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Friday, May 16, 2014

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Book Review: Gone Girl

I want to start out by being completely honest with you, this is going to be a tough book to review. Mysteries are, in my opinion, best read when you go in knowing nothing about the plot. That is tough for this book already, because the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation has been released, and is garnering a lot of buzz. I picked this book up out of curiosity after having seen the trailer at the movies a couple of nights ago. After sampling the first few chapters and buying the book on a Wednesday morning, I devoured the rest of the book before I went to sleep on Thursday night. It is one of those books that you couldn't go to sleep without solving the puzzle.

I want to be as careful as possible about revealing too much of the plot in this review, so I will be a bit more vague than I normally am. The story follows Nick Dunne and Amy Dunne, a couple who recently and reluctantly have moved from New York to Missouri due to financial troubles. They start out as a seemingly normal couple faced with a difficult life decision. Amy is resentful towards Nick because she gave up everything in New York to be with him. Nick is resentful towards Amy for not understanding the burden he carries in their relationship. All in all, they have a fairly average relationship, until Amy goes missing. It doesn't take long for the detectives to pinpoint Nick as their main suspect, and he spends the majority of the novel independently trying to find Amy, while presenting a believable case for his innocence. What makes this story unique is the presence of "clues" that Amy has left for Nick, a failed anniversary game to take place on the day of her disappearance. Only Nick can solve the clues, and they may lead to more than he is expecting. 

The story is presented in two alternating parts: Nick's POV in the present day (the investigation), and Amy's diary entires from the beginning of their relationship to present day. These alternating chapters proved to be very useful in confusing me throughout the novel. When I began to feel myself believing Nick, Amy would swoop right in and change the way I was feeling. The entire first half of the novel serves as a base for the real mystery that is to come in the second half.

Since I am trying my darndest to avoid any spoilers, I am going to focus on some particularly interesting segments from Amy's diary entires. Amy portrays herself as an "unconventional" wife. She scoffs at women her age who think they are the Cool Girls. I found this segment really interesting, as I myself am guilty of thinking similar things about women my age, especially in the dating world. She refers to the husbands of these women as dancing monkeys, and how the idea of a man bending to her every whim is not something that she desires. All of these details showcase the kind of girl Amy "really" is, which is why these two particular details are so important to the outcome of the novel.

Overall, I was not thrilled with the novel. I championed the first half of the book in one sitting (it helped that I was in a doctor's office waiting room for two hours), and when the story picked up at the halfway point, I was hooked. But I knew going in that the "turn" in this story was too ambitious. When the reveal happened, I was scared by how much time the story still had left, because I knew how challenging it would be to have it hold up. My suspicions were confirmed, and in my opinion, the ending to this novel was extremely weak. That being said, I think the book is worth reading for the ride. It truly had a unique play-out, and I think it is mandatory reading for anyone who is considering writing a mystery. It's like a Do's and Dont's bible for thrillers.

I am EXTREMELY excited to see this film, as I have read that the third act has been entirely rewritten for the movie. I cannot wait to see how this mystery will play out, and the story could be saved by a fresh ending. I do not plan on going into this film as the "I read the book" snob (hehe), and I hope to leave the theater feeling like the movie was better. That is a pretty bold statement.

Check out the trailer for the movie below:

Title: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Recommendation: Eh

Best Reader Audience: Anyone who likes a good mystery

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 Bunny Bums (brownie points for ambition)
Want to solve the mystery yourself? Use this link to support the Lone Book Club!


  1. An unconventional wife and an unconventional crime? I'm in. Also, that is a fantastic trailer.

  2. I kind of want to read it just to see how they change things in the movie. 0_0

  3. I would recommend reading it for that purpose. Just know what you are getting into. :)