Classic Couple

A Classic Couple: The Woman in White and Gone Girl

What could a classic novel that was initially serialized in the nineteenth century and a recent bestseller that became a successful movie on the big screen possibly have in common? A lot, actually. Though Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl were published over a century apart, they are nevertheless linked in numerous ways.

Genre || The first similarity is probably the most obvious one; however, I think it’s still worth mentioning because it shows the great influence that The Woman in White has had on literature over time. These thrilling, suspenseful mystery novels have been popular with audiences for centuries, especially with their sensationalism and emphasis on domestic scandals.

Narration || Both of these books have multiple narrators, many of which are unreliable. Though most of the narrators of The Woman in White go out of their way to establish their credibility at the beginning of their accounts, we cannot rule out the fact that they may still be biased in their storytelling. As we read Gone Girl we learn to be on guard when Amy is narrating (her charming diary isn’t quite what it seems). Speaking of Amy’s diary, both of these novels incorporate written records as forms of narration. Not only does this add intrigue to the story and depth to the characters, but it also makes for a more interesting reading experience as different writing styles and voices are used for each narrator.

Duality || I love when books focus on dualities because the possibilities are endless. I don’t want to give away any important details of either book; however, I will say that both authors play with the idea of dual personalities, personas, identities, morals, and meanings. We see the struggle between the perceived and the actual; in other words, what others believe in contrast to what we truly are in actuality. Watching these duos unfold is always fascinating!

Explanations || Plots of mystery novels—especially great ones—can quickly become complicated and difficult to follow. Fortunately, both of these books clearly explain to the reader what has happened and how all of the details are interconnected in a cleverly crafted web. By the end of the novel you know exactly what occurred and why, which I always appreciate. Being left hanging at the end of a standalone can be incredibly frustrating!

Considering parallels like these between books can breathe new life into what we read. Though I didn’t love Gone Girl when I first read it, finding elements that it shares with The Woman in White has allowed me to appreciate it a bit more.

What do you think of this classic couple? What other books would you pair with The Woman in WhiteWhat are your thoughts on either or both of these books? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Pair with Classics

Happy Tuesday!! August is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start thinking about going back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is back-to-school themed, which means I’ve decided to focus on classic literature. Classics definitely get a bad reputation from required reading lists in classrooms; however, I think looking at parallels between classic and contemporary literature help demonstrates how books from the past influence what we read and write in the present. Here are ten classic couples to check out!

I’m thinking of starting a series of posts in which I go into more detail about some of these pairs. There are so many parallels between classic and contemporary literature!

What books would you pair with some of your favorite classics? What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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School Book Tag

Today I’m here with the School Book Tag! (It might be Friday, but you can bet that I’ll be doing homework all weekend.) I’ve always been one of those students who loves school, despite the fact that I often complain about homework and actually didn’t like my high school very much. I loved school because I love learning, even though the system of doing so isn’t always effectively designed or executed.

Anyways, you can imagine how excited I was when I realized this book tag exists. Thanks so much to Jamie @ Book Pandamonium for tagging me!!

1. Math- Which book left your head spinning in circles?

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Not only is this book complicated and a bit confusing, but the plot itself is cyclical in the way it loops back and around through history and the main character’s past. There are so many alternative story lines that it can be rather difficult to keep a tight hold on the actual truth– if an actual truth even exists in this novel. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it!

2. English- Which book do you think has beautiful written expression?

Because I’m a sucker for beautiful writing, there are countless books that I could highlight here. Recently I read George Watsky’s How to Ruin Everything and was taken aback by the writing style. Sometimes lyrical, sometimes punchy, this collection of essays carries the undeniable mark of an articulate spoken word artist and rapper.

3. Physics- Who is your favorite scientifically minded character?

Definitely mathematician Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. He’s smart, he’s funny, and his refreshing common sense is the only ray of light amidst many of the impulsive, money-hungry characters. (Besides, he’s played by Jeff Goldblum in the film– he gets instant bonus points for that!).

