- she will get to meet her father, a man she has not ever known.Thus begins the affair of the Marilyn and John.The plan is simple-find out something about JFK that no one knows. Have a little fun with the Presidential candidate. A few rolls in the hay and some sexy pillow talk. All the things that Marilyn Monroe is a natural at.Until she falls in love with John.When she learns of what is to happen to John, Marilyn knows what she has to do to save the man she loves- and to disentangle herself from the KGB. She just didn’t count on the FBI having a hand in the cookie jar.Traveling With T’s Thoughts:I’m not a HUGE Marilyn fan. Meaning that I don’t take part in conspiracy theory talk of what happened to her, what could have happened, and more. To me, the Marilyn that I enjoy is the iconic photos Marilyn- the sexy, the sultry, the legendary.So, this book was something else for me.Why did I review this book? It started at Book Expo America- walking around and looking at the books and the booths- I saw this book. I recognized the signature Marilyn look and I loved the fact that she was holding a gun. The cover had much appeal. Alas, I could only cast a few quick longing glances at the book as we were headed to another event. Then a few weeks later- I get an email asking for review consideration- and boom! I was ready to read this book!What I liked: I loved the plot. It was campy fun- it was not a serious plot, it was embellished (or was it?) and it was entertaining. Getting to read some behind the scenes info on Marilyn and recognizing some names (Clark Gable and others!) was kind of neat. Plus- the ending. Well, the ending was something else. And it does have to make you wonder “hmmm…” just a bit.What I did not like: Not much. It was fun read, a bit slow at times- but not too bad. The only thing I can say that, for me, this is not a book I would want to re-read over and over again. It was nice and fun to see the Marilyn/JFK situation reimagined creatively- but I think you have to be a die-hard fan OR a conspiracy theory lover to want to re-read this time and time again.Fav quote: “There are already too many stories, and you know how once there’s a little scandal people love to fabricate on top of that.”- The Blonde, page 342Like a book about the iconic Marilyn? Enjoy a conspiracy theory type of read? Want a read with some historical facts reimagined? Add THE BLONDE to your reading list!*THE BLONDE was sent to Traveling With T from Weinstein Books for review consideration. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,T @ Traveling With T

  • ☆Dani☆
    2019-04-05 05:22

    The Blonde"When do I get to meet him, Alexei?"He glanced at her in the rearview, and must have seen how her eyes burned when she asked this. He knew she meant her father, and did not make her say so out loud. "Once you've done this one thing for us, then you can meet him." He was patient again, but some of the kindness was gone. "Go to California. Wait for Kennedy. Let him romance you. Get him to tell you something. Anything. I want to know something about Mr. John Kennedy that no one else knows."It's like, Marilyn Monroe was a supporter of civil rights(she helped Ella Fitzgerald's career take off), fascinated by Abraham Lincoln who she identified herself with, an avid reader and a fan of James Joyce's Ulysses, unable to have children despite longing for them, a survivor of sexual abuse in her childhood, a survivor of domestic violence as an adult, a savvy business woman who knew just how to market herself and play the system, one of the first women to own a Hollywood production company, married to one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century, had some sort of relationship with the then-president of the USA, but this book pretty much just has her and the previously mentioned president fucking a lot. All over the place, all the time, blah, blah, blah.I mean, I wouldn't mind, but both herself and John F. Kennedy are fascinating in real life, so throwing in a love story and Russian spies could only make things more interesting, no? No, it apparently doesn't. There's nothing to their romance, it's just all based on looks and sex, which is dull. I have no problem with Marilyn playing dumb, that's how she made it in life, but if she's supposed to be so in love with JFK and he's so in love with her, she could have dropped the act a bit.Like, I want to see how these two fascinating individuals got on, how they formed a bond, how they fell in love, not just how they managed to have sex. I want to see them bond, and maybe fight over issues of the time, you know, politics and fame and money and their families and the sides of their personalities that they don't show the public. Things unique to Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy.And the book was so predictable. Of course (view spoiler)[the one guy who doesn't want to have sex with her and who keeps talking about her father turns out to be her father. Seriously, no shit Sherlock. (hide spoiler)]There were interesting elements, don't get me wrong. Walls was okay, and Marilyn's loneliness and reliance on an act is written well, but since it's the only aspect to her that we see, she came across as one-dimensional. Of all the hard things in her life, she only ever really thinks about her absent father. She showed signs of being able to play people, particularly Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio, but not much more than that. And Alexei was kind of interesting, I guess.But there was nothing special about this book, and there should have been. It should have been full of danger and romance and mystery and sex and violence and glamour and grunge and politics and murder and emotion, but instead it just had a lot of sex, and not much else. And the whole final part was unnecessary. Just filler and exposition to a story that was already finished. It's kind of depressing that Godbersen's The Luxe series was obviously just a fluke, because everything else she's written has been fairly shite. Like you know that secret mentioned in the quote above? I have no idea what it is, and I only read the book like two days ago. That's how unimportant it was.Look, I've read worse, but when you're taking half your plot and ninety percent of your characters from real life, you should make sure the rest of your book is better than 'I've read worse'. I mean, seriously.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Miriam Downey
    2019-04-17 05:05

    Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c... The Blonde is an alternative history novel that feeds into the conspiracies about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962. In this version of the story, Marilyn Monroe is a secret agent recruited by the Russians to establish and maintain a relationship with Jack Kennedy and relay information given to her through pillow talk from 1959 until the presumed death of Marilyn, and the assassination of JFK. It is told in the third person from Marilyn’s point of view, with occasional chapters told by Walls, the FBI agent assigned to follow Marilyn and her assignations. The entire cast of characters is there, including Robert Kennedy, Arthur Miller, Clark Gable, and Frank Sinatra. Oh—and the Chicago mafia, who, according to this narrative, bought the Chicago vote for Kennedy.Marilyn is everything that you can imagine. She is young and naive, and at the same time brash and worldly. She knows just how to get everything she wants, but at the same time, she has nothing that she wants more than to be loved. None of the men that seek her out satisfies her longings for love and security. She has spent her entire life seeking the father that she never knew. The Russian agent promises her that if she works as an agent for them, she will meet her father.Although the history happens just like we remember, the way it happens and reasons why it happens are very different from the way it was recorded. That is the beauty of alternative history novels. You play along with the game and nod your head, “Yes, that’s possibly the way it could have happened.” Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America imagines a world in which Charles Lindbergh became the President. In The Blonde, Marilyn Monroe becomes a spy and perhaps an assassin.My complaint about The Blonde has nothing to do with the plot, which is well-researched and totally feasible. I just got tired of flowery language that made no sense. For example, “The apartment was empty, and the herringbone parquet stretched out from beneath the points of her high-heeled shoes, unprotected by the clutter of real life.” Or “the honeyed end of daylight making her loneliness seem almost gorgeous” or “The air coming off the high desert was over a hundred degrees, the kind of heat that melts the borders of a girl’s body.” See what I mean?But—if you can get by the adjectives, and Marilyn’s use of her body as a weapon, and just read for plot, it’s a fun read. Could it have been? Who knows!Anna Godbersen's website:

  • Jessica Nicole
    2019-04-19 01:56

    This is going to be shorter than normal and unfortunately, gifless; I am getting on a plane in a few hours to go to NYC! It’s actually my final college class…I’ll be taking workshops, seeing shows, auditioning…lots of fun. I just wanted to post this before I left because I’ll be pretty much completely MIA for the next two weeks.To begin with, this genre is not my favorite. I still solidly like to stay within the realm of YA fiction. Unless I’m reading a good Adult Urban Fantasy or even the occasional Adult Paranormal Romance, I try not to stray from Young Adult. So this wasn’t my cup of tea to begin with. I knew that going in, but when I was offered an ARC, I took it. I had read some of Anna Godberson’s Luxe series years ago, which I only vaguely remember, but I knew she was a well known author so the writing was bound to be good. Which it was. There was A TON of attention to detail. Sometimes I felt this was a little tedious, but that’s partly because I’m more used to the break-neck speed of YA. The writing is excellent though, and the story was seen from multiple POV’s.I’m not a fan of how crass the book was. I usually don’t appreciate when sex is thrown around with no romance, and a bit of this book was like that. There was a lot of language and manipulation, and a lot of Marilyn Monroe wondering how she could best seduce someone. I’m all about romanticizing, well, just about everything, and there wasn’t much of that here.There was plenty of mystery to go around. Some less shiny spying than I prefer, though probably closer to reality than my *romanticized* notions.  Marilyn Monroe fanatics are sure to like this thriller, which is shrouded in rich detail of the time period.I don't know a whole lot about the dazzling movie star, as I didn't grow up during that era, but she was certainly an interesting figure.See this review and others like it in a more awesome format at Ramblings On Readings

