Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Book Review)

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

What It’s About:

On the morning of Nick Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, his wife Amy goes missing. The police immediately suspect Nick. The mystery unravels as we get to know Nick in present time throughout the investigation and Amy through her past diary entries.

My Thoughts:

This isn’t normally the type of novel that I read. I’m always reading Stephen King (or Dean Koontz when I need something lighter than King) or the tons of quite good young adult fiction that’s floating around these days. But sometimes I grab one of these best seller types for proper “adults”. I really did enjoy the story in this book and would possibly read one of Flynn’s other books in the future (after Doctor Sleep, of course).

This book is pretty much impossible to talk about without spoiling the entire story so I’ll have to focus more on the characters. It’s definitely the story that had me hooked. I always prefer when the main characters are likeable in books and in Gone Girl they definitely aren’t. Nick & Amy got on my nerves. They’re both writers (absolutely nothing wrong with writers! I’d love to be able to be a writer!). But sometimes I find this a little annoying in books. I know you often “write what you know” so that’s why books so often feature writers (hell, King is the worst for this & I love his stuff). Nick & Amy are both a little pretentious & totally selfish and the things they do and the way they act just didn’t feel very realistic. The way they bicker is more like a couple who has been together for YEARS & maybe had kids and all that – it’s hard to believe a marriage is so awful after only five years but, then again, they both seem like extremely hard people to live with. Amy’s parents are odd, her ex-boyfriend is weird, and past situations involving Amy are too far-fetched. For a smart guy, Nick is a dope who does some idiotic things. The best character is Nick’s twin sister – she provides some laughs. And the main investigator is okay. But none of the characters in the book felt “real” to me, even though they were very well written. Gillian Flynn does do a great job fleshing them out & I felt I knew them very well by the end of the book – I just didn’t “like” them.

The story, however, is great. Lots of twists & turns that constantly keep you guessing. I take ages to get through a book but I finished this one pretty quick as I wanted to know what would happen. I liked how the story is told from two sides (Nick’s story as it happens & Amy’s story through her diary). It was an interesting way to get to know the characters. Unfortunately, the first half of the book was better than the second half and the story does fall apart a bit. Then… The ending. I won’t say a word but that must have divided people. I wasn’t crazy about it but it sort of makes sense. It will be interesting to see what they do with the movie. It could make a very good movie if done right. It’s being made by David Fincher so it has potential. However, it’s also starring Ben Affleck so… Maybe not. SO wrong for the part of Nick! Rosamund Pike doesn’t seem a bad choice for Amy, though, so we shall see. Oh, and Doogie Howser is in it, too.

Summary:

Gone Girl is an exciting psychological thriller that constantly keeps you guessing with its twists & turns. Flynn has written a very entertaining story that seems destined for the big screen so I’m not surprised that we’ll be seeing the film soon. The main characters, although unlikeable and almost impossible to relate to, are richly developed & very complex and you’ll feel like you know them by the end of the book. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a thriller with a good mystery you won’t have completely figured out by the second page.

My Rating: 3.5/5

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Stuck In Love (2012) Review

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Stuck In Love (2012), aka Writers (Canada), aka A Place For Me (Australia)

Directed by Josh Boone

Starring:
Jennifer Connelly
Greg Kinnear
Lily Collins & her eyebrows
Logan Lerman
Kristen Bell
Liana Liberato
Nat Wolff

Plot Synopsis:
A family of mostly writers (author Greg Kinnear, ex-wife Jennifer Connelly, and their children Lily Collins & Nat Wolff) are affected by the highs & lows of life and love in various ways.

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My Opinion:

I’d never heard of this film when I went to it early one day recently (Didn’t know it was a senior citizen showing. That was awesome. It was so quiet and I haven’t felt so young in a long time!). Apparently it came out in Canada in 2012 under the title Writers? Then the US in July and finally the UK now on what appeared to be a very limited release.

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Anyway – I quite liked this film. Not sure why it got no attention. I always find “authors” interesting as I’d love to be one (but would have to actually have any sort of writing ability in the first place).

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Greg Kinnear is the father and the author of a well respected book. His marriage to Jennifer Connelly fell apart a few years ago but he wants her back & still sets a place for her at the Thanksgiving table every year despite the fact that she has re-married. He pushes his children (maybe a little too hard) to be writers as well. The daughter (Lily Collins) is just about to have her first book published. She’s very bitter & has no interest in anything other than casual relationships after watching her parents’ marriage fall apart (which she blames entirely on her mother & is punishing her by no longer talking to her). The son (Nat Wolff) is a sensitive teenager obsessed with Stephen King and desperate for a girlfriend. I loved the Stephen King thing here as I love his stuff – it’s an added little treat for King fans.

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To be honest, this story is pretty predictable every step of the way. There’s nothing exactly new or original here. But it works. Sometimes films like these work as long as you buy into the characters and care about what happens to them. I’d definitely recommend it as a nice weekend afternoon film. Logan Lerman is in this as a boy trying to win the affection of icy Lily Collins. I’ve loved him ever since The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and he’s totally loveable here too. Lily Collins is fine and the movie is good enough that I wasn’t at all distracted by her eyebrows. I loved the sad story of Kinnear’s & Connelly’s marriage, where all isn’t as it seems. And the son’s story is very predictable but he’s so likeable that you really want the best for him. The only annoying character in the film is Kristen Bell (but I always find her annoying). Her character does have a purpose, though.

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So…. I liked this. No complaints. I recommend it to anyone who thinks it sounds like their type of thing. Good human stories about characters that feel very real.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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