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Book Review: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Little Bee: A Novel

How do I write a review of a book that specifically says on the back: "Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds." So I can't tell you what happens. And I'm glad that I hadn't seen anything about the plot before I read it. Let's just say it's about a Nigerian girl and an American couple who met on a beach in Nigeria, and then are brought together again two years later.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave is the book I read during my first readathon last weekend. So I read it in one day, relatively quickly. The story certainly kept me interested and wanting to know what would happen next. The characters are well developed, which is something that is very important to me. I enjoyed the writing style. The storyline is unique and moving. It definitely made me think, and it includes several topic areas that I expect will keep the discussion going when my book club meets next week to talk about it.

I highly recommend Little Bee, although I think it's another example of a book that's been hyped up so much it could be disappointing to some.

My rating: 4.5/5

Reading group guide and discussion questions for Little Bee

This review was written based on a copy of Little Bee that I acquired through


  1. I've been told I need to read this book, so thanks for not telling me what happens! :)

  2. I've been wanting to read this book and bought it for my mom for mother's day this year...but I have heard mixed reviews and they all come down to the same thing - your last line. The hype over the surprise twists you mention led some people to feel it was over-hyped and they were disappointed. I'm glad to hear you liked it. It's still on my list!


  3. This book has been on my shelves for quite a while. And only recently have I begun to come across reviews saying it doesn't live up to the hype. But I won't let that influence me. I'm still going to read it. Thanks for a thoughtful review.

  4. Julie, I had to come search to read your review as I finished this book today. It came down to exactly what Sue said, that last line of yours. I loved the writing - the story was strong as were the characters, but the hype was too much. Life-changing and inspiring and so on? Not happening for me with this book. I'm glad I read it, but I definitely didn't find it the best thing I've ever read. Thanks for the review and giving me somewhere to go talk about it! ;)

    1. Thanks for coming back and commenting now that you've read it. I think this is the issue with many books, unfortunately. They get so hyped up that even though they're good, they just don't live up to the hype. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part!


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