  • Lindsay Heller
    2019-03-26 03:22

    I have really enjoyed both of Anna Godbersen's series; The Luxe and Bright Young Things (particularly the former) so I was pretty excited for a new book from her. Especially as it combined a few of my favorite things; old Hollywood, a particular bottle blonde actress, and spies. I'd read two books about Jackie (pre Kennedy) as an agent of the CIA (both were pretty fun but pretty ridiculous) so it didn't seem to be too much of a stretch to imagine Marilyn Monroe in the KGB. When Norma Jeane was a young brunette, dreaming of being a big actress, a man came to her. He gave her a new look a new agent and sent her on her merry way. Years later he is back with her repayment. He wants her to cozy up to John Kennedy, a presidential candidate with a taste for the ladies. Bored in her third marriage she agrees, but soon finds herself feeling a bit more for the senator. Can Marilyn extract herself without bringing harm to herself or the man she's grown to love?I thought the characterizations were all very good, though most of the characters didn't have much to work with. Clark Gable was especially great, I thought. The narration is second person from the views of two people; Miss Monroe herself and FBI agent Douglas Walls. Both were good and solid characters and their viewpoint was good. However there was one character that I couldn't really get a handle on, JFK. I get that he was a skirt chaser but I needed a little more of why he would repeatedly go back to Marilyn besides her great ass. There must have a been great asses throughout the country. It is possible the style of narration just didn't allow JFK to become his own character, but it would have been nice. I have a read a lot of criticism of this book because people didn't find Marilyn to be a particularly moral character. That didn't bother me. In fact, it rang true. Not because I know or would definitely have written Marilyn's character this way but because I have always seen her as an essentially very sad person. She read as someone who had given up on much happiness in life before she found a little bit. I found this progression to be very realistic. People often do destructive things while unhappy.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-22 03:20

    The author did a great job in researching history of Classic Hollywood and the connections of various pop culture icons. While I have heard a few conspiracy theories about the assassination of John F Kennedy, apparently there are a few things I haven’t heard. Godbersen puts most of these theories together into an intriguing storyline of how Marilyn Monroe could have been connected to the assassination. Besides the minor difference in opinion based on the final outcome of the book (checkout the spoiler alert at my blog listed below), I did have a few other details in the book I didn’t like. I know the reputation of Marilyn Monroe and JFK was based on their infidelity issues. Unfortunately, Godbersen could be quite crude in her language with the f-bomb and with short descriptions of their escapades. I know they had affairs, but I didn’t really want to read about it. In fact, I found myself hating both of them at the beginning of the book based on these details. All in all I did love the idea of the book and I even love Anna as an author. Part of the reason I enjoy historical fiction is how it creates a desire for me to do my own research on what really happened. I wanted to know if the Kennedy, Frank Sinatra and Sam Giancana relationships actually existed and I wanted to know what the Oswald twin thing was. I found the book enjoyable in that regard. This book wasn’t executed as well as her other series. Luckily, I still love the ideas the author comes up with and anxiously await her next title. To read more, including a SPOILER ALERT, check out my blog at

  • Sam
    2019-04-06 03:06

    I dunno, I wanted to like this book. I really did. I mean, Marilyn Monroe is spying on Kennedy for the KBG. That's the premise of a GREAT plot. But it's just...I can't even really put my finger on what I didn't like about it. What should have been full of intrigue and grit was just surprisingly dull. I think in part is that I didn't like the portrayal of Marilyn or Kennedy. It's not that I think it was a dishonest portrayal for either of them, it's more just that as characters, they were both incredibly unlikable. JFK is just this really crude jerk and Marilyn...well, you get the impression the author was trying to portray her as intelligent, but then she'd do the most idiotic and weak things. There was a lot of flip-flopping with her character that made it hard to relate. Since this book is largely meant to be a romance, the fact that the romance between the two was completely unrealistic and gross (it only revolved around sex and there was no other connection there) just made a large chunk of the book not work. And as I mentioned: the actual spy stuff is not done well at all. This book really had the potential to be a mindscrew, but it wasn't. I think if there had been an actual goal for Marilyn (other than just 'talk to him and tell us anything he says') then it might have made a more positive impression for me there. So yeah, I'm very disappointed with this book. Great set up, poor execution. I don't usually go to the trouble of writing reviews on Goodreads, but I wanted to for this one because all in all, this book just really left me confused about what the whole point was.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-21 22:07

