In which I read three books for one book club | Liane Moriarty Mini-Reviews

Nine Perfect Strangers

This was the first book that I read by Liane Moriarty and was originally supposed to be THE book for book club. However, the hosts decided they didn’t LOVE this one, so they opened up the discussion to any of her books. I thought this one was really interesting as it made me consider the assumptions that I hold about other people. All of the characters make huge assumptions about everyone else at the retreat and it just makes you think about how you interact with others. The ending was pretty weird and as I was reading I was just kind of like, “….what….?” For that reason, I’m glad that I read this one first. If I’d read one of her other books before this one, I think I would have been disappointed. 3.5/5

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Big Little Lies

As soon as I started Big Little Lies, I could tell a night and day difference between this and Nine Perfect Strangers. It immediately sucked me into the story and I was so invested. In this book, I really came to appreciate the way Moriarty writes. It’s super casual, fun, and easy to read. Some writers have a way of writing that allows you to read their books super fast–that was how I felt about Moriarty’s writing. Especially in this book, I literally felt like I COULD NOT READ FAST ENOUGH. The story is interesting and the little interview snippets keep you anticipating what’s to come. I had a prediction for the “mystery” but was wrong. So wrong. 4/5

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Truly Madly Guilty

I didn’t like this one quite as much as the first two. I had a hard time getting into the story (perhaps that’s because I’d read two of her other books shortly before this one). I did think the characters were pretty interesting, but I didn’t find myself sympathizing with them like I did with the Big Little Lies characters. However, I thought the atmosphere in this one was the best. The rain creates this really heavy and uneasy atmosphere–you can’t get comfortable. Something I noticed especially in this one is that Moriarty is really good at toying with her readers. She knows what assumptions we’re going to make with the plot and she teases us relentlessly. The ending just about killed me, but with that being said it felt like this book was about 100 pages too long. 3/5

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New Year, New Mini-Reviews

Apparently I’m already 2 books behind on my Goodreads challenge. How is that even possible??? Regardless, here are a couple of books that I’ve already finished in 2018.

I Am the MessengerI Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I first read this book around the time that I was a freshman in high school. At that point, I remember enjoying it but in hindsight, I feel like I was too young to really get it. Recently my husband and I were discussing how great this book is and I decided to reread it now that I’m about 10 years older (I’m more committed than ever to the reread). Guys. This book is SO GOOD. It just makes you think. It makes you look around at the people you see every day and it also makes you think about the people you don’t. I love how spectacularly normal Ed is, but he still makes an impact–sometimes by doing something so small. Zusak gives the reader an unapologetic look at what it means to be human by showing normal, daily struggles. He also illustrates that anybody can make a change. There is a moderate amount of adult content in this book, but I would definitely recommend it for older teenagers. Honestly, this should be required reading in all schools. 5/5

RenegadesRenegades by Marissa Meyer

I’ll be honest, this book was pretty disappointing to me. I still liked it, but not as much as I’d hoped I would. I love the Lunar Chronicles and Heartless. AND I love superheroes. I really thought this would be a match made in heaven, but something about it just wasn’t as satisfying. I think part of me was making direct comparisons between this book and the Reckoners trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. The world building just didn’t really compare. It also took a while for me to feel any connection towards the main characters and even at the end, I don’t feel like I really know any of them. Nova could be a really likable and complex character, but I feel like we were more told that instead of being shown it. One thing I did really like was the idea of Adrian’s power–very original. The ending was a surprise and I am interested to see how that plays out, so I’ll for sure be reading the next one. Overall, I still liked it, but was ultimately left wishing it was a bit more. 4/5

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood [ARC]

Several things happened to Dan at once. First, his mother inherited the use of a house. Second, his dad’s business went under (they went broke). Third, his dad came out as gay and left Dan and his mom to fend for themselves. Now Dan is living across the city and going to public school. He and his mom are readjusting to a life with less money but are having a hard time with it. His mom has started a wedding cake business, but keeps convincing her clients not to get married. The only bright spot in Dan’s life is the girl next door, Estelle.sit-cover

Oh, how my heart ached for Dan and his mom! It was so hard for me to read about the difficulties that they were having getting back onto their feet. First the business is failing and then Dan is getting mildly bullied in school. That’s an issue that I have a really hard time reading about: bullying. I was never bullied in school myself, but it’s astounding to me how cruel some kids can be. I just have so much sympathy for people (and characters) who have to go through that. Life gets better everyone! High school doesn’t last forever and when you get out into the world, there will be people out there who will be nice to you. You just have to ignore the idiots and not lose hope.

Anyway…I got a little sidetracked. I’ll just step down from my soapbox now. Overall, Dan was a pretty likable guy even if I didn’t agree with all of the decisions he made. I will admit, there were times when I found myself not liking him, but I always felt sympathy for him (not pity, just sympathy). He felt a little older to me than he was written to be (he’s supposed to be 14/15) and that goes with the other characters as well. I absolutely loved both Fred and Lou–I thought they were really likable characters as well and just great friends for Dan. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Estelle at first. She seemed nice enough, but maybe a little self-absorbed (though I guess most high school girls are). I also really liked the people from the neighborhood. Oliver was great as well as Mrs. Da Silva. Actually, I take that back. Mrs. Da Silva was AWESOME.

The plot was not the focus of the book. Instead, we were focused on the characters and the growth that occurs–especially for Dan and his mom. That being said, I liked the plot. There was enough conflict without it feeling too hopeless. The relationships that the plot was able to help develop felt real. The tension between Dan and his father especially was really convincing.

Overall, I liked this book quite a bit! I haven’t read anything else by this author, but I’m definitely going to look her up. This book is a cute, light contemporary romance from a boy’s point of view (which you don’t get often). Six Impossible Things comes out August 11, so make sure to pre-order yourself a copy!

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate (some brief, strong language).
Violence: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate

Note: I received this book free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review.