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review 2017-06-19 17:54
Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies kind of took me by surprise. Obviously, I was hoping I'd like it, but I worried it would end up disappointing me like many books hyped in the media. Also, I had read two other books by Liane Moriarty and they were only so-so for me. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. 

 

I enjoyed all the characters, even the ones I didn't like. I also liked the way Moriarty added interview notes from the characters to the start/end of most chapters. It was a unique way to not only drive the plot forward, but it also gave me additional insight into each of the characters. 

 

I have to say, most murder mysteries don't shock me. I usually figure out the who-done-it by mid-book or at least have a few options which one turns out to be correct in the end. I did not see this one coming and I literally let an "Oh crap" slip out :) 

 

Very well worth the read, with lots of characters and situations I could relate to.

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review 2017-06-15 22:33
Another great Look-and-Find book.
Little Detectives At School: A LOOK and FIND Book - Baretti

Having enjoyed Little Detectives at Home with my granddaughter, this will be the obvious book to move on to when she's found all the hidden items in the home. As yet she's a long way from school age so I think of this as the second book, even though they will both be released on the same day.

 

As before, there are six images, this time, each one illustrates a room in a school. In each of these rooms there are numerous characters and objects and the idea is to find each of eight items, illustrated and named along the bottom of the page.

 

We meet the same characters as in the previous book and again I found some of them a little too stylised. Particularly the "snowman'' who I assume must be a duck. Despite this small criticism, these books are a great alternative to traditional stories and I can see them being a useful distraction in waiting rooms or busy places, where children need to be kept busy.

And when we have found all the items on each of the pages there is a list of additional things we can search for at the back - telling the time on the clock that appears on every page and counting items of different colours etc.

Age 3 - 5 years.

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review 2017-06-15 00:46
The Little French Bistro - Nina George
At first, I had a really hard time getting into Marianne. She seemed like a really weak, spineless woman. I mean the book started out with her wanting to kill herself. She was describing her forty year marriage with how she had one pair of shoes that she paid full price and let her husband berate her for that for years. How her husband had numerous affairs and she stood by and let him. He also took numerous holidays without her. I was loathing this character. How can a woman let herself be treated this way?

Then I realized she was married when she was 19 and knew no better.

Then she discovers what love can be and what it is all about. And yet, she contemplates going back to her husband?

I'm not going to tell you whether she does or does not go back to him, but I will tell you that hers was certainly a jacked up story.

I can say that the story was well written with beautiful descriptions of the scenery surrounding Marianne and of her friends. The characters that Marianne runs into along her journey are definitely interesting and quirky. Marianne's story is not the only love story going on in this book. There are several others and they are quite magical.

An interesting read that did have me shedding a few tears at the end.

Thanks to Crown Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-06-14 02:03
Recommended board book.
Little Detectives At Home: A LOOK and FIND Book - Baretti

This is a cute book, a bit like Where's Wally for much younger children. There are six images, each one illustrating a room in a house. In each of these rooms there are numerous characters and objects and the idea is to find each of eight items, illustrated along the bottom of the page.

 

The recommended age for this book is 3 to 5 years but I tried it out with my eldest grandchild who is almost 2. We only attempted one page but she was fascinated by all the animal characters and on a second viewing is starting to get the hang of searching for the items. She was thrilled with herself for being able to name ''eggs''.

 

My only criticism is that some of the animal characters are actually quite difficult to identify, the dog looks very much like a bear and there's one that seems to be a snowman, though I must have got that wrong, maybe a duck?

 

I can see this being a book that we fall back on regularly when we find ourselves in waiting rooms or busy places where she needs to be kept busy. And when we have found all the items on each of the pages there is a list of additional things we can search for at the back - telling the time on the clock that appears on every page and counting items of different colours etc....and when all of that is done, there is a second book - Little Detectives at School, to move on to.

 

 

 

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review 2017-06-10 09:22
Wicked Little Secrets by Susanna Ives
Wicked Little Secrets - Susanna Ives

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Vivienne Taylor is doing everything she can to help her destitute father, even if it means burying her true characters as deep as she can to ensnare an appropriately wealthy husband. But once she's accomplished that, Fate seems to conspire against her, since her childhood crush, and irredeemable rake, Lord Dashiell is back in town and she can't seem to help herself from gravitating toward him, no matter what the Bible teaches her, and certainly despite his every effort to keep her away. And to top it all off, someone seems to be blackmailing her aunt, and Vivienne knows there's no one else to turn to but Dashiell himself.


This certainly started off great. I laughed my heart out at the end of chapter one, and was really looking forward to the rest of the story. If chapter one was a hoot, the rest must follow suit, right?

Wrong.

This story, that started off so great, failed miserably to deliver on the promise of the first chapter. I hated both the main protagonists, him for being such an annoyingly dysfunctional, emotionally stilted, rather wimpy asshole, and her for being so obnoxiously naive that she ended up sounding like an idiot. I felt they both needed someone to lead them through life by the hand. Add to it the pretentiously pious aunt (who turned out not to be as virtuous as she wanted to appear), the jerk of a fiancé that was even more false in his piousness than the aunt, a slower than slow pacing, a plot rife with fillers (idiotic musing, idiotic conversation, idiotic decisions, idiotic actions etc.), so-called humor that made the whole story appear like a parody, and a jumbled suspense side-plot that made little-to-no sense in the end, and you have this story...A complete waste of time.

The only redeeming thing this story possessed were the hero's grandfather and the dog.

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