Publisher: Berkley

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Big Little Lies Review

March 27, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★

Big Little Lies ReviewBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Published by Berkley on July 29th 2014
Pages: 460
Source: Library
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three-stars
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Wow, so this wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I figured this would be similar to Girl on the Train or Gone Girl since I thought that the book was about a murder that happened, though we don’t know who died or who did it. However, Big Little Lies centers more on three mothers in a little Australian town who all have children that are in the same first grade class. It’s about their lives, and the secrets that they keep. It’s definitely more Women’s Fiction than I thought it would be. I have no problem with Women’s Fiction, I just wasn’t totally anticipating all of these rather heavy personal problems that went down. This wasn’t a bad book, just pretty underwhelming as a whole for me.

Like I said, the story focuses mainly on three different women. Each of them had very complicated lives and secrets that they kept from each other. These women are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Madeline just turned 40 years old, and she has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage in addition to two younger kids from her second. She’s dealing with issues regarding her ex-husband and his new wife, they have a first grader who is in Chloe’s class. Madeline was a seriously entertaining character. She had the lightest story of the three women. Madeline was the most dramatic and loves to start stuff with one particular mom. She’s been friends with Celeste for awhile now, but she also takes in Jane, who is new to the town.

Celeste is a heartbreaking character to say the least. I don’t know what I should or shouldn’t say about Celeste. But we find out rather early on that she’s being abused by her husband. It’s particularly touching and hard to swallow because she often blames herself for hitting him back and believes she deserves it. Although I’ve never personally been in an abusive relationship and don’t know many people who have, a lot of cases that I’ve read about were ones where the victims felt like they provoked their partner and deserved it.

Jane was a really well written character as well. She’s new to town for reasons that aren’t fully revealed until later in the novel. She’s a very young mom at 24, she had Ziggy when she was only 18. The father of the baby is far from being in the picture, he was the result of a one night stand. I think it’s extremely commendable that she’s such a fabulous single mom to her little boy. She also manages to work part time on top of all that. Jane is haunted by her past, and has kept it a secret for a long time now.

As you can tell, I liked the characters. I’ve seen some reviews and articles about the characters being unlikable in the TV show, but I didn’t feel that way at all. So what didn’t I like then? I’m glad that you asked! I thought that the random addition of testimony from the parents to the police was interesting but also a bit scattered. There was just quite a lot of parents, many of which I personally couldn’t keep track of. I thought it could have been better organized as a whole. I felt as if the pace was WAY too slow. I felt like a lot of it seemed to drag on. It was a long book, and some of the details probably weren’t necessary. I was seriously disappointed by the ending. I won’t go into details, but I will just say that I felt like it was weak. I get what the author was trying to do, but I felt like it wasn’t fully effective.

Big Little Lies isn’t a bad book and I can see why people enjoyed it. It just wasn’t completely my kind of book. I’m still planning on reading more from this author since I’ve heard such positive things about her work. I decided to read it before I watched the TV show so I’d know what to expect going on. I’m happy that I did. I’m only on episode two right now, but I seriously enjoy it so far, especially the awesome music. I’m glad that I read it, but it wasn’t my favorite.

three-stars

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The One Real Thing Review

September 11, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

The One Real Thing ReviewThe One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk, #1) by Samantha Young
Published by Berkley on September 6th 2016
Pages: 382
Source: Purchased
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four-stars
Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…
While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.
Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….

So I’ve never read a Samantha Young book before. I’ve definitely meant to pick up On Dublin Street, but somehow I’ve just never gotten around to reading it. When I heard about the premise for this new book though, I knew that I’d have to try it out. The whole small town life is what immediately drew me in. I’m so glad that I took a chance on this book. The One Real Thing isn’t a perfect story, but it’s still a beautiful romance filled with memorable supporting characters. I can’t wait for Bailey and Vaughn’s story next!

Jessica is a very likable character from the start. Sure, she has her fair share of secrets that we don’t learn until well into the book, but she’s also a genuinely decent person. I had tons of respect for her decision to work in a women’s prison. Jessica is also super brave to make the trip to a new town. Okay yeah, it’s not even out of the state and only a few hours out of her way, but she still takes the leap and goes there for a three week vacation. I also liked how independent and generally badass Jessica was throughout the book. My heart definitely bled for her at some points in the book, I was certainly rooting for her to get a happy ending. Although, I will admit that I wanted to punch her for a few decisions that she made because in my opinion her secret wasn’t one that would make people hate her. I get that she was scared though, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating!

Cooper is so perfect that he borders on the line of being TOO perfect. The poor guy has been through the worst betrayal that one could ever go through: his wife cheated on him with his best friend. The story picks up with Cooper already over her, but she keeps trying to earn his forgiveness. What’s great about Cooper? Like I said, he’s just an incredibly decent guy. Not to mention the fact that he’s ridiculously swoony. At times, some of his life did seem a bit cheesy, but most of the time, he came across as being completely genuine. I have to say that I just loved it when Cooper called her Doc, it reminded me of when Wade in the TV show Hart of Dixie called Zoe that.

The romance was beyond steamy at times, though it did feel like some of the scenes were fade to black. I’m not a big fan of those, especially in adult romance novels. I will say that the first time they have sex is easily the hottest scene in the book. It’s totally one that you’ll remember for a long time after reading it! The chemistry between Cooper and Jessica was electric. I did mention that some of the things Cooper said were on the cheesy side, which I didn’t like all that much. He’s still a genuine guy, and the passion he has for Jessica is made clear to say the least.

I highly recommend this book! It doesn’t matter if you’ve read every book by this author or you haven’t read any yet, you should still read this one! It’s the start of what I believe will be a funny and seriously romantic series. As said at the start of this review, I’m a huge fan of books that contain small towns, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. I feel like the general feelings of a small town were fully captured within these pages. All of the business owners, nosy neighbors, and wacky town events were certainly believable. What are you waiting for? You need to start reading The One Real Thing!

four-stars

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