This book has also been compared to Gone Girl. What I don’t understand is the fact that girl on the train and this book they may have the same genre however in my opinion none of these stories can remotely be compared to awesome gone girl. All of these books have their own specific characteristics. I was hugely disappointed with Girl on the Train but I liked this novel a little bit better than that.
Ani FaNelli who is 28 years old has a perfect life. She has a perfect fiancé (rich) and has a glamorous job and is in a perfect body shape that people envy. However, she has a dark past. She was originally called Tiffani.
Tiffani gets thrown out of her old school just over the fact that some girls are caught smoking and her appearance was more of a mature girl (thanks to her breasts which developed early) she gets thrown out. Then determined to leave her past and have a new start she joins another school. There she makes friends and things happen. Not only to her but also to the entire school. She makes friends and enemies along the way. This leads to the story title I think luckiest girl alive because she survives. Why? And under what circumstances? Go ahead and read the book. Then there is this film/documentary maker who wants to personally interview her and one other survivor just prior to her wedding. She realizes it will open up her dark secrets and one of the film makers is none other than her new schools teacher who was young at that time and she had a crush on. She also learns that he is engaged to the other film maker. Furthermore she comes to know that the other person being interviewed is her classmate who has a dark secret of his own with Tiffani.
I liked the book. It was an easy read and although always wanting the book to take its pace I liked this novel. The author Jessica Knoll also mentioned in an interview that the she was also gang raped and that is how she incorporated this into the book. However, there are lots of incident in this book not only this. It is not so dark but it tells a story of a girl who due to some bad experience learns how to survive in this world. The book goes back and forth where what happened in the past and what is happening in the present come together. She finally puts her demons to sleep in a cunning manner. She does this to gain more attention or just to feel at ease after all these years is unknown. In my opinion she does it to gain more attention. It is not a bad read.
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This is probably the first of many celebrity author books that I will read. The main tag line of the book suggests it is Lily Collins being unfiltered with no shame, no regrets just her. Well she has tried to bare it all about her life however here is my review. The format of the book is she starts with a quote of her own and then a new chapter begins.
“THE QUIRKY THINGS THAT MAKE YOU DIFFERENT ARE WHAT MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL.”
What I liked:
It is a good read and she shares her failed relationships, battle with eating disorder (can’t wait to watch the movie To The Bone) and her carefree nature. What i loved about her is that fame caught on to her and she has been rejected for movies and TV series (shock for me was she was not selected as Jenny Humphrey) and how from an awkward teenager she has grown into a beautiful soul. She talks a lot about her relationships and how her mother is a pillar in her life, how she has plucked her eyebrows to fit in (which she regretted) and how she has been in submissive relationships and how we should realize that one failed relationship doesn’t mean end of the world.
In short she talks about everything that we must have done during our teens to fit in and how every time that was difficult and we lost a part of who we actually were. Then her media life where she has been in attention. Then comes her relationships with people who were addicts and how she felt she was doing something wrong when the other guy ignored or ghosted her. Then comes how along the way she learned to let go and be happy and do all the weird things that makes her happy. She is also a good cook.
What I disliked:
It is same old story of how the celebrities are like us humans. How they love the small things in life. Once you keep reading it you come to know how it is repetitive. She frequently talks about her addict ex boyfriend a lot and also how we should take control of our life and not get into the stereotypical notion that the world is structured.
What i hated reading:
I expected the book to be more of telling us stories about Lily Collins life but it disappointed me in this regard. She mentions something and then again it seems like a self help book where she keep on saying we should live life the way we want and not think about what happened and not be concerned about what people expect and what they might say. It becomes repetitive.
It is the usual Liane Moriarty story of friendship, love and complicated relationships. The format of the book is the same where the story goes back and forth and something drastic or some incident happened that changes lives of people in and around that day. The main event is as I like to call it “The Day of the Barbeque” or what the novel calls it “Unfortunate Barbeque incident”.
There are three couples are Sam and Clementine, Erika and Oliver, Vid and Tiffani and there is a neighbor an old man. Sam and Clementine were best friends. They still are although they have drifted apart. Vid and Tiffani are Erika’s neighbours who have a daughter named Dakota. Dakota seems smart for her age. Finally Clementine and Sam where the whole story revolves around and they have two daughters. One fine day Erika meets Vid who asks Erika and her husband to their home for barbeque and along with them he mentions why Erika doesn’t also invite her Cellist friend (Clementine). Erika has something to ask to Clementine and has been looking for an opportunity and right time to talk to Clementine. Everything comes down to that afternoon. Erika asks Clementine and after their awkward talk they go to the barbeque. There Sam and Clementine’s private talk is overheard by Oliver. All the guys are enjoying Tiffani’s old stories about how she was a dancer. Clementine is flirting with Vid and vice versa. Everybody is enjoying themselves until the incident happens.
The story moves back and forth so the incident happened and since then all three couples have not been in contact. The neighbor also plays a major role. The story depicts how actually their life is. Sam and Clementine have a dry mundane life nothing to spice up their life. No one makes an effort. Erika has always felt shadowed by Clementine and her perfect family life since childhood. Since the time Erika and Clementine (who initiated) to be friends because Erika’s mother is a hoarder and she had bite marks all over her body due to it. Erika has always adored Clementine’s family although she feels intimidated inside. She has always felt inferior. The thing that Erika and Oliver heard, the incident, the choice that Clementine was expected to make and what went on between the three children and the bystander neighbor who saw everything.
It is a pretty interesting book. I like reading Liane Moriarty’s book. She is not my favorite of author and may be in couple of year’s time when I will still be reading her book I might actually know all the plots and I might get tired of the same style of writing. But I liked this book not loved it. I saw the new book on Reese Witherspoon’s instagram post where while she was shooting critically acclaimed Big Little Lies (Which by the way I loved the miniseries and it was more detailed than movies that they make). So it’s exciting to read the book although it was not a page turner for me. It has twist and turns that people love. I loved how there are not many characters. Overall, a good book. After you are done with the book you realize that cover of the book explains all.
