I was recently inspired by Andi at Estella’s Revenge’s post (and Shannon at River City Reading’s follow-up post) about blogging more creatively. Both posts generated an outpouring of commentary from fellow book bloggers…many lamenting the fact that their “Book Reviews” are among their least “viewed” and commented on blog posts, with discussion and “list-type” posts doing much better. Unfortunately, this applies to me too.
So, in an effort to be a bit more creative (even though being creative is HARD – at least for me!), here I go with a different type of book review…
Have you ever just not loved a certain author that everyone else seems to adore?
Do you keep pushing yourself to read more books by this author because you figure there will eventually be one you like? After all, everyone else LOVES this author…
How many tries does it take before you face the fact that you and X author just aren’t meant to be, regardless of what everyone else thinks? How many strikes does an author get before they’re out?
Welcome to my recent experience with Liane Moriarty. My first tries with her were The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot. I didn’t like either of them for the exact same reasons: the central characters drove me bonkers and the backgrounds of both stories included an overload of inane mommy politics. Even though I liked the underlying stories in both books, the sheer volume of mommy politics that surrounded these stories made the books painful to read and the characters painful to listen to. After The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot, I swore off Moriarty. We dated, I really wanted to like her, but, in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be.
UNTIL…Big Little Lies came along. Everyone was raving about it….other bloggers, my friends, my mother-in-law, etc. “It’s her best yet.” “It’s so much better than the other two, you really should try it despite your past experience.” I wondered what was wrong with me. Why can’t I just like these books like everyone else does? So, not wanting to feel left out, I decided to give her one last shot (on audio this time…maybe an Aussie accent would suck me in!)….
Released July, 2014
16 Hours (462 Pages)
Bottom Line: Skip it.
Affiliate Link: Amazon
Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?
Not surprisingly, I couldn’t make myself like this one either. For the exact same reasons as I disliked The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot. I did like the central story and certainly think it was a worthwhile one to tell (I won’t go into specifics to avoid spoilers). But, why oh why did it have to be surrounded by so much absurdity? You’ve got a bunch of judgey moms constantly judging each other, kids being ostracized and “banned” from playdates, and elementary school petitions (ugh!!). This stuff takes up more of the book than the actual storyline, which is a shame.
I think Moriarty’s writing tends to be somewhat formulaic: same types of characters and settings, secrets, scandal, and a big reveal. And, I think this plays a part in why I’ve felt essentially the same about three of her books now. The secrets and scandals are juicy in a “Desperate Housewives” sort of way, but the relentless chatter of the mommies is just too much for me to take…even though I’m a mommy myself!
In my mind, it’s three strikes, you’re out on this one. I’m officially throwing in the towel on Moriarty.
Have you ever had a similar experience? How many strikes do you think an author deserves before you resolve to move on?