Elise (TheBookishActress)'s Reviews > Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
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This book is a feminist masterpiece.

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I read this... after I watched the Hulu miniseries. (Don't hit me.) But it was one of the best tv shows I've ever seen, leaving me sobbing for thirty minutes straight and completely, utterly shook. So I read the book version as quickly as possible, and what can I say? I really liked it. While I think the miniseries is at times a bit darker in vibe than the book, they're both just so, so excellent.

This book does something rather brilliant: it begins in a everything-suburban-is-stable-facade, and then it destroys that facade, bit by careful bit. As the stories of Big Little Lies unfold, the layers of the characters are unraveled. Everyone has tragedies. Everyone has secrets.

This is a very deep book hiding under a veneer of chick-lit and middle class drama.

But I also liked that this story takes everything seriously. Conflicts about marriage. Conflicts about kids. Petty conflicts about kindergarten, even. These affect people’s lives, even the lives of the stereotypical “mothers”. And so many innocent words can just be impossible to hear.

I also thought the book built suspense quite well; the reminders of how much time remained until the trivia night were helpful, but the little statements from other parents on their opinions? Offer hints and suspense while also offering hilarity.

A lot of the characters in this novel are somewhat despicable, and honestly, a little bit hateable. But they're still compelling because all of Morality's characters are highly motivated. Even when you may dislike a character, you must admit that their motives are sensical, and often even relatable. I also appreciated the grim reality with which it treated parental lives; the disdain that mothers face is utterly humanized.

Tonally, this is one of the oddest books I've ever read. It goes from a grimly realistic painting of abuse to a humorous drama and then back again. But it always stays true to the characters, and that is where its power truly lies.

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Reading Progress

August 20, 2017 – Shelved
August 20, 2017 – Shelved as: zzz
September 8, 2017 – Shelved as: tbr-b-soon
September 8, 2017 – Shelved as: tbr-c-cant-find
September 13, 2017 – Shelved as: marked-as-audiobooks
October 5, 2017 – Shelved as: tbr-d-cant-find
October 5, 2017 – Shelved as: tbr-c-keplers-buylist
October 9, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
October 11, 2017 – Started Reading
October 11, 2017 –
35.0% "me, a known trash human being who loves the tv show with her entire ass,"
October 12, 2017 – Shelved as: books-read-2017
October 12, 2017 – Shelved as: genre-mystery-suspense
October 12, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-star
October 12, 2017 –
40.0% "they used the word endometriosis!! for real!! in a book!! god bless!!

also jfc I'd die for every character in this book"
October 13, 2017 –
55.0% "I don't think I've ever read an audiobook so fast. The longest one I've ever tried was only eight hours and took me two weeks. It's been five days and I'm already eight hours in. IT'S SO GOOD."
October 14, 2017 –
85.0%
October 15, 2017 – Finished Reading
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: faves-of-2017
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: favorite-relationships
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: favorite-characters
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: favorite-friendships
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: favorite-squads
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: that-feminist-classic-energy
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: that-mental-illness-rep
October 17, 2017 – Shelved as: narratives-on-abuse-trauma
November 29, 2017 – Shelved as: elise-s-to-buy-list
January 12, 2018 – Shelved as: marked-as-unowned
April 1, 2018 – Shelved as: narratives-of-bitch-me-too-the-fuck
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: books-released-2000-2015

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

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message 1: by Maria (new) - added it

Maria SAME. I'm obsessed.


Elise (TheBookishActress) Maria wrote: "SAME. I'm obsessed."

god i'm obsessed with the show it was SO FLAWLESS
(view spoiler)


message 3: by Maria (new) - added it

Maria 12 Emmy nominations are the proof of that


Megan I will admit, I was a little annoyed when I found out the show was being set in the US rather than Australia, like the novel, but then I binge-watched the show on a plane flight and was like "??? this is actually pretty good???" and forgave them haha.


message 5: by Cande (new) - added it

Cande All the actors KILLED IT (view spoiler)


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Cande and Megan oh my god it was SO GOOD and yes the acting was 10/10


LeAnne: GeezerMom I thought the series was outstanding and actually better than the book. Btw, after Witherspoon sent the book to Kidman to read and then to go meet the author, they ended up reading another of her books called Truly Madly Guilty and optioned it too! TMG was a much better Bucher than this one, so I am thrilled to know that a series will eventually come together for it :)


message 8: by Nada (new)

Nada A. That last episode was a killer!! I hope there's a new season coming out!


Elise (TheBookishActress) Nada wrote: "That last episode was a killer!! I hope there's a new season coming out!"

THAT LAST EPISODE WAS FLAWLESS. I almost feel as if they should stop here just because I'm worried about it going downhill :/

LeAnne wrote: "I thought the series was outstanding and actually better than the book. Btw, after Witherspoon sent the book to Kidman to read and then to go meet the author, they ended up reading another of her b..."

oh wow, I'm hoping that adaptation is just as great!! and who knows, maybe I'll agree. I honestly can't imagine anything beating the tv show - it's genuinely one of the best miniseries I've ever watched.


Megan No joke, seeing you read this got me doing a rewatch of the show :D


Elise (TheBookishActress) @Megan I'M SO GLAD TO HEAR THAT. I audiobooked this with my mother and we're watching the show together now - she liked it even more than I did 😄


Ellen Gail I haven't seen the show yet (it's on my to do list for sure though.) But this book is seriously so good!


Elise (TheBookishActress) Ellen Gail wrote: "I haven't seen the show yet (it's on my to do list for sure though.) But this book is seriously so good!"

it was so good!! and yeah. a part of me actually liked the show more - it makes a lot of changes, but in the end it's a bit darker than the book (view spoiler) and I definitely preferred it tonally - the characters are just more morally good towards the end, I think, compared to the tv show?


message 14: by Elke (new)

Elke Ah, I'm looking forward to read your review! I have been doubting to read this book and have already seen the tv show as well.


Elise (TheBookishActress) Elke (BEroyal) wrote: "Ah, I'm looking forward to read your review! I have been doubting to read this book and have already seen the tv show as well."

I think you'll appreciate it!! there are a few plotlines from the book that are skipped in the tv show, and I think it'll just expand your love for the show.

and thank you <3


Ellen Gail Elise wrote: "Ellen Gail wrote: "I haven't seen the show yet (it's on my to do list for sure though.) But this book is seriously so good!"

it was so good!! and yeah. a part of me actually liked the show more - ..."


Oh you've got me extra curious now! I'll have to watch this sooner rather than later.


message 17: by Elke (new)

Elke Elise wrote: "Elke (BEroyal) wrote: "Ah, I'm looking forward to read your review! I have been doubting to read this book and have already seen the tv show as well."

I think you'll appreciate it!! there are a fe..."


Thank you for letting me know!


message 18: by Tish (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tish We have to wait until 2019 for season 2.


Elise (TheBookishActress) SO LONG @TISH


Naima ✩ OMG this is my absolute FAVOURITE!! I haven’t watched the miniseries though.


Elise (TheBookishActress) Naima please watch the miniseries!! it’s so agsghdjdkjd


Naima ✩ OKAY you’re making me excited for itttt. I will nowww


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