Resuming usual programming…
Yes, I am back! Much to write about but first, I have the need to get this off my chest. I’ve just read a book and I DID NOT LIKE IT.
Weirdly enough, I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it, but there – I said it. I did not like Big Little Lies by Liane Moriaty. I’m definitely in the minority – it gets rave review everywhere. And it’s not that I’m a literary purist or anything. I read Charlaine Harris un-ironically. I like mysteries. I don’t mind an amusing book. And I wasn’t even put off by the whole humorous domestic violence angle. It was well written – enough that I kept on reading it while it was irritating the hell out of me. I mainly wanted to find out who did it and confirm who it was who got killed. I figured out who was going to get his or her comeuppance pretty quickly – as soon as I worked out the other *twist*, it just made sense that that would be whom got killed. (Man, it’s hard to write without spoilers. Just because *I* hated it, 50,000+ people loved it totally sick, so I shall endeavour not to spoil it.)
Now, as I mentioned, the book was well written – there was nothing wrong with the characters. Ok, some of them were a little cardboard cut-out, but on the whole, there was nothing wrong with any of them. I recognised a few of the types, having lived the playground dramas for the last seven or so years. There’s definitely a playground totem pole, and at the school my kids are at, the working full time mothers are definitely the lowest of the low, and need to volunteer ALL of their spare time to get past the lowest rung. Pfft. Bugger that. I’ll just take the fundraising chocolates to work. And sell them all. Bwhahaha.
Also, I didn’t really find the book to be funny. At all. I could tell when it was supposed to be amusing. Little bon mots, sly asides and all that. Very droll. Like reading a book with a laugh track. And it wasn’t just the juxtaposition of humour with a very serious topic. Sometimes humour can go a long way toward getting a serious message out to people that would not normally listen. But this wasn’t funny. This was like “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Not even a wry smile. (OK, I hate Seinfeld and I’m generally not amused by the Simpsons, so again – it could just be me. I do actually have a sense of humour. It just wasn’t THAT).
The two key themes were domestic violence and how it can happen to anyone, and bullying – and yes, one does go hand in hand with the other. Body image and blended families and well, you name it. With the (alleged) humour to make it not one of those Wall of Pain books. Hrrm. The bullying part was interesting to me in the way it was handled – been living that as well. From both sides. That was one section that did not have any ring of truth to it, although hey – again. Different to my experience, which doesn’t mean it’s less valid. And one of the bullies involved at my kids school is pretty hard core (won’t be starting school until a couple of weeks after everyone else) BUT all the kids know who’s doing what to whom, and the Playground Grapevine means someone will call someone else (even the working full time pariahs get a call if their kid is in the equation) and everyone knows which kid is beating on other kids. So, I suppose nobody knowing who’s kid was actually doing the whack struck me as strange. The kids *always* told. And the resolution of the bullying fitted in oh so well with everything else that was going on.
I still can’t put my finger on why I didn’t like this book. I honestly couldn’t give it one star though – I read it over a couple of days because I just wanted to confirm what I thought was going to happen. Which it did (except for who actually done it. That was surprising and still irritating). I’m still irritated by the damn book – so it’s stuck with me. But it’s more like poking a bruise to see if it still hurts.
Crikey, I was hoping to get to the bottom of why I didn’t like it and I still can’t really say.
- It was predictable (I probably read too much crime)
- If it really was a crime story, rather than a book where someone got killed, it would be a cosy.
- I don’t like cosies. I like my crime and death more um. Crime-y.
- It’s really chick lit.
- Chick lit with Issues.
- Also, I appear to have grown out of chick lit.
- It was well written.
- The story was fast paced.
- You’ll probably at least like it, 97% of reviewers can’t be wrong.