Showing posts with label gillian flynn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gillian flynn. Show all posts

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gone Girl: Book vs Movie. The Verdict Is In!

I don't get to see a lot of movies these days.  We don't have easy access to a babysitter, and when we do go out alone, we generally prefer an activity that lets us talk with each other, rather than sitting quietly in a dark theater for two hours.  In 95% of cases, I have no idea a movie has been released until it makes it to Netflix.

But I sure as heck knew Gone Girl was coming out.  WOOT WOOT!

After I read, and positively adored, the book in 2012, movie rumors were already being circulated.  (You can check out my review HERE.) I was cringing, because (go ahead, say it with me!) THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE.  They were saying Reese Witherspoon might be Amy (ughhhhhhhhhh) and that alone was making me nervous for the adaptation.

However, as you know by now, the movie was made and started getting some pretty decent reviews, so I knew I had to see it.  My darling husband had zero interest in this flick though, so I gathered a group of my mommy friends, and this past Thursday we made a night of it.  Of the 5 of us, 3 had read the book, and 2 hadn't.  So we got some interesting perspectives within the group.

Here are my thoughts, and yes, HERE THERE BE SPOILERS.  You have been warned!

Overall, I loved it.  Rosamund Pike was an exceptional choice for Amy.  She does an equally good job being the serene, well-adored Amy and the calculating, I'mma-cut-you-with-a-box-cutter Amy.  Ben Affleck plays a perfect Nick as well--aloof, self-absorbed, kind of a jerkface, but still curries some favor as he tries to find his crazy-ass wife.  And Neil Patrick Harris is a CREEPY Desi Collings.

Beyond the cast: the soundtrack adds much suspense, especially at the end.  And I was impressed with how Amy's diary entries were handled, as flashbacks with her narration over them.  Much like in the book, they are well-placed throughout the story, and mislead you just enough (especially in the beginning) that you don't see The Big Twist coming.

But, you know, the book always has to be just a TEENSY bit better than the movie.  Right?  So I had two little things that I liked better in the novel.

1. The Big Twist.  When I was reading the book, I hit the end of Part 1 and had no idea, not one clue, what Amy was up to.  Then I read the first page of Part 2, and...there is a reason I used a nuclear bomb GIF in my original review.  KA-BOOM.  There were expletives spoken aloud.  The entire book was turned on its head, and I loved it.

In the movie, it didn't feel that way to me.  Granted, I knew it was coming, having read the book.  But even despite that, I was so excited for that big twist, and I felt like it wasn't as explosive on screen as it was on the page.  Perhaps because we had already heard Amy's voice continuously through flashbacks previously in the movie--so when she starts talking about her staged disappearance, it doesn't feel as shocking?  I'm not sure.  But for me, that twist felt better in print.

2. The pregnancy at the end.  One of the reasons I enjoyed this ending in the novel so much is because it was done with very little fanfare.  Part 3 of the book is not very long, and so the pregnancy is introduced, with some additional detail, but there isn't a lot of dialogue and it is kind of left hanging--very ominous, something that sticks in your head for a long time afterwards.  However, in the movie, the pregnancy is introduced, and then there's a lot of back-and-forth between Amy and Nick, plus the reveal to Go, and then on national television, etc. and it felt like too much.  I just wanted the pregnancy revealed, maybe reactions from Nick and Amy, and that was it--no more talking.  I wanted it more abrupt, to match the feel of the book.  However, I will say that my friends who didn't read the book seemed a bit frustrated at the lack of detail in the movie's conclusion (what happens next after the pregnancy is announced, etc)...so this is likely my own personal issue as I pick apart one of my favorite novels.

As you can see, those two tiny caveats are...tiny.  This movie was truly awesome.  In my eyes, David Fincher has done Gone Girl justice.  Well done, Hollywood!

Who else has seen Gone Girl (the movie)?  What did you think compared to the book?  Those who haven't seen the movie--are you tempted to do so, based on your reaction to the book?  Why or why not?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2013!

It's that time of year, y'all!  All those Best Books lists are being released, and I am never one to be left out of the fun and games.  So without further ado...

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2013!

As happened last year, I had an immensely difficult time compiling this list.  It took me ages to narrow it down to just 10 books that I've read in the last year.  But I managed, and here they are (in no particular order, and with links to my original reviews):

1. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
I went into this novel with hesitation, because I hadn't done a heavy classic in a while.  I was more than pleasantly surprised.  An amazing coming-of-age tale that is going to stick with me for a long, long time.

2. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson
I am admittedly biased because I love food memoirs, and I love the Food Network stars...so this was a match made in heaven for me from the start.  Either way, it deserves a spot on this list, if only because Samuelsson's journey is so unique and inspiring.

3. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
As an avid Picoult fan, I had high expectations for this one, and was not disappointed in the least.  I've read a lot of Holocaust-based historical fiction...this is one of the better ones I can remember coming across.

4. White Dog Fell From The Sky by Eleanor Morse
Beautiful, picturesque, gorgeous, awesome-sauce writing is the #1 reason why this made it on the list.  The captivating story is a bonus.

5. Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
If there was a book that should be on everyone's list for great character development, this is it.  Beautiful prose, and makes me feel like one of my 2014 resolutions should be to read more of Daniel's stuff.

6. Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad
This book tugged at my mommy heartstrings.  HARD.

7. Cooked by Michael Pollan
I continue to be wow'ed by the depth of Pollan's food-based research, combined with his entertaining commentary along the way.  He makes me feel smarter...and hungrier.

8. We Are Water by Wally Lamb
Another epic family drama from Lamb.  He has yet to disappoint me.

9. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
The unsettling tone of this novel is still creeping me out.  The ending was awesome.  I am not quite as in awe of this one as I was of Gone Girl, but ohsoclose.

10. Expecting Better by Emily Oster
This book should be required reading for every pregnant or soon-to-be-pregnant woman out there.  How I wish I had this to counterbalance all the crazy pregnancy books I read when I was knocked up with Small Fry!  At least Tater Tot is reaping the benefits now.

That's the list for this year, readers!  And now you've got 14 more days to buy them for your friends and family before Christmas.  You can thank me later.

What made YOUR best-read list for 2013?

Friday, November 1, 2013

October 2013 in Review!

Happy NOVEMBER, readers!

October has flown by in the blink of an eye.  We are pretty much all settled into our house, and have now been working on projects like painting the baby's room, hanging pictures on the walls, and staring disdainfully at the last 3-4 boxes that need to be unpacked.  (Isn't it ALWAYS the case that there's 3-4 boxes of stuff that you're like...why do I even OWN this?  WHO NEEDS 50 PICTURE FRAMES?)

Stay-at-home mom life has been great.  Small Fry and I have found tons of stuff to do; there is never a boring day around here, that's fo' sho'.  I am so happy that I'm getting this time with him alone before the baby as well.  He keeps me VERY busy.  :)  And, I can't believe that I can now say Tater Tot is due NEXT month.  That's insanity.  Part of me just wants the baby to get here already, while the other part of me is freaking out because THERE'S TOO MUCH TO DO!  Isn't that always the way...

In other news, my brother did get married last month (as I mentioned), and he had an absolutely fabulous wedding day.  Much fun was had by all, his bride was gorgeous, and Small Fry was a very flippin' adorable ring bearer.  Driving 8 hours each way while 30 weeks pregnant is not on my list of things to do again, but in this case, it was worthsies.
Wedding time for me, Small Fry, the Hubs, and Tater Tot (hiding in my ginormous belly)
Anyway, how was the reading this month?

The October 2013 Fave/Least Fave picks were tough, because I really had three AWESOME reads that I couldn't decide between, but in the end:

October 2013 Favorite: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
October 2013 Least Favorite: The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane

In total, I read/reviewed 5 books:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The Stranger You Know by Andrea Kane
We Are Water by Wally Lamb
The Dinner by Herman Koch

Otherwise, I gave my thoughts on the World War Z movie, and we talked about my inappropriate internet search habits.


Oh and also, I FINISHED my Goodreads goal of reading at least 60 books this year!  WOOOOOO!  Savor that, because when this baby shows, methinks 2014 won't see nearly so much reading.  Le sigh...

I hope you all have a great November!  I am really stoked for Thanksgiving this year, as we are hosting and it will be tons o' fun to have our whole family at the new house with us for a few days.  Hope all my other (American) friends have big turkey day plans on the horizon as well!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Publication Date: September 26, 2006
Source: personal purchase

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

My Review:

My first "30 before 35" book already!  I knew that giving myself a reading challenge would push me to finally get to a few of those novels...

Remember how hard I crushed on Gone Girl last year?  If I love something enough to describe it with an atomic bomb GIF, it must be pretty okay.  And it made me want to read everything Flynn had written prior.  But, as per usual, I got distracted and never managed to pick up one of her other novels...until now.

Sharp Objects is Flynn's first book, and I went into it with high expectations.  How could I not, after loving Gone Girl so much?  This would normally be a recipe for disaster (my high reading expectations are rarely met), but in this case, Flynn delivered yet again.