4. Chemistry- Who is your favorite literary couple?

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Taylor and Jonah from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta are my favorite literary couple ever. I feel like I mention this book in nearly every book tag I post, but I’m not apologizing! (It’s a sign that you should probably read it ASAP!)

5. Biology- Who is your favorite book character?

My favorite book character… ever?!?! I don’t know if I can pick a definitive single favorite character, but the first one that comes to mind is Jane from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Her independence, solitude, and determination are qualities that really resonate with me (I’m also quite jealous of her sense of humor and ability to come up with snappy comebacks on the spot).

6. French- What is your favorite foreign book?

Over the summer I read the English translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and unexpectedly fell in love with the ethereal writing, the sprawling narrative arc, and the endlessly cyclical nature of the plot.

7. Art- Have you ever judged a book by its cover, even if you weren’t meant to?!

Absolutely. For instance, I love the cover design of The Girls by Emma Cline, but the story itself really disappointed me. I think it had a lot of potential to be suspenseful, exciting, and eye-opening, but it simply fell flat and failed to dig below the surface of anything substantial.

8. History- What was the last historical book you read?

When Everything Changed by Gail Collins. This was actually a graduation gift from my high school AP United States History teacher and I finally got around to reading it over winter break. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for an engaging, comprehensive, and well-written account of the history of modern American women from a refreshing perspective.

9. Geography- Which literary destination would you really like to visit? 

Stepping away from the rather obvious answers (Hogwarts! The Shire!), I’m going to say Cabeswater from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This enchanting and mysterious setting has never failed to set my imagination into overdrive.

10. Drama- What’s a book that you think has a lot of over-dramatic hype?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Though I did enjoy this book, I don’t quite feel as though it warranted the explosion of praise that surrounded it at the peak of its popularity. It’s suspenseful and has some surprising twists, but I don’t think it’s anything extraordinary. #sorrynotsorry

Thanks again to Jamie for tagging me!

What do you think of the books that I’ve mentioned? What are your answers to these questions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: When Book Club Becomes Debate Club

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Happy Tuesday!! I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween if you celebrate it!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is open-ended, allowing us to choose what kinds of books we would recommend to a book club. In the frustrating, bewildering spirit of the United States presidential election, I’ve decided to go with a rather contentious theme. Without further ado, here my Top Ten Books to Read If Your Book Club Likes to Debate. In some way, shape, or form, these books have sparked debate both within and beyond the book blogging community.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger converThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Some people find this book endlessly annoying due to all of Holden’s ranting, while others appreciate it for the way it portrays adolescence and the human experience. Personally, I’m in the latter camp!

we were liars coverWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart

The main point of contention with this short, summery book tends to be the dramatic ending. Was it obvious from the very beginning or does it actually deserve praise for being a shocking twist? Once again, I tend to side with the latter opinion– I never saw it coming!

wuthering heights coverWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I had a lot of mixed feelings about this classic novel, mostly because I was very confused by the characters’ similar names. It also came across as incredibly overdramatic… am I the only one who feels this way?

gone girl coverGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This mystery novel is certainly good, but looking back I feel as though it is a bit overrated. There are so many other amazing mystery stories out there! (*cough* And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie *cough*)

anna and the french kiss coverAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I loved this book when I first read it years ago, but I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about it since then. It seems like people either really love it or have a lot of problems with the romantic relationships in it.

eat pray loveEat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Once again, I loved this book when I first read it; however, I was surprised to find that it has received a surprising number of mixed reviews. Many readers criticize Gilbert’s successful memoir for the story of a privileged, wealthy white women who travels to escape her problems. Personally, I thought it was inspiring, eye-opening, and offered a new perspective on life, happiness, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

the summer i turned pretty coverThe Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

I included this book on the list for one simple reason: sometimes it seems as though everyone loves this trilogy except for me. It wasn’t dreadful, but I disliked the main character and thought the romance was sort of lackluster overall.

allegiant coverAllegiant by Veronica Roth

Oh, the ending of this trilogy was sparked SO MUCH heated debate when it was first published. Though I understand some of the reasoning behind why it ended in the way that it did, I still don’t like it.

