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 Awakening and The Struggle – by L.J. Smith

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Title: The Awakening And The Struggle
(The Vampire Diaries Series #1-2)
Author: L.J. Smith

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Vampires, Romance
First published: 1991
Finished reading: April 8th 2013
Pages: 492

Rating 1,5

“I can awaken things inside you that have been sleeping all your life. You’re strong enough to live in the dark, to glory in it. You can become a queen of the shadows. Why not take that power, Elena? Let me help you take it.”

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I must admit I was really bored and without other and more interesting books when I started reading The Awakening and The Struggle. I have a problem with most cheesy vampire books and I’m sorry to say I just couldn’t enjoy this book. Sure, it wasn’t difficult to read, but the character development of the mayority of the characters just didn’t make sense. Also, the relationship between Elena and Stefan just wasn’t believable and the role of his brother Damon quite cliche. I should have known not to touch this one, but at least now I know for sure. I’m just annoyed for having wasted my time…

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Just so you know, The Awakening and The Struggle is about two vampire brothers and a mortal girl Elena. The brothers Stefan and Damon have fought over a girl in the past, and Elena is dangerously similar to the girl they both once loved. Only, this Elena seems to be quite a snob who likes to get everything she wants. She’s hard to sympathize with, and the mere fact that the mysterious Stefan (the ‘good’ vampire) shows interest in her is annoying. Sure, he ignores her for about half of the story, but when they finally talk they instantly fall in love… Which just irritated me. A lot. His brother Damon is looking to revenge Stefan and determined to steal Elena away.

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Damon is the typical bad guy and at least credible. He was at least able to spice up the story slightly, which was good since at that point I was already as bored as I could possibly be with a book before throwing it in the trash. But still, I only finished The Awakening and The Struggle because I almost never leave books unfinished. This book might be just a case of not-for-me, but still I would approach this book with care if I were you. Unless you don’t mind cheesy teen vampire stories…