The description of this novel made me feel like this was going to be your average "whodunit".  Camille isn't a cop, but as a roving reporter and native to the town where these murders of young girls are occurring, she's in a unique position to uncover the truth.  However, I quickly realized that this was more than an average mystery.  In the first quarter of the book, I found myself feeling...generally unsettled.  You are nagged by the constant sense that there is something "off" about the entire scenario.  Something's not right with the town...with Camille's family...and with Camille herself.  Flynn has a way of weaving in tiny details and snippets of conversation to give you this foreboding sensation, even as the action of the plot seems to be  moving along otherwise normally.  This is one of the things I absolutely adore about her writing.  She has a way of creating feelings of shock, dread, and horror in a very subtle way, something that I think a lot of thriller writers fail to do.  They go for the gusto with big plot reveals and grotesque murder scenes, whereas Flynn's pull comes from the mounting sense of unease that unfolds in the narrative.

After reading Gone Girl, I went into Sharp Objects expecting a killer ending.  I was not disappointed!  Just when I thought the final loose end had been tied up, Flynn turned the conclusion on its head and left me with an awful lot to process.  I ended up re-reading the last 5% of the book just to make sure I caught up with everything that happened.  I was happy for this, because up until that last part, I felt like the ending had come together a little too...clinically, for lack of a better word.  But the final twist gave it a macabre finale that fit the rest of the novel perfectly.

You guys, I almost don't want to read Gillian Flynn's other novel, Dark Places.  Because that will mean I read all of her stuff and I have to wait around for her to write something else.  GAH.  I loved this book.  LOVED.

Have you read Flynn's two lesser-known novels?  What did you think?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Monday, readers!

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  What are you reading today?
My weekend was a bit hectic, but a good one.  As a final (free!) birthday gift, my dear husband took Small Fry for Saturday morning and I spent it at the library...alone...reading and lurking through the shelves.  (Since we just moved here, I am well within my rights to do a fair amount of lurking as I get to know my new library.)  It was awesome!  I rarely get more than 30 minutes of uninterrupted reading at a time these days, so having 3 whole hours was a real treat.

Otherwise, it's been lots more unpacking, sorting, and trips to Home Depot as we settle into the house.  But it's nice to be done with moving trucks and just be busy putting everything in its place now.

(On a related note, can someone please tell my husband that there is no such thing as having "too many books"?!?!?!?)  :-P

Sooooo, what am I reading today?

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Yes, this is one of my 30 before 35 books...there's nothing like a little challenge to get me motivated to read something that's been on my TBR for ages!  I have been dying to read this ever since I finished Flynn's Gone Girl, and (about halfway through) I am not feeling disappointed.  It's a completely different subject than Gone Girl, but still with the dark and unsettling notes that I remember from that novel.  I probably won't wait long to jump into Flynn's other novel, Dark Places.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I was very very excited to FINALLY see this download to my Kindle at midnight on the 24th!  I started King's latest over the weekend, and even though I'm not too far in yet, I am already super happy with how it picks up from The Shining.  I expected a bigger time lapse between the end of The Shining and the beginning of Doctor Sleep, but Danny is actually still just a boy as the story commences.
I am taking part in the #SleepAlong (a Doctor Sleep read-along), hosted by Charlene at Cheap Thrills and Tif at Tif Talks Books.  It starts TODAY and goes through October 21.  If you want in, check out either of their blogs ASAP!

What will I read next?
I am excited to have an ARC of Wally Lamb's We Are Water up for review at the end of October, and I will probably get it started pretty soon.  Other possibles are The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.

What's in your reading plans this week, friends?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me Think INSTA-READ!

I haven't participated in Top Ten Tuesday over at The Broke and The Bookish in quite a while, but I like this week's topic:

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make You Buy/Pick Up A Book
Any books that fall into these categories are pretty much insta-reads (or at least insta-going-on-the-TBR) for me.  As I made the list, I realized that a lot of it, for me, has to do with wanting to read about things that are relevant specifically to my life.  Does this make me a selfish reader?  If so, I am not ashamed.

1. "The _______'s Wife/Daughter"
Example: The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve  
I adore most books with this title structure.  Why?  Perhaps because I am a wife...and a daughter?  Plus, titles like these almost always equate to women's fiction, which I love.

2. Marital Strife
Example: Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin
Okay, this is NOT something I aspire to, but my interest is always piqued by a book with marital strife as a major plot mover.  I like to think it's because my marriage is so blissfully wonderful that I have to look elsewhere to read about such things.  :-)

3. Babies/Pregnancy
Example: A Bump In The Road by Maureen Lipinski
Again, this is completely selfish in nature, but as a mom I love to read about mom-related and baby-related books.  Most of them are written either from a very humorous perspective (I love to laugh at my own mom mistakes, why not others' as well?) or an introspective one (moms muddling through child-rearing and trying to figure it all out).  I enjoy either side.

