“When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that.”

This quote takes place in Chapter 4, during a conversation in which Monique says that she’s not a biographer and Evelyn tells her the story of how she got to Hollywood by seducing Ernie Diaz. The quote encapsulates Evelyn’s life philosophy, which has driven her both to the heights of stardom and the depths of heartbreak. Throughout much of her life, Evelyn is single-minded in her pursuit of fame and fortune. This comes at the cost of hurting people, adopting a false persona, and losing the woman she loves. Later in life, Evelyn devotes the same fierce energy to protecting her family, going so far as to frame Monique’s father for the car wreck in order to protect Harry. Evelyn's advice can be used by the reader to understand nearly every decision Evelyn makes for her career and family. As a poor girl growing up with an abusive father, as a Cuban woman in a white- and male-dominated film industry, and as a bisexual woman in a heterosexual world, Evelyn takes every opportunity she can to succeed, because systemic power and societal expectations are never on her side.