Tag Archives: secrets

Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

3 Stars

I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would.  I wasn’t really impressed in the beginning and I’ll admit, the only reason I stuck with it at first was to get to the bottom of who died and who did it.  I did find myself enjoying the story the further along I got, but it was a rough start.  I think the writing style wasn’t my cup of tea more than anything else.  I usually don’t mind much when the story shifts from one point of view to another, but not only did this go from one point of view to another there was the addition of snippets of interviews done with other parents after the incident.  I think they were meant to give more backstory and what the whole mess looked like from other parties, but it ended up being distracting and confusing.

The story revolves around the Kindergarten class and their parents.  Jane is new in town and her son Ziggy is accused on the very first day of bullying the young daughter of Renata.  It quickly becomes a matter of which camp you are in.  Camp Renata where they go so far as to start a petition to have a child who was accused but never proved to have bullied anyone removed from the school.  Then there is camp Jane where everyone is just a little less catty and more interested in making sure that Jane and her son are treated fairly.

The main characters are Madeline, Celeste and Jane with everyone else kind of being in the background.

Madeline has to deal with her ex-husband and his wife.  They have moved into the same suburb and their daughter just happens to be in the same class as Madeline’s youngest daughter.  To make matters worse, her oldest daughter has decided that she no longer wants to live with Madeline, she wants to live with her dad and stepmother, Bonnie.  She lies to herself and everyone else, saying that she’s perfectly okay with the arrangement, but she’s devastated.

Celeste is the quintessential perfect woman.  Rich husband, perfectly behaved twin boys.  Stunningly beautiful with what looks like the perfect life  But looks can be deceiving and there are cracks in this perfect life.  Little lies that soon turn into big lies.  Secrets that threaten to come out and things that are seen and can’t be unseen.

Jane is the new mother in town.  She’s younger than most of the other “kindy” moms and was even mistaken as a nanny during orientation.  She is a single mom and she hasn’t told Ziggy or even  her own family who the father is.  She just tells them it was a one night stand and she doesn’t remember him.  She has her own secrets too.

It really was an interesting book and the interaction between the women was done very well.  I wish that it was more just their voices instead of interspersing the voices of other parents, but that’s just my opinion.  I did enjoy the mystery aspect and trying to figure out who was going to die and who was going to be the one at blame.  I wasn’t quite as surprised by who died as I was by how it came about and who did it.  I think the book was worth it just for the satisfaction that came from the revelation.

Good “chick-lit” book and it was a quick read, so I’d recommend it to someone who wants a light, fast read for the beach or plane trip.  Or just wanting to curl up on the couch with a nice hot cup of tea and a warm blanket.

 

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Review: The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons

3 1/2 Stars.

I chose this title as my Kindle First for November.  For book lovers with Amazon Prime membership and you don’t already know about the Kindle First program, go look it up.

Ten years ago, Suzanne Lombard disappeared without a trace.  Her father, Benjamin Lombard, was a senator at the time, but now he is the vice-president and running for president.  It’s nearing the anniversary of her disappearance and her story is still a national obsession.  No one has given up on Suzanne, especially not Gibson Vaughn, her best childhood friend.  Now a legendary hacker and former marine, Gibson is approached by the former head of Benjamin Lombard’s security team with an offer that he can’t refuse.  A chance to bring new life to the investigation into Suzanne’s disappearance.

Soon they discover conspiracies and secrets surrounding Benjamin Lombard.  Each layer that is uncovered reveals yet another set of mysteries, ultimately leading them to discover what really happened to Suzanne a decade ago.  Each twist brings a new turn.  Filled with suspense you never know what’s going to happen next.  What is the truth and what lengths will the other side go to make sure that it never sees the light of day?  Gibson always needs to keep one step ahead or he risks not only never finding out what happened to Suzanne, but his own life and the lives of those he loves.

There was a lot of suspense and a lot of twists and turns in this book.  Many of them were a complete surprise and I really didn’t see them coming.  There were a few that became pretty obvious as the book went on, but they were still well done and the dots were well connected when the story was finally revealed at the end.  I like how it was tied up for the most part.  I do with it had gone on a bit longer so that a few more loose ends were tied up, especially in regards to George Abe and his team.

The character development was very well done and it was very easy to empathize with Gibson and he was a very believable character.  Most of the secondary characters received the same attention and didn’t feel like cardboard cutouts.  I understand the backstory of Gibson’s ex-wife and how his family fits into the puzzle, but it was one of the loose ends that never truly got tied up in the end and it really bothered me.

If you want a fast moving plot with lots of action, lots of suspense and twists and turns.  Pick up The Short Drop and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

 

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Review: Exposure by Alan Russell

2 Stars

Paparazzo Graham Wells has a secret.  His actions helped cause the accident that killed two beloved public figures.  He thought he buried the evidence.  Someone found out.  Now he is being blackmailed by a man claiming to be with the CIA.  He is blackmailed into using his paparazzi experience to bring down Hollywood icons.  That’s how he finds Hollywood golden girl, Lanie Byrne.  While doing his job for the blackmailers, he interrupts her suicide attempt and in doing so, he begins to get a better picture of the machinations going on behind the scenes and learns why he’s being blackmailed and by whom.

The novel takes you around the world from Paris, Spain, Germany and the US just to name a few.  The references used are all very current and you can tell that the author really did his research.  But there was almost too much information crammed into this book.  There was quite a bit of jumping around to the point where I had to go back and re-read several pages just to figure out exactly where I was in the story.

The protagonist was not one I could identify with very easily.  He seemed to have a conscience, but then it would disappear.  He was more interested in saving his own hide much of the time to really give me the impression that he actually gave a damn about anyone or anything else.  He also tied the ends together way too easily for my liking.  I was still trying to guess at several things when he’s already explaining how it was done with absolutely no way he could have figured out several pieces because the threads leading to them were so thin, they were non-existent.

For me, I wish more time was spent with Graham and Lanie and less time spent with some of the antagonists.  This is of course, only my opinion.  Others may find the time spent with the antagonists fine, but for me, it really took away from the story.  The flow was interrupted and it made some of the connections harder to come by instead of easier.

The plot was great and it was very well researched and written.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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