First off, I want to start off saying that I’ve had a really busy two months. I wrapped up my program at Fanshawe and I did an internship at CTV London. So, I’ve had no time to read. So over the past week I’ve been getting back into it and I picked up a couple books this week to get started and have some more on my list! My next read will be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. During those two months I got hung up on Surprise Me. The reason why is I am terrible at giving up on books that don’t interest me or just aren’t good. I usually find a way to muster through it. In this case I got to 200 out of roughly 400 pages (on Kindle) and that took me a month to get there, which is way longer than I usually take on a book unless it’s a heavy read (like Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What Happened).
The book is about a couple who are told by their doctor that they will live until they’re 100-over 100. The couple realize that their marriage is going to last longer than they ever imagined, really testing the whole “till death do us part” line in your vows. The wife starts to question if you can really be with someone for that long. The couple has a hard time processing the concept and decide to start trying out this practice of “surprising” each other on a regular basis in order to keep their marriage alive and exciting. (They didn’t make that decision until around a quarter of the way into the book) I picked the book because I thought it would be funny and because I thought it would be an enjoyable read, a nice break after work. Turned out for me to be more of a nuisance, the book drags on and is really rather silly. If you’re a Sophie Kinsella lover then the book is for you. I thought I would give her another chance, I tried Confessions of a Shopaholic and couldn’t get through it either. I tried out Can you Keep a Secret? This sounds bad but I can’t even remember if I got through it which suggests that I either didn’t or the book was bad in my mind and I banished it from my memory. I thought I’d give Kinsella another chance. 3 strikes out for me with this author. If you like Kinsella give her a chance, otherwise I’d suggest giving this book a pass.
Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
I pulled a big book lover no no. I saw an episode of the HBO series before I read the book! Alright, before you judge, let me be clear that I do not usually do this. Every once in a while I fall into this mistake and when I do I MASSIVELY regret it after. Watching a movie or tv show before reading the book cramps your creativity and all you see is one person’s adaptation of the book instead of your own. It hinders the book and makes it hard for you to enjoy it and be able to have an opinion that is strictly yours. I am going to do my best to deliver a good review.
The book is about 5 moms in Australia – Madeline, Celeste, Jane, Renata and Bonnie. Each mom has a kid in kindergarten at Piriwee Public. At an event at and for the school, a tragic accident happens and the book begins with you learning that there’s been an incident but you don’t know what happened, who it happened to or who may have been responsible/involved. There is a story line that seems like a sub plot about one of their children getting bullied by one of the friends children. You find out that it’s not a subplot because the bully is not who you’re led to believe it is and then that kind of goes into who suffered the tragedy. This book is a little hard to give a review on without revealing key points in my opinion.
I found the book unrelatable. It’s a good kind of drama, mystery-esque book where you’re trying to figure out “who dunnit” and why. But the reason why I find it unrelatable is because the women are hard to connect to. Madeline is like a Barbie doll, helicopter mom, she doesn’t seem all that bright, I guess you could say a character like her could be seen as comic relief… but that doesn’t fit Madeline. She’s airy fairy and some of the things she harps on about you’d like for her to get a grip on. Celeste is a victim of domestic abuse. She gave up her career to get married and have children. As the relationship becomes more dangerous she realizes its time for her to consider leaving. She may be someone the reader can empathize with. I know I did. Jane is a 24 year old mom, she moves to Piriwee for reasons that won’t make sense to you, and even her, until the end of the book. She fits the description of plain Jane and she doesn’t fit in with the other moms, which makes her relatable if you’re young or if you’re just not one of those snobby, helicopter mom types that has kids in a private school. Jane has a really key moment in her life that makes her character important in the book. You’ll find out as you read. Renata is a helicopter, snobby mom, of course, it is her daughter that is getting bullied. Her personality type makes everyone else’s lives hell and makes you wish you didn’t have to put up with her either. However, you can commend her for being a modern mom who has a passion for her career and her own independence. I feel that we need more of those kinds of characters. Having Renata’s kind of character in the book makes for a fresh take in what would have otherwise been a book all about trophy wives. Then there’s Bonnie, sweet, innocent Bonnie. We’re gonna leave this hippie at that because her character unfolds nearing the end of the book and I really hate spoilers.
The book itself was well written, detailed and descriptive – allowing the reader the opportunity to really place themselves into the scenes and an idea of who the characters are and how they must look and be like. I found there was a healthy amount of character development. The author really played out school politics well throughout the book. I can see from a drama standpoint why the book was made into a show. It makes for a who dunnit kind of show. I’d be interested in watching the show to its entirety now that I read the book. It would be interesting to see how they’d go about making a second season to that. I felt that the book was a good read and was worth the time I invested in it. I would recommend it, it’s a read that has you interested in learning more, the character development for some of the characters really takes place throughout the book. I’d say that Madeline and Renata are stagnant characters, the other 3 grow and that’s interesting to see.