Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty

I’ve been putting off writing this review for so long, that I’ve actually finished reading another book already. Thing is, I don’t like being a negative nelly, but I had such a love/hate relationship with this book. Picking a book to read is so much different than picking a movie to watch. With a movie, you know the cast, you’ve seen at least 1 feature trailer, and you’ve got a pretty good idea about the plot.

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When it comes to a book, you don’t know any of the characters, and personally, I like to make the decision from the blurb on the back and recommendations alone. It’s fun to go in as blind as possible. I haven’t read enough to know what my favourite book genre is yet, but when I read the blurb for Truly Madly Guilty, I got a little bit giddy with excitement. It sounded like my favourite kind of movie! Here it is if you’ve never heard of the book before:

“Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think. For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again.

But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them.

Which is how it all spirals out of control…”

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Essentially, you have 3 couples who meet one day for a barbecue. Each chapter focuses on the viewpoint of one of these characters, first in the present day, dealing with the aftermath of what transpired, and then on the day of the barbecue itself, and as the book goes on you slowly start to learn just what happened that has caused so much chaos and upset.

The main issue I had was just HOW LONG this book was, and how many pages were used telling me nothing at all. I think it was over half way that I finally learnt what happened, and by then my reaction was sort of ‘is that it?’. It was a terrible thing that happened of course, but given so much time to come up with theories, I genuinely thought a murder had happened that someone was trying to cover up.

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I spent every day reading this having a not so quiet rage about how I still didn’t know what happened, and when I did, I raged about how it shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. Plus, by the time I learned what went down, I kind of stopped caring all together. There was a final twist towards the very end that struck a chord with me, but it was built up to in such a way that you kind of assumed it was coming.

What also didn’t help was that every character is easy to hate at multiple parts of the story. That wouldn’t matter so much if there was a lot going on, but so much time is spent just describing these characters in their day to day lives, that they just grate on your nerves a little.

Still, I think it’s a book that’s worth reading, but the key is setting your expectations at the right level before going in. Perhaps that’s my fault for going in practically blind, or expecting a Gone Girl style twist, but I expected too much. If you can focus on every chapter and enjoy it for what it is, I imagine it would be a very enjoyable read! It hasn’t put me off Liane Moriarty as a writer though, because I’ve heard her other novels are great, so watch this space.

Going Off Topic (#2) I need a Panic Room of my own!

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I watched Panic Room last night for the first time. It’s a movie I’ve been dying to see for ages, because I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have recommended it to me. For some reason, when I tell them the kind of movies I like, this is the first thing that springs to mind. So, I enjoyed the movie plenty, but I think I expected more? I guess I know how the people disappointed with La La Land feel.

Now I’m sounding ungrateful, I know. It was a very suspenseful movie and if I saw it at the cinema I would have been wetting myself. It was also one of the very few roles that I liked Jared Leto in, and has got to (surely?) be the only movie Kristen Stewart has been in that she hasn’t been given stick for!

This week I feel like I could do with a Panic Room of my own to hide out in. Doesn’t it suck when the actual real world and adult responsibilities gets in the way of having fun, watching movies, and blogging? I hope I can tell you more soon, but the house move is progressing rather quickly! We had a meeting with our Solicitor to go through the contracts and we had to pretend that we knew what he was talking about, so we nodded at the right moments, frowned in thought often and signed our lives away several times.

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Now we just have to wait for a date! Meanwhile, we should be packing, but ain’t nobody got time for that? It’s best to wait till moving day and just throw everything into a van, right?

In movie news, if you have a Netflix subscription and you haven’t watched Michael Bolton’s Big, Sexy, Valentine’s Day Special yet, you really ought to. I was hooked from the first musical number about Christmas being only 10 months away. I also watched The Founder which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Man was I craving a cheeseburger the whole time though. We had to head straight to a family birthday party when it finished and I came so close to taking a detour it’s not even funny.

I’m behind on book reviews, because I’ve finished Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty and started on Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. Truly Madly Guilty is one of the most frustrating books I think I’ll ever read, but the payoff at the end made it worth it. I think. I’m not sure how to review it without sounding like I hated though, so watch this space, and don’t ever take me seriously. The mere mention of the word barbecue probably brings my Husband out in a rash, because he was the one to face my daily rants whilst reading that book. Sorry, honey.

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Enough about me though. Apologies to my favourite bloggers who’s posts I’ve missed, but I’ve been catching up over the weekend and I’ll be back in full force soon enough. Here are some of the great posts I’ve read lately:

Natasha at Life of this City Girl reviews my favourite movie of 2016, Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Mickey at Our Movie Life shares 10 Hollywood Celebrities he’d like to have dinner with. I feel like a list of my own coming soon!

Brittani at Rambling Film has cast her 2017 Oscar Predictions. I won’t be able to watch this year so I’ll look forward to her reactions post!

Sean at Assholes Watching Movies was later to the John Wick game than me, but he’s seen and reviewed John Wick 2 already, so we’ll call it a draw.