Great ExpectationsGreat Expectations by Charles Dickens

While reading this classic novel with my AP English class during my senior year of high school, I quickly realized that this book is pretty polarizing. My classmates tended to either empathize with Pip or think he was incredibly annoying, which made for some very interesting (and frustrating!) class discussions.

29056083Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Considering the enormous buzz surrounding this work, I think it pretty much goes without explanation. Though it saddens me to say this, I really disliked this unnecessary additional to the Harry Potter universe.

What books do you find controversial or often sparking heated discussions? What do you think of the books on my list? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Audio Books I’ve Listened To

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Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme highlights a form of reading that is often unappreciated and under-utilized: audio books. While the majority of my reading is done using physical copies of books, recently I’ve been listening to more and more audio books. They’re a great way to get some extra reading done if you have a really busy schedule because they make multitasking so easy. I love listening to audio books while working out, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc. Not only does it make me feel super productive, but it also allows me to read so much more than I otherwise would have.

To celebrate this ingenious way of reading, here are ten of the Best Audio Books I’ve Listened To, in no particular order.STILETTO-11STILETTO-12

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By far my favorite audio books are those narrated by Neil Gaiman. I love his voice so much!

What are some of your favorite audio books? What do you think of the ones on my list? Do you prefer to listen to books or physically read them? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: “Unclickable” Characters

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Some characters just aren’t meant to be your favorite fictional people. You know the characters I’m referring to- the ones that eh, you could do without. For some reason (or many reasons) you and them don’t see eye to eye. We’ve all experienced this, and it’s not a huge issue if they’re side characters. But it IS a problem when you crack open that new book you’ve been dying to read and… you and the main character just don’t click. 

This has happened to me a few times in the past, and it’s unbelievably frustrating. Books and even whole series that I otherwise would have loved have been sort of ruined by main characters that simply irked me in one way or another. In this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list, hosted by the lovely blog The Broke and the Bookish, I’ll be sharing with you the Top Ten “Unclickable” Characters. In other words, these are the characters with whom I just didn’t “click”. If you want to check out my reviews of these books, feel free to click the bold titles- they’re links!

the summer i turned pretty cover1. Belly from The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

In this book Belly is around fifteen years old, but HOLY COW is she petty! Her personality really annoyed me because she seemed very immature for a girl her age. Having been a fifteen-year-old girl once, I think it’s safe to say that most of the time they try to act more mature, not like a twelve-year-old.

Ony Everything by Kieran Scott2. Eros from Only Everything by Kieran Scott

My feeling of dislike for this character may come from the writing style of the author, but I’m including her in this list nonetheless. Here’s the thing, people: TEENAGE GIRLS DON’T ALWAYS TALK IN “HIP” SLANG OR WITH SASS AND/OR SARCASM. If Eros was a real person, she would possibly be one of the most annoying people ever.

gone girl cover3. Nick and Amy from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I didn’t like Amy for obvious reasons *cough* psychopath *cough* but I wasn’t completely supportive of Nick, either. I don’t want to spoil anything huge, but he did some pretty bad things himself that I think a lot of people blindly overlook. It’s definitely a two-way street!

please ignore vera dietz4. Vera Dietz from Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

There wasn’t anything really specific about Vera that I disliked, it was just that she was sort of… bland. I understand that she was sad and grieving and all that, but as a consequence of her blue mood she was rather difficult to relate to and like. Poor Vera and I, we just didn’t click!

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway5. Jake Barnes from The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

If you read my review of this book, then you probably already know that I have a rather rocky relationship with Hemingway’s novels. This is the second one I’ve read, and I just can’t seem to connect with the characters. Maybe that’s the point, with them being of the Lost Generation and all. Still, it would be nice to feel as though I could empathize with Jake and root for him. Instead, I found myself wondering why he doesn’t just get over Brett and move on. So… yeah. I’ll certainly keep trying, but Hemingway and I don’t really mix.