The wait is finally over!!!
I did had a chance to buy the book in Nepal but as I was pre occupied I forced myself not to buy. Then I bought after my work was done. I bought it yesterday and as the book is a page turner I completed the book about 2 hours ago. It is a very easy read.
The summary is now then teenagers Harry Potter, Hermione Granger (now married to Ron), Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy are 40 year old’s. Draco has a son named Scorpius. Ron and Hermione have two kids Rose Granger Weasley and Hugo. Harry and Ginny have 3 children James, Albus Severus and Lily. The three family are here to drop their kids off to Hogwarts.
The story is about a son Albus who is sorted into Slytherine house and to his dismay considers this as a bad thing. He constantly looked down by every student as he is not as smart as his father and he is suppose to be a legacy. This burden brings him down. On the other hand his best friend is Scorpius who is part of the family of now past death eater Draco. Scorpius is nothing like Malfoy family he is kind hearted and very knowledgeable like Hermione. Scorpius is constantly looked down too not as a legacy but because people believe that he is not the son of Draco but of Voldemort. Then there are fathers Harry and Draco. Harry on one hand is trying to manage his son but somehow cannot live up to his sons expectation. Whereas Draco just wants his son to be happy and the rumors about him being son of Voldemort to be removed so that his son can live a free life.
Albus who feels he is a constant disappointment as a son over hears Amos Diggory father of Cedric Diggory complain to Harry as Cedric was just a spare and he should get the Time Turner and bring back Cedric as Cedric did not deserve to die. Then accompanying Amos is Delphi who encourages Albus to meet her. Tired of living like this and having a bad relation with his father Albus along with Scorpius he leaves the train and travels to Amos’s old age home and meets Delphi and they travel. The steal the Time turner from Hermione’s library with Scorpius solving all the riddle.
Then meddling with Time Turner constantly as it only allows 5 minutes into the past leads to many changes.
- Cedric dies again and in the next becomes a death eater.
- Ron and Hermione although who love each other are never married and Ron is married to someone else.
- Hermione is cruel and a strict teacher.
- Rose and Hugo are never born.
- Albus is in Griffindor.
No matter what these two do the future is not what they wish to be and slowly the dark lord is gaining power and is rising.
It is a beautiful book with lots of craziness. If you have read the Harry Potter series then this book will make you wonder what if. In the end the book is about fathers and sons who have to rekindle their relationship.
The only disappointment for me was the end part where Harry witnesses everything again. If the book could include Hagrid’s visit to Godric’s Hollow and how he talks with young Harry why wasn’t the part where Severus coming to the house and crying over Lily’s dead body included ? I personally felt that it should have been there .
A beautiful play/book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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“None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It’s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.”
“This was how it could be done. This was how you lived with a terrible secret. You just did it. You pretended everything was fine. You ignored the deep, cramplike pain in your stomach. You somehow anesthetized yourself so that nothing felt that bad, but nothing felt that good either.”
The story starts with Cecilia Fitzpatrick who is with her three daughters in her home and her little daughter (Polly) has recently taken into account the Berlin Wall history. She visited the place where the wall once stood and has a small stone as token of remembrance which she decides to give it to her little daughter. She goes to the attic to get it and she is a well managed girl who labels things and while taking the box out she also finds a letter with her husband’s handwriting which says to be opened only after his death. She calls her husband and decides not to open the letter trusting her husband John-Paul. All of her daughters study in St Agnes School.
The second story is of a mother Rachel who’s daughter in law and her son(Rob) announce that they are going to New York for about two years as Lauren got a good job. She is angry because she does not have anyone and the only person she has left in her life is her son and grandson. Her daughter (Janie) was murdered more than twenty years ago and she still feels that the last person to see her daughter Connor Whitby is the murderer. She also works in St Agnes school and recently about more than a year back Connor Whitby joined the school as the new PE teacher.
The third is the story of Tess who works with a small advertising company owned by her husband (Will) her cousin (Felicity) own. She has a small boy named Liam. Since childhood Felicity and Tess have been inseparable (their mothers are twins). Even after marriage since they own a company together Felicity has always been with the family. Then Felicity decides to lose weight and loses about 40 Kilos of weight and now is attractive. One fine day her husband and her cousin decide to tell her that they both are in love and they have just kissed but have not slept together. Tess leaves the home with her son and goes to live with her mother and enrolls Liam in St Agnes. There she meets Connor Whitby her ex boyfriend who is fit and a PE teacher.
The story moves on the past and present. The story recounts the last day form Janie’s perspective and how she was deciding whom she loves John-Paul or Connor Whitby. Then everyone has a secret. Once Cecilia opens the letter she is devastated. She cannot function properly and is shocked that her husband wanted Cecilia to live with the secret. Rachel finds an old tape of re run shows and deciding to watch them as it was Janie’s favorite she finds a video of Janie and Connor Whitby and is determined that he killed her daughter. Tess starts sleeping with Connor.
One fine day when everything comes together there is an incident and the secret is out and there are more than one casualty.
The book overall is good. I liked the book more than Pretty Little Lies. But the same writing structure in the two books has made me feel like I will not be reading Liane Moriarty’s other books anytime soon. It is like reading Nicholas Sparks or Danielle Steel novels that center in the same manner. A so so book to read. It is all the same with few (3) stories intertwined and one big climax and story ends.
What I liked about was the end of the book where the author mentions all the secrets that the characters will never know. Also how Janie’s death was only partial murder the real reason is revealed. I like how she mentions there are secrets that we will never know.