Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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Release date: May 24, 2012

Publisher: Broadway Books

Genre: Fiction/Thriller

Premise: 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. 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?

Thoughts + Feelings: I did it. I finally freaking did it. I finished Gone GirlI went into Gone Girl with way too high of expectations. Everyone, everywhere, told me how incredible of a book it was, so my expectations were through the roof.

I’d like to clarify: I really enjoyed this book. I was expecting a fast-paced thriller mystery novel, but what I found was a slow-burning psychological thriller.

Amy Dunne. Amazing Amy. She is such a unique character. Portrayed in one sense, and they portrayed at the same time from a completely different perspective. Gillian Flynn is an incredible writer and artistic soul. There are so many twists and turns; complicated characters with bold, outrageous story lines. You find yourself rooting for Amy and Nick. After all, it’s their fifth wedding anniversary and they are going through some hard times. You make guess after guess of what you think is going to happen next… and guess what… you are wrong.

I’m going to be honest – I hated the ending to this book. My initial reaction to this book was “WTF?!?!”  It fit the bill of what looked like was supposed to happen, but I wanted so much more for the characters. They’re crazy. Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne are absolutely maniacs. They ultimately deserve each other, which is sick and twisted. I have such conflicting feelings about Gone Girl. I wanted to love it like all of my friends, but I am just struggling to love it. The writing was dark and twisted – I love myself some dark & twisted. But this took it to a whole separate level.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Top Ten Tuesday: Books By My Favorite Author That I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is all about the authors you love and the books of theirs you still want to read.

This is a post dedicated to my favorite author: Jodi Picoult.

Back in high school, while I was searching for friends, we found common ground in Jodi’s writing. We had a summer book club where we read her novels and came together to “discuss” them, but honestly we just hung out. I have such fond memories of reading her work. I set off to collect and devour each of her novels. Along the way, I somehow managed to not finish my collection. I am most proud of my Jodi Picoult collection, although they are very heavy and I complain every time I have to move. I have just a few of them left to find and finish. I look forward to each of her new novels that comes out.

Harvesting the Heart
Off the Page
Over The Moon
Wonder Woman
Perfect Match
Salem Falls
A Spark of Light*

*Coming Soon – Release on October 2, 2018

My two favorite novels are Nineteen Minutes and The Storyteller.

I love her writing because it feels so real. You take situations that are going on in today’s world and formulate them into a novel that makes you feel like you are in the character’s shoes. There is something so moving about how she transports you into the stories of her characters and how she brings the now into fictional books.

I own 20 Jodi Picoult books… Some may say too many, but others (I would guess most of you) would say it’s not enough! What is your #1 collection of books? 

 

 

 

It’s Monday, what are you reading? #16

L’Shana Tova! (Happy New Year!) Each Jewish New Year I think about resetting my new years resolutions – this year I am not doing that. I just plan on pushing through and succeeding in my finishing goal of reading 52 books in the year. I have a feeling that the 5779 will be the best one yet.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? which is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I Read Last Week:

I hit the ground running this week!! I was able to finish both of my books that were due back at the library by their due dates. I definitely sped up the audio version of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but ultimately… I finished it. It looks like this was a week of memoirs. I had never read Night before – and honestly I was blown away by Elie Wiesel’s account of his experience in the concentration camps.

What I Am Reading This Week:

You know… Gone Girl has been appearing on my ‘What I am Reading This Week’ for the last several weeks. I just haven’t gotten far into it because of the library loan deadlines. At the same time, I plan on reading Final Notice by Van Fleisher so that I can stop the email notifications for a review. I don’t know when/how I was signed up to receive this book, but I am emailed every single day asking when I will be done with the book. SOS.

Challenge Updates:

Goodreads Challenge: 44/52 books completed (85%)

Around the Year in 52 Books: 29/52 books completed (56%)

A-Z: 15/26 books completed (57.7%)

Book Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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Release date: March 31, 2015

Publisher: Penguin Books

Genre: Fiction/Contemporary

Premise: Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

Thoughts + Feelings: I am a huge fan of Jojo Moyes. I think that she is such a talented writer. Her novels are easy to read. Her characters are enjoyable to listen too. I know that I’ve only read four of her eleven novels, but she is an author that I continue to go back to.

One Plus One was a good book. It was cute and well-written. If you are looking for a romantic, comedic, simple novel – this is a good one for you. It’s a wonderful summer read if you find yourself sitting outside by the pool soaking up the last bits of sun before fall hits. You’re likely to do nothing other than read this book from the first page to the last. But I want to reiterate, it’s just a good book (it’s not another Me Before You!). The reason I want to say it’s a good book is because there is not absolutely special about it that would cause me to say ‘oh my this is the best book ever!!’

With just a handful of quirky characters, you find yourself loving bits of each of them (except that stinker of a husband). The best word to describe Jess Thomas is that she’s an optimist. She is left with two children, Tanzie and Nicky, when her husband abandons them to go learn to take care of himself. They can never seem to pay their bills on time; she works endlessly to make money to support herself and the children. Jess never takes time for herself, but she loves her life and the kids.

Tanzie is offered the opportunity to participate in the Math Olympiad where she can win enough money to pay for her tuition at a private school where she can focus on her math. Through a lot of chaos, Jess, Tanzie and Nicky end up in a beautiful Audi driven by Ed.

The book shows the beauty of friendship and being true to yourself, while also looking at the plain old crazy things that can happen in life.

“You know, you spend your whole life feeling like you don’t quite fit in anywhere. And then you walk into a room one day, whether it’s at university or an office or some kind of club, and you just go, ‘Ah. There they are.’ And suddenly you feel at home.”

I enjoyed Nicky’s storyline the most. He’s a kid who feels as if he doesn’t fit in at home or in school. He’s often bullied and physically beat up. Kids torment him on the internet. You start to see an incredible development in Nicky throughout the novel as he speaks with Ed, and looks at the new dimensions of his family. I think a story where you realize that you are happy with the cards you are dealt in life is important to have; instead of only looking at the negatives in his life, Nicky is able to revamp his thoughts and feelings about life in general.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Top Ten Bingeworthy TV Shows

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week is a topic near and dear to my heart…. BINGEWORTHY TELEVISION SHOWS!

There was a time in college when all I did was go to class and watch Netflix. Honestly, that was the better part of my 3.5 years at Florida State. I loved binge watching Netflix and adding to my list of completed shows. I just felt like I was accomplishing so much when I finished a show. My list of completed shows runs on + on – It may be one of my greatest accomplishments. Below is a list of ten of my favorite bingeworthy shows that I watched on Netflix. Have you watched any of them?

Weeds

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Criminal Minds

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Prison Break

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Gilmore Girls

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Blue Mountain State

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One Tree Hill

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Parks and Recreation

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The West Wing

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Desperate Housewives

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Did you go through a binge-watching phase at any point in your life? How deep into the binge did you get?

 

It’s Monday, what are you reading? #15

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope everyone in the U.S. was able to enjoy their long weekend. I was lucky enough to be able to skip town for the weekend and head to TN for a relaxing weekend at the cabin. It involved hiking, mini-golfing and lots of delicious southern style cooking.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? which is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I read last week:

Honestly, “last week’s reading” was actually completed today – but it was written pre-blog post, so I am counting it! I forgot to bring my copy of Gone Girl with me on the road trip, so instead I hopped into One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. I am such a fan of her writing style, so this was a very cute and easy car read.

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What I am reading this week:

This week I am going to finish listening to I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I am about halfway through the audiobook and it expires in 4 days (!!) I imagine that I’ll be listening on my metro rides to/from work and maybe even throughout the day. I’m also planning on reading Night by Elie Weisel since it is downloaded to my kindle and it expires on the 9th! I have not yet finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but I own it – so it’s bumped down the list until I finish the books from the library.

CHALLENGE UPDATES:

Goodreads Challenge: 42/52 books completed (81%)

Around the Year in 52 Books: 27/52 books completed (52%) –>   8 books behind schedule

A-Z: 15/26 books completed (57.7%)