miss peregrine's home for peculiar children cover6. Emma from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Although I really enjoyed this book, I could have gone without Emma (the love interest). For some reason I felt like she was trying to be an awesome Hermione-ish character, but it just fell flat. Also, I couldn’t help feeling like there was a mission to be done and she was distracting the main character from it with her emotions. I don’t know… maybe I’m missing something? Or being too harsh? I did like her more in the second one, so at least it’s moving in the right direction!

love letters to the dead cover7. Laurel from Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Laurel was okay and I enjoyed this book when I first read it, but looking back I feel as though she was a sort of girl version of Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She was quite depressing, but least in Stephen Chbosky’s novel there are awesome side characters that make it all worth it. When reading Laurel’s letters I simply felt… sad. I guess that was the point of the book, but some positivity would be nice!

me and earl and the dying girl cover8. Greg from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

I didn’t really care for this book, and the primary reason was because of the main character, Greg. His sense of humor never really did anything for me, and I just thought he was sort of lazy and odd and awful for not wanting to spend time with a dying girl because it would be “awkward”. SHE’S DYING. GO HANG OUT WITH HER.

being henry david cover9. Hank from Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

The concept of this story is that Hank wakes up with no recollection of who he is- which is precisely why I felt barely any connection at all with this main character. And then he goes and decides to walk right into a random high school- yup, that’s a good idea! GO FIND THE POLICE.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins10. Katniss from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I know, I know- it’s Katniss!! Everyone loves her, right? WRONG. I did enjoy this series (for the most part) but Katniss and I never really saw eye to eye. She’s BA and all that, but I completely disagreed with her taste in guys. Here was Gale, a nice guy from her District willing to help her hunt and stuff, but OH NO she had to go after Peeta, who she didn’t even really like at first. It just put a sour taste in my mouth. TEAM GALE FOREVER.

What do you think of the books on my list? What characters have you not “clicked” with in the past? Let me know in the comments section below!

Happy September everyone!!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

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Tomorrow is July 1st, and you know what that means: we’re already half way through the year 2015!! This year has been flying by so far- seriously, where has the time gone? I can distinctly remember it being September of 2014 and entering my senior year of high school, and all of a sudden it’s the summer of 2015. These are crazy times we live in, people.

Anyways, the halfway mark is a great time to take a look at what you’ve read so far and appreciate the wonderful books you’ve read. Luckily, this week’s TTT allows us to do just that! Here is a list of the Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015! I’ve included links to my books reviews of these books, so just click on the titles if you’d like to check them out. They are listed in the order that I read them.

life after life cover

1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

gone girl cover

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

great expectations cover

3. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

4. The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

shadow scale cover

6. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

A Darker Shade final for Irene

7. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

8. Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

9. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Wonder Spanish Translation cover

10. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

2015 has been a year of great reading so far, and I can’t wait to see what the second half of the year holds!

What are your favorite books that you’ve read so far in 2015? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads for Different Scenarios

Top Ten Tuesday-3It’s not quite summer yet, but that’s no reason not to start thinking about those books that just scream SUN, SAND AND…. ICE CREAM? (Yes, most definitely that last one!) Everyone has their favorite type of book to read on the beach, but what if certain situations warrant certain books? Well, I’ve got you covered! Here are my Top Ten Beach Reads for Different Scenarios!

is everyone hanging out without me coverScenario #1: A Little Rest and Relaxation

You’ve just started summer vacation or have taken a few days off from work, and you desperately need a day to simply chill. This scenario calls for a fun, light read that will keep you entertained without having to work too hard. Try something like Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling- it’s sure to get you laughing and enjoying your day off!

gone girl coverScenario #2: Quick, a Distraction!

