Post by wesleycrusher on Dec 19, 2019 16:19:36 GMT -5
1. Initial impression: how intriguing did you find this health spa setting? 2. Did you in any way anticipate the plot twist? 3. Speaking of the plot turn, what are your thoughts? How did this contribute to the novel as a whole? 4. Which guest of the spa did you most connect with? 5. Predict the future for Frances and Smiley (Tony). Explain your reasoning. 6. What would you do if you found yourself in the shoes of the guests when locked in the room? How would you respond after finally being released from the room? 7. Do you think this scenario is in any way realistic? 8. Masha’s character development. Was it plausible? Was it respectable?
Post by wesleycrusher on Dec 19, 2019 16:30:15 GMT -5
I read it a few months ago, so can't remember all the details. This isn't a book I would have picked up on my own. I did like the health spa setting but it makes me frustrated that all these people shell out $$ for the spa and then try to sneak stuff in. Why? You signed up for it! I thought it was obvious that they were being drugged in their food, which I thought would be the twist, but I didn't anticipate them being locked in the room.
I also would not have picked up this book without the book club reading it. In fact, I was not looking forward to reading the book after seeing all the negative reviews. I rated this book 2* (rounded up from 1.5*). I enjoyed the first part of the book. I thought the health spa aspect of the book had a lot of potential for a good story, which is largely why I enjoyed the first part of the book, but the book failed to live up to its potential.
I knew that there was going to be something up with the woman that ran the spa, but I didn't expect for her to go full on crazy by the end. The story just kept getting more and more crazy and more and more unbelievable. The book completely lost my attention by the end.
Post by expectantsteelerfan on Dec 19, 2019 20:47:54 GMT -5
My IRL book club read this back in August. I enjoyed it more than most of the other people. I'm a Liane Moriarty fan, and I expected the plot lines to be a bit out there. I didn't like this one as much as some of her other books, but I understand why many people weren't happy with it. I loved Masha up until the end. I could see her having to reinvent herself again after what happened, but I vaguely recall not being happy with what she ended up doing, but I can't remember now what it was. The drugs plotline seemed current to me, as I read this right after binging Homecoming. But honestly, I kept thinking that if people really were desperate enough for to feel better that they were going to a health spa, they'd probably have been on-board with the drugs if they were upfront about them (except for the people who were anti-drug).
I gave it four stars at the time of reading, bolstered by the page turning aspect of the book, though I didn’t love it. Aside from the family of the boy who committed suicide, the other people seemed somewhat insufferable, and it’s hard to root for that. (That the boy and girl were twins was tough and compelling to me, and how awful that they were each torn up with guilt.) I’m not sure there was a ton of character growth by anyone, the materialistic one remained so, the father of the boy who committed suicide remained basically unchanged, etc. Masha’s “growth” from her decade old near death experience, at least as detailed in the encounter told here, seemed more cancerous than positive. She was unhinged, of course with the LSD and immobilizing her staff, and why was she on day four of a fast when she had paying clients? I’m not really sure what her endgame was. If it was to get all these rave online reviews, you would have thought she would have been more careful. From an informed consent/legal perspective, I’d be livid about being slipped LSD or believing myself near death with a “fake” fire.
As much as the focus of the whole retreat was supposed to be on the inner beauty/strength/resolve, I was somewhat bothered how there was still so much focus on the exterior - by Marsha, the plastic surgery fan lottery winner, the single mom, even the writer initially looking down on the potbellied former athlete yet her finding him more attractive at the end when he was in better physical shape. That aspect seemed kind of icky.