April Book Club | Big Little Lies Review

This month I’ve actually only read one book which is unusual for me. Usually I go through a minimum of two books a month however this one has taken me around five weeks to read! I think it might be because it’s not my usual genre (romance or murder mystery) or maybe because the TV show came out just as I started reading – I’m not sure what it was that held me back with this book but I’ll give you the low down none-the-less!

“Big Little Lies”…you may have seen the TV series advertised on Sky and billboards EVERYWHERE (if not, where have you been?!). It features a pretty big female cast line up including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley (think The Fault in our Stars and the Divergent series…), Zoe Kravitz (also in Divergent and X-Men). I bought the book version when I was in New Zealand because I had finished my last book, “Sleep Tight”, super quickly; I just couldn’t put it down – you can read my review here. Big Little Lies isn’t the type of book I’d usually pick up but, as books are sooo expensive out there (£20+ for a standard paperback!), I picked it up as it was the only one I could find that was reasonably priced.

I actually watched the TV show whilst simultaneously reading the book, however I always tried to stay a little ahead in the book as I wanted to know the original version before seeing the adaptation. As with most film/TV adaptations; they changed A LOT. So if you’ve watched it on TV then you will most likely find that the book fills in those blanks that were missed out of the series storyline; you know those few things that just didn’t quite flow properly – they’re clearer in the book. And, whilst the TV version is set in Monterey, California, the book is actually set in Australia which adds a slight cultural difference to the characters.

The premise of the story is that there has been a murder within a local community and, as usual, you don’t know who the perpetrator is. However the teaser is that, unlike with most books, you don’t actually know who is dead either! Intriguing right! Saying that, the genre is more of a drama than a murder mystery as, although a murder has occurred, the book immediately rewinds to six months prior to the death and tells the story of all parties involved leading up to the event.

The story centres around the families and teachers of a class of first year students at a local school and all characters involved are connected to each other, in one way or another, through this class of children. As some friendships and relationships blossom, others deteriorate. Many secrets are revealed to the reader, some of which the characters discover early on and others aren’t discovered until the very last second. Everyone has their own story to tell; their own dramas going on and their own secrets to keep. And with this book, those who make the least fuss tend to have the biggest problems. The moral of this story is really that you never know what goes on behind closed doors and that, excuse the pun, you should never judge a book by its cover…or a person by the things you hear. Because no matter how well you think you know someone, you only know as much as they choose to show you. Expect to find bitchy-ness, infidelity, secrets, scandal, heartache and drama.

As I said I struggled to get through this book a little; I only ever read a chapter or two per night and I didn’t get that “must-keep-reading” feeling until very near the end.  However I must say that the storyline of the book is MUCH better than the TV adaptation so if you enjoyed watching I think you will thoroughly enjoy the book.

Have you read Big Little Lies? What did you think of it?

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