4. Travel + Humor = Win
Example: Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson
I'm a lover of travel.  And travel can be hilarious sometimes.  Miscommunicating in countries where you don't know the language, not knowing local customs, missing connections--these all have the potential to be funny (in hindsight, at least).  A travel memoir that embraces this is a winner.

5. Food-Related Nonfiction
Example: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
I've already waxed poetic about food memoirs, but my love extends to all things food-related.  I am a horrible chef, but my stepfather was trained at the Culinary Institute of America, so I harbor a fascination for this area of reading.

6. "Psychological Thriller"
This term is pretty broad, but I think the spirit of Gone Girl captures it fairly well.  The more twisted and unexpected, the better.

7. Zombies
Example: World War Z by Max Brooks
This has absolutely no relation to anything in my life.  I just have a really sick fixation on the zombie apocalypse.  I have an escape and survival plan in place, it involves baseball bats and an Ergo carrier.

8. Female 20-Somethings In Their Post-College Years
I am slowly (gracefully?) exiting the 20-something age group, so perhaps this preference will soon change.  But I always find books in this category to be relatable to some area of my life...either in career building, wedding planning, friend-keeping, etc.

9. Collegiate Setting
What can I say?  I adored all 4 years of my college experience, and now I work at a college.  College settings are very, very familiar to me.

10. Set In/Near My Hometown
Example: I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
I should basically just say "Wally Lamb novels" because no one else sets their books in southeastern Connecticut.  But if they did, I would totally read them!  No matter what the genre!  SECT in the house, boiiiiiiii.

What do you think, readers?  Do you share any of my preferences?  What are your insta-read topics?

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Well-Read Redhead's Best Books of 2012

I know there's still technically 2-ish weeks of the year left, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I've waited long enough to announce my...
Now you still have 10 days to buy them before Christmas!  WINNING!

It is always so hard for me to look back on a year's worth of reading, and narrow it down to just a few favorites.  I start with a list of eleventy billion great books, and I swear that I will never be able to cut any of them from the list.  After many tears, I get it down to maybe 20, then 15, and finally 10.  And I did it.  I DID IT FOR YOU.  You're welcome, world.

So without further ado!

I will start with the two books that were, far and away, the best things I read this year.  FAR. AND. AWAY.  I cannot choose between the two.  They were:

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

and
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.


These two books blew my mind, for entirely different reasons.  Gone Girl is probably the best psychological thriller I've read in the history of ever.  The Night Circus has some of the most outstanding writing and detail work I've seen, along with a romance that draws in even the most mush-resistant reader (ME).  Unfortunately for you, I read The Night Circus before I started blogging, but you can read my gushing review of Gone Girl here.

After those two, here are the other 8 that made the cut, in no particular order.  (I included links to my reviews for any that I read after starting the blog.)

3. Girls In White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Chick-lit with wry, deadpan humor?  Yes.  More of this please.  Perfect for the late 20s/early 30s set.

4. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Finally got around to reading this masterpiece.  Worth every page.  Furthered my already-existing King love.

5. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Deeply heartbreaking, but the writing is beautiful.

6. Gold by Chris Cleave

Phenomenal character development, unpredictable twists, and the Olympics!  TRIFECTA!

7. The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

A frightening premise (child abduction) told from a unique perspective.  Richmond does a great job exploring the relationships between her characters.

8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

(Kind of) dystopian, (kind of) romance, (definitely) raises tons of sociological/cultural questions.  Great twist at the end.  I'm dying to see the movie now.

9. The Light of Amsterdam by David Park

I know, I didn't pick this as my best book of November, and the book that did get picked isn't on this list.  What can I say?  It's books, not a math equation.  A month later, this book is sticking in my mind longer than most.  The setting and the characters are just so well done.

10. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

My one non-fiction pick of the year.  Jenny Lawson is hilarious, and so is her book.  She makes me want to taunt my husband with a yardful of metal chickens.

That's all she wrote, 2012!

What were your favorites this year?  What should I add to my MUST READ list for 2013?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 2012 In Review


Me, Instagramming October.
October, in addition to just being one of my favorite months (gotta love the changing of the leaves), was a great bookish month for me.  Lots of reviews, my first giveaways, and I've bumped into some fun new book blogs along the way.  I feel like October was the kickoff to what is going to be a very busy holiday season.