Let’s face it: some beach trips can turn sour pretty quickly. A family of seven plops their stuff down right next to you, kids are screaming and splashing a few feet away, and the couple behind you is arguing loudly for all to hear. You need an engrossing read that will distract you from the surrounding madness and keep your attention even when it seems louder than a high school study hall. Try a mystery like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn- you’ll be so glued to the page that the sun will be setting before you know it!

we were liars coverScenario #3: Short and Sweet

You’re part fish, what can you say? You’re in the water so often that your time on the sand is short and sweet. You still want to get some reading done, though, and you’re hoping to finish something by the end of the day. Try a short but gripping read like We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. The pages fly by, and you’ll have plenty of time to swim to your heart’s content!

the summer i turned pretty coverScenario #4: In Need of Nostalgia

Sometimes you simply feel like reminiscing about the good old days, and a reading a book like The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is a great way to do that. It’s bittersweet, like many memories tend to be, and it will take you right back to those hot summers on the beach when the biggest worry on your mind was what your latest crush thought of you.

eat pray loveScenario #5: Summer Blues

You thought the shining sun would be enough to cheer you up, but unfortunately it’s just not doing it for you. Perhaps you’ve recently been through a rough breakup or have been stuck in a bit of a rut for a while. Whatever the case may be, chances are a good book might help you feel at least a tad better. Try reading the inspirational and heartwarming memoir Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. She completely improved and changed her outlook on life, so what’s to say that you can’t do the same?

anna and the french kiss coverScenario #6: Forever the Romantic

You love everything sappy and sweet, and romance novels are no exception! You don’t want anything too scandalous, though (I mean, you might, but for the purpose of this list you don’t!), so an adorable YA romance would be perfect. Try Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, and I dare you to try to not fall in love with St. Clair.

all the light we cannot see coverScenario #7: Hungry for Knowledge

It’s summer, and you feel like your brain has been turned off for a solid month. Even though you’re technically on vacation at the beach (at least for a few hours) you’d still like to engage the old thinker a little bit. For a thought-provoking read that will make you question, ponder, and contemplate, try All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The beautiful writing and captivating story will sweep you away like ocean waves. (See what I did there?)

of poseidonScenario #8: A Mermaid Mood

When I was younger I always associated the water with my favorite sea creatures: mermaids, of course! If beach still makes you think of these lovely beings, then maybe a mermaid book is the way to go. Try Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. It’s a trilogy, so if you like the first book you can always go back for more!

the tragedy paperScenario #9: It’s. So. Hot.

It’s hot. REALLY hot. You weren’t expecting the sun to suddenly start blazing at one million degrees, but since when does Mother Nature actually care about what we think? Anyways, you’d like a book that will keep your mind off the heat and focused on a cooler place. For a great read that’s set in the winter months, try The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban. Just look at that snowy cover- I feel cooler already!

Jellicoe-Road-by-Melina-Marchetta_thumbScenario #10: Traditional Taste

All of these scenarios are fine, but in the end you just want a good book to read on the beach no matter what situation arises- that traditional summer read. One of my favorite books to read in the summer is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I’ve mentioned this book SO MANY TIMES on this blog, but that won’t stop me from mentioning it a million times more! I love it so much, and I reread it practically every summer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this TTT! What beach reads do you recommend? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

Book Review: GONE GIRL (with spoilers!)

