Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn
Genre: Adult Mystery
Publication date: May 24th 2012
by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Marriage can be a real killer.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

-This novel was listened to via audiobook-
This is probably one of the hardest reviews to write because starting half way–when the story “really” starts, when things get going–is where we begin to get twists that completely change the whole story. Thus, this needs to be kept vague for fear of revealing anything. I can say, however, that this story both enraptured me, making me a huge fan of this author, and at the same time I want it to burn in the deepest fires of hell. I’m being completely honest! This book needs to die, while I pet it lovingly.

Nick and Amy have the perfect marriage. They love each other and everything is all going great until one day Nick gets home to a wrecked living room, and a missing wife. The first half of the book concentrates mostly on this fact. Amy is missing, there are some strange men hovering around town, bizarre circumstances surrounding everything, and of course Nick is a suspect like husbands always are in these situations. We get a lot of investigative mumbo jumbo done while we learn what kind of life they were living. We also get plenty of intel into their lives, established mostly through Amy’s perspective which consists of diary entries starting years before, leading up to the present day. Both perspectives are so compelling and distinct. I could truly get into both sides of their relationship and understand how one person saw an event, while the other saw it completely differently. It was fascinating and so well done, also extremely realistic for the average couple. It’s fantastically interesting to get both motives, both reactions to the same thing. You get to be inside each characters’ heads until you understand both of them–but then, who do you trust? This leads me to the second half of the story.

The second part is filled with secrets, lies, deceit, when you see everything unraveling in a much different direction than you’re expecting. Things come at you suddenly, and completely changes the way you look at a certain character–more than once. I was so torn most of the time, not really knowing whose side I was on anymore. Wanting to believe one thing but not knowing if it was only wishful thinking. The thought and planning that went into creating such a complex tale is exquisite and masterful. I was cringing at every turn for what would happen next, but I devoured it greedily. It is a very long book and some parts I found slow moving, but I greatly enjoyed every minute of it. The writing is rich and so… powerful, yet elegant.

…Except maybe the ending. Don’t get me wrong, though, the ending is both shocking and heartbreaking, realistic, but I promise you, it WILL PISS YOU OFF! Although, I also secretly loved it. I think. Maybe. It’s the type of ending to a story that will leave you thinking about it for days, weeks, months. Wishing. Hoping. Burning your temper. I will likely never forget what I read in this book. And what’s even more thought provoking, is how this is not inconceivable. This whole messed up psycho story could be seen in the news in our day and age.

A masterfully woven tale of love, lies, and betrayal, Gone Girl is one read I highly recommend for fans of thrillers, mysteries, and all around effed up shit. For those who enjoy audiobooks also, I have to applaud the narrators they were both very talented and perfect for the characters. 

4 Hot Espressos


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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41 Responses to “Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn”

  1. Book Bunny

    I love this book so much too! One of my all time favourites. I thought the end was fantastic! I’m thinking of buying the audiobook version too but at the moment the price is a bit too high..

  2. Nick

    Great review, Giselle. I’ve seen this book around and I’ve heard about how compelling this book. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the book too. I’m very intrigued by the characters. I need to check it soon since you mentioned the ending and how it will piss readers off.

  3. Amy

    This book sounds amazing! It really seems like a book that will bring out my emotions and really make a lasting impression. I have been wanting to read this, but now, I am sure I will pick it up. It seems this is a must read. Fab review sugarplum!!

  4. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    OMG! This sounds so good! I love how the second half sounds so twisted and makes you think about everything and everyone differently. I really need to get to this one soon, I’ve had it since Christmas and it’s been staring at me from my shelf taunting me. Noe even more so!

  5. Aa'Ishah

    I keep seeing this one, and it looks so good! I love how it gets you questioning everything, and it looks to be really thought-provoking and engaging. Now I’m curious about the ending as well! Wonderful review, Giselle. 🙂

  6. Annette

    I was initially very TICKED at the ending, but after mulling it over (for days, as you mentioned) I thought it was brilliant. I don’t think it should have ended any other way….although I still cringe a bit…

  7. Sarah Elizabeth

    I’ve seen this about but couldn’t decide if I wanted to read it or not, if the ending is going to p*ss me off I probably shouldn’t read it though! 🙂

  8. Alexa Y.

    This has been getting so much hype, so I’m a bit nervous about actually starting it. But I’m very, very curious to find out all the twists and turns in their story!

  9. Vi Nguyen

    I have been wanting to read this for the longest time and from what you’re saying, I wanna read it even more. I like a story that will shock you and make you hate it, in a good way. I def need something different to read as most books nowadays tend to blend together. Great review!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  10. Molli Moran

    After having heard SO much about this one, it’s always interesting to read a thorough review. You start to wonder how true all the hype and buzz ARE. That said, I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Giselle! I really like that we learn about Amy from journal entries and such. I love it when an author is able to tell us about a character without really TELLING, but using other characters a device through which we learn about him/her – the journal and such in this case. And I like that you’re still thinking about this one. That’s a good sign, I hope!

  11. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    Ooohhhhhhhhh you made me really want to pic this up soon! It’s been sitting on my shelf for awhile. I love crazy mysteries that just completely shock you. Although I am now extremely worried about the ending! I love getting both perspectives and I think using Amy’s diary entries is a great idea. To see both sides of the marriage. I am dying to find out who to trust, who is lying, and what really happened to her?!?!