I tried to focus more on scary/suspense books this month, and I kind of succeeded.  Genres are difficult for me to stick to.  I start reading one thing, and then all of a sudden another book grabs my attention like a shiny object.  "Oooooh David Levithan new release MUST READ THAT NOW!"  So I did jump around a little.

I read and reviewed 8 books (click links for my reviews):
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn  <--this book still blows my mind, you MUST read it
Every Day by David Levithan
Rogue by Mark Sullivan
Feed by Mira Grant
The Mistaken by Nancy S. Thompson
'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I also posted a full review for 1 past read:
In The President's Secret Service by Ronald Kessler

And 2 mini reviews of past reads:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

AND I started a lil new meme: Small Fry Saturdays!  Join in anytime if you have favorite children's books to share.

In the midst of all this, I met Junot Diaz, completed my first two giveaways, and took part in my first blog tour review.

November should be an exciting month, with election season, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of Christmas shopping (gahhhhh)!  Plus, it's my husband's birthday--woohoo!

Last month I asked if people had any good recommendations for Halloween reads (and there were TONS), but now I wonder if there are any good ones for this less-written-about holiday.

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving reads?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Time to hit you with some knowledge!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion each week.  It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.  I run into new words while I read ALL THE TIME, so I decided to start keeping track and sharing them with you.  #vocabnerd!

Here are three of my favorites new-to-me words from recent reads.  All definitions from Dictionary.com.

1. uxorious. "Men capable of being uxorious."  (From Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn)
adjective
doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one's wife.
(That's a great word!!)

2. ungulate. "Assuming you're talking about the incident last August and I didn't somehow miss an ungulate attack?"  (From Feed by Mira Grant)
adjective
1.
having hoofs.
2.
belonging or pertaining to the Ungulata, a former order of all hoofed mammalsnow divided into the odd-toed perissodactyls and even-toed artiodactyls.
3.
hooflike.

3. petards.  "There will always be people for whom hate is easier when it's not backed up by anything but fear.  And I will always do my best to hoist them by their own petards."  (From Feed by Mira Grant)

hoist by with one's own petard: hurt, ruined, or destroyed by the very device or plot one had intended for another.

What are your new words this week?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: borrowed from the library via my Kindle

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

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?


My Review:

YOU GUYS.  THIS BOOK.  How do I even review it?

If you are a living person with even a passing interest in books, you've probably heard of Gone Girl by now.  It's this summer's most-hyped new release.  It took me forever to read it because I am cheap, and thus do not buy a lot of books, which means I had to sit on the library's wait list for a while before I could get my hands on it.  But it was worth the wait.  I hate admitting that I have given into the hype surrounding a talked-up book, but this book joins Harry Potter and The Hunger Games in my "hype-happy books that I adore" category.

The tough thing about this review is that I can't tell you much about the book without totally giving away the good stuff.  And there is SO MUCH good stuff.

I'll put it to you like this.  The book is broken into 3 parts.  During the first part, I was completely intrigued as it bounced back and forth from Nick's POV, to Amy's diary entries.  I couldn't decide how I felt about the characters, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure that out.  I felt like the author was doing great things with perspective, so much so, that I thought that must be The Reason why everyone loves this book.  I made a lot of notes to myself like "characters have skewed perception of self" and "Nick as unreliable narrator" etc. etc.

And then the end of Part 1 came and it was like

and I stopped making notes to myself, because the time for thoughtful analysis was over.  It was time to devour this book without mercy.

This book is not just great because of its issues with perspective (though that is part of it).  It is great because it is so unbelievably twisted.  I literally said, "OH SNAP!" out loud at least a half-dozen times.  Flynn has done an amazing job creating a thriller/mystery that is not based only on the action.  This is extremely character-driven, which I think is a tough thing to create when you're in the thriller genre.  I'm dying to read some of her other novels now, in the hopes that I can see this writing style replicated, even a little bit.

The ending.  I've heard it debated: some people love it, others hate it.  I am in the love category.  I think the best word I can use to describe it is haunting.  You want to know what comes next, even though you know it's going to be dreadful.  It sticks with you, that's for sure.

I'm leaving my talk about the book there, because I can't give it away.  It's going on my favorites shelf.  You need to read this.  And then you need to discuss it with me, because I want to know what everyone thinks of Nick and Amy.  I have so many opinions to share!

*Also: I already read that this has been picked up as a movie, with Reese Witherspoon producing (and possibly starring).  I desperately want to see this on screen, but I am terrified that Hollywood will ruin it.  Also, I think Rachel McAdams would be a way better Amy.  And Bradley Cooper is the ultimate Nick, amiright?
 
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