Nine Perfect Strangers Review
I'm a huge fan of Liane Moriarty's, anything she releases I almost instantly get my hands on it. Often times, when people ask me for book recommendations an easy reply is "anything by Moriarty." But that's a reply I've edited after reading Nine Perfect Strangers.
Nine people check into a health resort for a ten day transformation. Some are there to lose weight, escape reality, or for something they aren't ready to admit to themselves. Expecting ten days of pampering, meditation, and meals overflowing with super foods, these nine strangers are in for a ride they most certainly didn't sign up for. Read a full summary here.
Now, if you've read Moriarty before, you know she loves a good character twist. But this one got...weird. I love the idea of a health retreat gone wrong, I just wasn't expecting it to go from self-improvement to psychological thriller. (If that's what you want to call it, the suspense is lacking.)
Instead of nine, you're introduced to 11 characters and story lines with pretty in-depth back stories, causing the pace to slow, unlike her other novels. While back stories are a critical piece of character development, they went on a bit long and felt scattered in the long run. You learn each character is dealing with their own struggles that brought them to the spa: body image issues, grief, marital problems, and aging, among others, but you never reach a character arc because they're left unsolved.
That's my main issue with this novel, there was no character development and at by the end I still felt as if they were perfect strangers.
If you've read my other book reviews, you know I crave content with a variety of characters from different cultures or backgrounds. With nine strangers with different issues, ethnicities, and sexualities, I had high expectations for representation. Unfortunately, it all fell flat.
I'm not left with much to say about Moriarty's latest. When I've been asked what I thought about it, I shrug and say it isn't her best. As always, I'll leave you to form your own opinion.
In other Moriarty news, season two of Big Little Lies just started on HBO. Season one ended where the book did and I'm excited to see the show continue the story line. While Moriarty didn't write a sequel to the book, she did write season two along with David E. Kelly. You can watch Big Little Lies Sunday nights on HBO.
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