  12. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Even though I heard a ton of great things from my friends about this book, it just didn’t call to me. Still, I wanted to know what it was about so I read a *very* thorough review and, dang, if I’d read the whole book and come to that ending, you can be sure I’d throw the book across the room. Possibly the fireplace. GAH!! Glad you enjoyed it, though. 🙂

  13. Lauren

    “This book needs to die, while I pet it lovingly.” <— this made me smile big time. Everyone has such strong reactions to this book; I really need to read it! I'm amazed I haven't figured out the twist yet, and I sincerely thank you for keeping your review spoiler free. You make the story sound unmissable—thrilling and infuriating and shocking and a little messed up. It's amazing how this book screws with people's loyalties and emotions. I'm even more excited to read it now. Wonderful review! 🙂

  14. Jasprit

    Giselle you nailed just how well done this book was in your review. I wasn’t completely expecting the second half at all, it was such a sucker punch! And that ending, I know what you mean, I wanted to throw my book away, but it was one of the most powerful endings I have come across in a long time. I remember I couldn’t stop talking about this book weeks afterwards! I will definitely be checking out more of Flynn’s books asap! Lovely review hun! 🙂

  15. Jasprit

    Giselle this review is fantastic, wasn’t this book just great? I so wasn’t expecting the second half of the book, it was a complete sucker punch! But that ending, gosh, it made me want to throw my book across the room, but it was also one of the most powerful endings ever, it certainly had me non stop talking about this book for weeks afterwards! Lovely review hun! 🙂

  16. Candace

    I have heard this is a crazy ride and full of twists and turns. I’m really wanting to read it as I’m dying to know everything!

  17. Renae M.

    Haha, Giselle! It does seem like most people have a mixed reaction similar to yours—they can’t help liking it but there were things they hated. This book has gotten a ton of attention, though, and I’m honestly interested to read it (though the big twists have been spoiled for me).

  18. Eileen

    OMG! Giselle you write the funniest, thought-provoking reviews. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.

    Anyway, I can also totally see you hugging Gone Girl right before slashing a knife through the cover lol. That first paragraph just has me hooked on that mental image. It seems like you were really battling with different feels through this one BUT I’m glad that the second part was super insane and just the entire thing too!

    AND A PISSY OFFY ENDING? YOU HAD ME AT PISS. (That sounded weird. You know what I mean. I think….)

  19. Katrina (athousand-lives)

    Ohmygod I know! I both loved and hated, but lets be honest, LOVED, this book. I was really confused at why this was such a popular book since like you said, the first part of the novel, while very good, wasn’t exactly the most amazing thing ever. Then the second part came… I swear my mouth was hanging open for about 100pgs and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to read faster or just stop for a second because my brain needs to breathe. I feel really bad because I have heard of one person who DNFed it before he got to the second part, I think. And its hard to try and convince him to continue because you dont want to reveal anything at all. I couldn’t help but pity him. He doesn’t even realize what he’s missing.

    I know exactly what you mean about the ending. It’s a really screwed up ending but I’m really happy with it. They’re meant to be together and no matter how fucked up they were together, they were kinda cute. In that fucked up way, of course. I’m terrified for that baby though…

  20. Jennifer Bielman

    AHHH, this sounds so cool. I love a good mystery with lies and secrets. But the ending…that scares me. Endings can easily piss me off. I think as I read I build these expectations and if a book doesn’t end to my satisfaction, I want to throw a hissy fit. But I am still intrigued by this one even if it will give me a aneurysm by the end. hehe.

  21. Shannelle Chua

    Your blog layout is amazing. So I was wondering how you managed to make the book cover look like that?

    I also want to laugh a little (sorry!) about your feelings for the book. It must be quite frustrating to both like it and dislike it. I think I felt that way with The Fault in Our Stars, though not for the whole book. Just the ending. I wanted MORE (my need for more is so great it needs to be capitalized).

  22. russell1200

    Without adding teasers…

    The book is at one level satire. At the start, when the talk is about how the town has collapsed because of the closing of the Megamall, or latter on the desperate straights of a tourist trap, it is obvious there is a second level to this story. Within that context the ending of the story fits very well.

    What is amazing is that you have all these elements of over the top satire, but the delivery is so smooth, that few even comment on them.

    A great book!

  23. Jamie

    OMG GISELLE! Way to make me remember how much I still need to read this book! I love a crazy ending soooo YAY and from what I hear this book is CRAY altogether. I love books like that! lol I appreciate how you wrote this review so that I still don’t have any clue as to what the big twists and such are. Must get this out at the library so I can see what you and so many others have raved about!

  24. Smash Attack!

    Wow. Just…wow. Your first paragraph of this review made me even more excited to read this. I received recently as a gift and I know I am going to love mindf*ck aspect of the story…it sounds like one that will stay with you!

  25. Lena

    This book sounds crazy but really interesting! I like books that give you lots to think about after you finish it.
    I have to go get a copy of this book!

  26. kit

    Great review! I really enjoyed Gone Girl – even though I knew there had to be a twist coming, it still shocked me when it did come, and that point at which the whole story flips was really well done. I felt a bit disengaged in the last part, but not enough to really affect how I felt about the book as a whole – totally gripping.