REVIEW: Nine Perfect Strangers

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One difficult thing about a reading slump is that it is incredibly difficult to write reviews. Writing a review is sometimes a difficult task, even in the best of circumstances. It takes a while to get your thoughts in order, to find the right way to explain how a book spoke to you (or didn’t). So when reading itself becomes hard, writing reviews gets nearly impossible. Which is why there are several books that I have read this year which may not get reviews up until whenever I end up re-reading them down the road. It’s not that I didn’t like them or didn’t connect with them. It’s because the reading slump has made my brain too fuzzy to remember enough details to give them justice, other than to say yes, they were good, or no, they weren’t. Long story short (or short story long), I am skipping over a bunch of books to some of my more current reads in an attempt to get my reviewing mojo back. Let’s see how it works!

About the Book

Nine Perfect StrangersTitle: Nine Perfect Strangers

Author: Liane Moriarty

Series: none

Genre: Contemporary Mystery

Pages: 453

Dates Read: September 10-14, 2021

Edition Read: Kindle eBook

Blurb: 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.

Review

I’ll be honest – I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I expected to. It’s not the usual thing that I read, which is a lot of genre fiction. But another fun thing about reading slumps is that it is really hard to try and pick another book to read after you finally finish one. That TBR list starts to look really intimidating, you know? After a while cruising through Facebook, I kept seeing ads for a new series on Hulu, claiming to be based on a popular book. The ads seemed intriguing (and I love Melissa McCarthy) so I figured I’d give it a go.

As I said, I really enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because I’m so stressed out right now – I would LOVE to be locked up in a mysterious spa resort! And it doesn’t seem creepy at first. A bit over the top, with the days of silence and the prohibition on certain items being brought in (and confiscated if found during a luggage search), but as the novel went on, it did seem to have a darker side that left me wondering what was truly going on at this place. But the main showcase of this novel is not the spa, but the characters. You get POV chapters from all of them, pretty much, and getting to know them and seeing how these strangers interact with each other, both in mundane circumstances and in a time of crisis, was really well thought out and really well written. It’s a fascinating character study.

I can’t give away too much because I can’t spoil it, but I did feel like the ending sort of . . . fizzled out. The build up was really good and then . . . eh. It’s the only reason I am giving this four stars instead of five. I expected something more to happen than what actually did (although the Hulu show may change that – I’m seeing stuff in their ads that definitely wasn’t in the book). Still, this is an enjoyable read and I am very glad I read it. The change of pace helped a bit in breaking out of the reading slump cycle.

GoodReads rating: 4 stars



Categories: Books I've Read

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. I only read the book because the Hulu miniseries was coming. I had the book quite a while before I got around to it. I didn’t like the book as much as the miniseries. The actors made it for me. And yes, the ending in the film was better!

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