Sunday, 21 February 2021

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty Book Review!


Hi Readers! I am going to keep this review short, because the book itself was so long that I am scarred to even write a long review. I wanted to read Liane Moriarty’s books for a while now. I watched Big Little Lies before I knew there was a book for it. It’s a crime watching the screen adaptation before reading the book, especially for readers, but it was an honest mistake. Because I loved the series so much, I wanted to read Liane Moriarty’s other books. Nine Perfect Strangers popped up everywhere & then I found out that its TV adaptation starred Nicole Kidman, which was more or less the reason I finally read the book. Be it a crime, but I am just going to say it, I should have just watched the show instead!



Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever?

These nine perfect strangers are about to find out...


Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made Liane Moriarty's writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.



To begin with, I thought that Nine Perfect Strangers is a tediously long novel with not much in it. Even though the premise was intriguing, the story did not hold up to its potential, in the least. I gave up on this book a lot of times & almost gave up on it completely once. But then I don’t know what possessed me to finally continue reading & finishing it. It took me TWENTY DAYS to finish this 453 page-novel which belonged to a supposed ‘thriller’ & ‘mystery’ genre. Not only is it long, it is also tedious. I hated reading the parts where the guests were treated as prisoners early on in the book. I cannot even imagine living without my gadgets for 10 days. The story made me uncomfortable and not in a good way.



As you all know, in my 2021 Reading Challenge, I divided up the target of 50 books as per genre. And, after reading Nine Perfect Stranger, I had no idea what genre to put this in. It sure as hell did not feel like a thriller. It was so predictable that it could not be mystery. The slow burn was so slow that you would never even know that there was a burn. It couldn’t be psychological fiction because that requires intensity & they usually leave you mind-boggled at the end of it. So, what the hell did I just read? I will just put it under the made-up name of delusional fiction category.


All along I was hoping for something tragic or random or even remotely weird to happen. But, unfortunately all of it was too predictable & almost too lame. The whole story gives you a miserable reading experience. I hoped for drastic action from some of the characters, but all of it was only an act, which given the crazy predicament seemed too mellow & completely unsatisfactory.



First half of the book goes on in setting the foundation of those NINE guests at the health resort & additionally THREE more characters working for the resort. If this wasn’t enough, there were also all the other related characters of all those characters in mini stories. I did not care for it. All of it was a bit unnecessary. It would have been better if they were five or six strangers to begin with. Anyway, 3 or 4 of them ignored for most of the time. With some stories, introducing many main characters works & in some mini background stories are a treat. But, alas, not in this book.


All I have are bad things to say about this book, so I am sure you must be wondering why I didn’t throw the book out? Well, the only reason is Frances Welty. She’s the only reason I kept reading. Even though I knew exactly how her story was going to go, I liked this charming grandmother-like quality that she had. I saw her as a young Betty White, which was the only way I could imagine her. She’s almost too cute a character for such a story, which is why it made perfect sense.



I usually read a heavy & intense book from my bookshelf which takes some time to read. In parallel I also read light fiction or thrillers which I can basically finish in a few days to maintain the balance. Putting Nine Perfect Strangers on the latter category was an incredibly stupid choice. Not only did it take me forever to finish it, but because of its sheer pathetic story, it shoved me off the cliff into a book slump. For the past few days, I have had no desire to read or even write about reading. I am writing this book review after a solid one week after I finished that awful novel. I have rated Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers at 2/5 stars. If you are planning to read it, just don’t. You have been warned.

Until next time,

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