    So... I had high hopes for liking this book. But it was a real struggle for me to actually finish it.It's been on my to-read list for a LONG time and I finally got around to it and I didn't like it at all!I mean the writing is good, can't really fault it and the plot made some sense. I thought the premise was interesting that Marilyn Monroe wasn't just a movie star but actually a spy too-a Soviet spy! Also in the past I have read and enjoyed the author's other books like the Luxe series. I read the first few chapters thinking it would pick up and get more interesting but no I kept getting through more chapters and it just wouldn't end. I love Marilyn Monroe and her movies and I love spy novels but this just didn't work. It was cheesey in places and apart from the relationship between Marilyn and JFK there were really none other which you could invest in, all the characters just felt like they were there to be an extra which wouldn't be a problem but there were so many of them (and some of them probably deserved more attention and interaction). Another thing which was odd to me was having another narrator that interrupts every couple of chapters -it was odd (like I said) and also the only way I can describe how it felt to read it felt like an ad that you wait to be over so you can just keep watching the tv show. There was little that it added to the story, the one at the end worked but the others I felt like it could have done without. In the end it is difficult to write a good fictional book about a real person and real events but it has been done and there are successes, and maybe this one should have just been left alone.

  • Clare
    2019-03-25 23:15

    Marilyn Monroe is a Russian spy?! How delicious. I don't think I finished Anna Godberson's The Luxe, or maybe I did and called it Gossip Girl of the 19th century, but she has redeemed herself with this book. You need to recline in your lounge chair, under the burning California sun wearing a pair of dark sunglasses, drinking gin & tonics and smoking a pack of unfiltered Marlboros while listening to Frank Sinatra croon. Sex, booze, the Mafia, the press, scandal, transnational flights, panic, pills, the Hollywood grind - it all makes for pure literary junk food. And who doesn't love a nice bag of sour cream and cheddar potato chips once in a while? I kept racing to my desktop computer to look up the real people mentioned in the book. The Kennedy family tree stayed up for a while. Marilyn Monroe is NOT as dumb as she looks, but is quite savvy, yet desperately lonely. In return for information about the father who abandoned her as an infant, Marilyn agrees to seduce a young Irish politician who has ties to the Chicago mob. A-ha! Then Marilyn finds herself under Jack's spell, and is falling in love with him, - A-ha! even as she is trying to extract policy secrets. Cuba? Are we in danger? Marilyn asks desperately and you can just see Jack's chest puff up. Oh, and don't worry about either of the spouses. Arthur Miller is a control freak, who is having an affair with a photographer, and Jackie (never mentioned by name in the book, as if to imply how minor she is - ha!) is cold and disinterested. While the Kennedy siblings have major problems with sex, drugs, booze, danger and fame.I'm not gonna lie to you - this book is trashy fun. Hello, summer!

  • Ali
    2019-03-26 03:20

    Anna Godbersen. She wrote the Luxe series that I was in love with in high school. So when I saw The Blonde, you can assume I was intrigued. I was expecting the novel to be a quick read as the Luxe series was a YA series. However, this book was not as shallow as I expected it to be. It was about Marilyn Monroe and how she was a spy for the Russians. Throughout the novel she was the one supplying them with information about John F. Kennedy and yet, somehow, falls in love with him. It is definitely a book for conspiracy enthusiasts. However, Godbersen does such a fantastic job delving into Marilyn’s psyche and discovering her need and greatest desire to be loved and to have something that resembles familial affection. The novel is all about her affair with JFK and I realize that it is fiction but Godbersen had me convinced that it could be true. Marilyn was a human being with feelings and desires just like everyone else. She had monsters that followed her; she was basically an orphan and yet she made something of herself. And that is extremely difficult to do in the film industry. Godbersen created this woman who was so much more than a Hollywood starlet. Insecurities abounded in her world. She is relatable and that is what makes her character development in this novel so intriguing. Godbersen makes you feel pity for woman larger than life.Maybe I am just partial to Monroe because of how much I was surprised by this book. I went in with low expectations and was thoroughly blown away. Slow at times, the novel is definitely worth the read.