gone girl cover

~~~ This review contains spoilers! Click here to read my spoiler-free review! ~~~

Author: Gillian Flynn

Number of Pages: 395

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Release Date: May 24, 2012

“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?”

– Goodreads.com

I have mixed feelings about this book, mostly due to all the hype that surrounds it with the new movie and its sudden rise to popularity. I began this book expecting an extremely fast-paced, dark thriller that I wouldn’t possibly be able to put down, but in actuality the story did not fulfill those expectations in my mind. I liked the novel as a whole, but it just seemed like an average, well-crafted mystery to me. 

My favorite aspect of this story is definitely the dual perspective. With each chapter I felt my loyalties to either Nick or Amy shifting, especially in the beginning. I never really liked either of them all that much, and perhaps that led to me not being able to connect with the characters. Nick rubbed me the wrong way (he cheated on his wife- nothing excuses that!) and Amy was much too artificial, not to mention completely insane. The only character I sympathized with was Margo, Nick’s sister, because she was thrown into the chaos of this mystery simply because she was related to Nick. Despite the fact that they were very unlikable, there’s no denying that Nick and Amy had depth, personality, and experienced significant change (for better and worse) throughout the course of this novel.

One thing that surprises me is how many people side with Nick. I understand that he is a victim in this situation- I mean his wife is framing him for her own murder!- but he was not an innocent man to begin with. Let’s not forget that he cheated on Amy for an entire year and she had to live with that knowledge. I’m absolutely not saying that what Amy did was in any way warranted, but I think it’s safe to say that she has the right to be furious with nick. On the flip side, it was also not right of her to basically pretend to have an entirely different personality- “cool girl”- for the whole beginning of their relationship and marriage. The more I think about it the more I really, really dislike these two characters!!

Now, onto the plot itself. Because of all the hype surrounding this novel I was expecting a huge, astonishing twist. I pretty much was certain from the very beginning that Nick was not the killer, because that would be way too obvious and not impressive enough to justify the immense amount of hype. When I found out that Amy had designed the entire scheme I was surely surprised, but not blown away like I hoped I would be. That’s my biggest complaint about this book, I think: nothing shocked me. Several twists surprised me (pregnant Amy, murderer Amy, not pregnant Amy, then pregnant Amy again) but nothing blew my mind.

Overall, this was a good mystery novel, but it didn’t wow me like I thought it would. I enjoyed the interesting themes it explored (the dynamics of marriage, how truth can be twisted and masked, the questions of what to do as a reader when there are unreliable narrators, the manipulation of the media, how the media impacts the justice system, etc.) as well as the unique and thought-provoking dual perspectives. It was suspenseful at times but slow at others, and I thought that the writing was good but nothing spectacular. Gone Girl was an enjoyable, entertaining read, but it wasn’t the mind-blowing thriller I had hoped for. 

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely! Despite my complaints, I did really have a great time reading this novel. If the hype monster hadn’t gobbled it up, I think it would have made a better impression on me personally.

What did you think of this novel? How about the movie? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Books

Book Review: GONE GIRL (without spoilers!)

gone girl cover

Author: Gillian Flynn

Number of Pages: 395

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Release Date: May 24, 2012

“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?”

– Goodreads.com

I have mixed feelings about this book, mostly due to all the hype that surrounds it with the new movie and its sudden rise to popularity. I began this book expecting an extremely fast-paced, dark thriller that I wouldn’t possibly be able to put down, but in actuality the story did not fulfill those expectations in my mind. I liked the novel as a whole, but it just seemed like an average, well-crafted mystery to me. 

My favorite aspect of this story is definitely the dual perspective. With each chapter I felt my loyalties to either Nick or Amy shifting, especially in the beginning. I never really liked either of them all that much, and perhaps that led to me not being able to connect with the characters. Nick rubbed me the wrong way and Amy was much too artificial. The only character I sympathized with was Margo, Nick’s sister, because she was thrown into the chaos of this mystery simply because she was related to Nick. Despite the fact that they were very unlikable, there’s no denying that Nick and Amy had depth, personality, and experienced significant change (for better and worse) throughout the course of this novel.

Now, onto the plot itself. Because of all the hype surrounding this novel I was expecting a huge, astonishing twist. Don’t get me wrong, there are several twists, but none of them made my jaw drop or caused me to gasp out loud in astonishment. That’s my biggest complaint about this book, I think: nothing shocked me. I was really hoping that I wouldn’t be able to correctly predict anything about the ending, but unfortunately that didn’t end up happening. The ending itself kind of fell flat to me in general, actually. It was good, but it wasn’t the showstopper I was looking for. Maybe my expectations were too high going into this novel, but who can blame me? The amount of hype was incredible!

Overall, this was a good mystery novel, but it didn’t wow me like I thought it would. I enjoyed the interesting themes it explored (the dynamics of marriage, how truth can be twisted and masked, the manipulation of the media, how the media impacts the justice system, etc.) as well as the unique and thought-provoking dual perspectives. It was suspenseful at times but slow at others, and I thought that the writing was good but nothing spectacular. Gone Girl was an enjoyable, entertaining read, but it wasn’t the mind-blowing thriller I had hoped for. 

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely! Despite my complaints, I did really have a great time reading this novel. If the hype monster hadn’t gobbled it up, I think it would have made a better impression on me personally.

What did you think of this novel? How about the movie? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY