YVO’S SHORTIES #71 – Big Little Lies & Outlander

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two books I have been meaning to read for a long time and finally decided to read in 2018. Both turned out to be more than pleasant surprises! Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.


Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery
First published: July 29th 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Finished reading: December 23rd 2018
Pages: 460

“They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.”


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I’ve been meaning to read another Liane Moriarty book for a long time, and I’m probably the last person on earth to finally pick up Big Little Lies. I kind of picked it up on a whim while browsing my kindle, and I definitely not regret making that decision. There is no doubt that Liane Moriarty knows how to write an intriguing mystery that goes out with a huge bang. I liked how she kept what happened that fatal night a secret in such a way that you don’t have a clue about the who or why until the final bombshell is dropped. I definitely didn’t see the ending coming! The plot is both intricate and well constructed and part of the reason this story is such a success. I liked the idea of following the three main characters is the weeks before the incident, especially since they are mixed with those police interview bits to keep you intrigued and curious about what happened. You will be on the edge of your seat until you find out all the details! I wasn’t sure about every character, but their development is without doubt very well done. Each character has its own background and problems, and while there were a few cliches involved, I could really appreciate the abuse angle and the necessary attention it brings to the fact it ‘can happen to anyone’. There is a lot of drama and some of it was a bit farfetched, but the ending definitely makes up for it. All in all Big Little Lies was a success for me and I’ll be looking forward to watching the TV adaptation.


Title: Outlander
(Outlander #1)
Author: Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy
First published: June 1st 1991
Publisher: Dell
Finished reading: December 28th 2018
Pages: 866

“Sometimes our best actions result in things that are most regrettable. And yet you could not have acted otherwise.”


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I have been meaning to read Outlander for years now, but both the sheer size of the books and the fact that I wasn’t sure the story would be for me made me hesitate for a long time. I don’t mind big books if they are good, but I feared there would be way too much romance involved for me to tolerate… But Outlander turned out to be the exception to that rule. Once I finally started reading and finished the first few chapters, I knew Outlander and me were going to get along just fine. All in all it took me about a week to finish it, which is not bad at all for such a beast of a book… And I had a surprisingly good time with it as well. Why surprisingly, would you say? Well, there are a lot of sexy scenes involved in Outlander, something that normally makes me drop a book like hot coals and discard it right away. They still made me cringe at points (adult content just isn’t for me ladies!), but the rest of the story was intriguing enough for me to tolerate them. The writing is excellent and the worldbuilding is sublime. I really felt like I were in Scotland myself along with the main characters; the descriptions of both the time period and surroundings extremely well done. The time travel aspect is also very interesting, especially since it comes back repeatedly in for example Claire’s profession as a nurse in the 20th century. I really liked Jamie as a character and while Claire can be exasperating at points, she does make for a good story. The story flowed well and managed to keep my attention all the way to the end. I’m definitely glad I finally give in and read Outlander, and I will be looking forward to read the sequel this year.


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BOOK REVIEW: The Husband’s Secret – by Liane Moriarty

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Title: The Husband’s Secret
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Mystery, Romance, Contemporary
First published: October 1st 2007
Finished reading: April 1st 2015
Pages: 402
Rating 4

“None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It’s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.”

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When I first saw The Husband’s Secret mentioned, I thought it was just a simple romance novel I most likely wouldn’t enjoy. I decided to give it a go anyway, and this novel by Liane Moriarty turned out to be so much more than that. I have to admit I wasn’t convinced straight away and it took me some time to take in all the different characters. But soon I was sucked right into the story and her prose and plot twists had me turn pages like there was no tomorrow. The different storylines slowly come together and the mysterous letter and secret will change everything. It’s my first Liane Moriarty read, but I will definitely try to read more of her work in the future. The Husband’s Secret is without doubt recommended for those who enjoy a good mystery story mixed with romance. The plot twists alone make this novel worth reading!

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Cecilia Fitzpatrick believes her life is perfect as she is able to find a perfect balance between her Tupperware job, the community and the tasks as a wife and a mother. But everything is about to change as she finds a letter when she is cleaning out the attic… A letter that seems to have been written by her husband and is addressed to her to be opened only in case of his death. When Cecilia confronts him with the letter, he asks her not to open it and throw it away… Cecilia finds it strange and while she doesn’t open it, she decides to keep the letter just in case. When her husband comes back from his business trip and he desperately starts looking for the letter, Cecilia decides to open it. Her husband had spilled out his darkest secret in the letter just after their oldest daughter was born… And now Cecilia knows why he was so desperate to hide the letter and his secret, her life will never be the same.

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I originally made the summary way longer, but since there are so many possible spoilers I’ve decided to only include the main plot. There are two other storylines that will all merge together as the story advances, but telling about them will possibly reveal too much. Better safe than sorry! 😉 The Husband’s Secret is definitely a good read; the easy-to-read prose, fast pace and many plot twists make you want to keep on reading. The end is bittersweet and makes you think about the consequences of your actions… Whether that means not doing anything or deciding to take action. Definitely recommended, even if the beginning reads a bit slow.

WWW Wednesdays #33 – April 1st

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

ataleoftwocitiesI’m finally reading A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens! I know it took me long enough, and technically I had promised myself to read it in March… But at least I’ve finally started reading this classic, so that’s what counts right? 😉 I don’t have a proper opinion about it yet as I’ve only just started it, but I’m looking forward to find out if it lives up to expectations.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

theshockofthefallthehusbandssecretI didn’t manage to finish The Husband’s Secret last night, so this novel by Liane Moriarty will count as the first book I’ve finished in April. Very interesting read and plot twists! When I started reading I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I was quickly sucked into the story and ended up almost being unable to put it down. Full review coming soon… I’ve also finished The Shock Of The Fall by  Nathan Filer a few days ago, another novel I absolutely loved. Very strong image of a mental ilness patient and I loved the prose! Review still to come…

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thestorytellerSince I have so so many new reads I’m super excited about, it’s impossible to choose what to read next. I’ve decided to use my TBR cup to see what title I would get… And I actually got my current read A Tale Of Two Cities first! A second draw got me The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, not one of my newest additions, but still a book I’m looking forward to. Although I’m currently deciding what titles to put on my April TBR, so I might end up reading a completely different title first.

Teaser Tuesdays #36 – March 31st: The Husband’s Secret

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve started reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty yesterday, my very first read on my new kindle! 😀 I’m not too far into the story yet, so I cannot say too much about it. It looks pretty promising so far though…

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My teaser (32%):

“While she’d been driving Rachel home, she’d temporarily forgotten everything: the strange things Polly and Esther had said about John-Paul today in the car, her decision to open his letter tonight. Did she still feel justified?”

 

What are you reading right now?