Rummanah Aasi
  Gone Girl is probably the most talked about book of this summer. I wouldn't be surprised if you've seen the cover graced upon the displays at your local bookstore or be a suggested read from librarians, booksellers, or even from friends. The book has sat comfortably on the New York Times bestseller list for many weeks. If you only have limited reading time this year, definitely put Gone Girl on top of your reading list.

Description (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?

Review: A common complaint of not liking a book is the failure to connect to the main character(s). Readers, including myself, want to have the ability to align themselves and support or at the very least find something redeemable about the protagonist in order to have an active, enjoyable role in reading. There are a very few books I have loved that feature despicable characters and Gone Girl has made that list.
  Deliberately deceptive, Gone Girl is set up to be your average "who dunnit" murder mystery. You are given an outline of a typical murder plot. A perfect wife's disappearance plunges her husband into a nightmare as it rips open ugly secrets about his marriage and, just maybe, his culpability in her death. In the first half of the book we are introduced to Nick and Amy as they revel in the happy bliss of marriage. Soon that mirage ebbs away after both individuals are laid off from their jobs and a sudden move from move New York to North Carthage, Mo., where Nick ailing parents suddenly need him at their side. Since Nick and Amy were so good playing the part of a perfect couple, no one ever suspected that the marriage was fraying, until the fateful morning on their fifth anniversary when Amy vanishes with every indication of foul play.
  With mounting evidence stacking up against Nick, his innocence is immediately questioned. His is incapable  of communicating any grief over the sudden loss of his darling wife, which doesn't help him in the case at all.  As a reader, I was even appalled at his insensitivity, his ineptitude of not cooperating with the police, and his insistent whine about Amy's flaws. Soon I began to see the real Nick. A hollow man who used his wife to give himself an identity and resented her when he failed to live up to her expectations of a great husband, but does this mean he deserves to get tagged as his wife's killer? And if by the off chance that Nick is actually innocent then what really did happened with Amy? Flynn intersperses the mystery of Amy's disappearance with flashbacks from her diary, which allows us to get a chance to know Amy and her perspective of her failing marriage. Her silent cries, only written on paper, earn our sympathies.
  The first half of the book is purposely very slow as Flynn sets up the players of her story. We are given enough time to form our opinions about Nick and Amy from either their own accounts or what they've written about themselves. We are manipulated to believe certain things are true until the huge twist at the half way mark of the book is revealed and then we are asked to re-evaluate the characters. My feelings for the characters changed quickly like a mood ring and I couldn't wrap my heads around how incredibly sick and twisted these characters can be.
  After discussing this book with several others who have also read it, the twist will either make you love the book and continue to read it in a feverish attempt to finish it or hate the book and make you regret for falling for the hype. I, personally, thought the twist was incredible and raised the book from your average murder mystery to a psychological cat and mouse thriller. I was so happy to find a book that I couldn't predict in advance. Many readers have also complained that the ending was anticlimactic  but I would have to disagree. I think Gone Girl is one of those rare thrillers whose revelations actually intensify its suspense instead of dissipating it. The final pages are chilling and I don't think it could have ended any other way. Once I finished the book, I had to find someone to talk about it and that is why it will be my selection for my turn to host the book club in January.

Rating: 5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language, violence, implied sex, and disturbing themes. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like you like this book try: The Girl in the Box by Sheila Dalton, Our Dailly Bread by Lauren B. Davis, Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephron, Dare Me by Megan E. Abbott, Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Hayes
8 Responses
  1. This is one of those books that falls in a genre that I normally dislike but I'm so curious about that I still want to read. I've been thinking about buying it for my dad on Nook and since I'm also on my parent's Nook account, I could read it too.


  2. Annette Says:

    Wow. This was great. I couldn't agree more, and I couldn't say it better. I haven't read too many who didn't LOVE the twist, but I'm sure there are some. I thought this book was delicious. I was riding along thinking "OK, well-written, typical who-done-it, and BAM! What a twisted story. I had mixed feelings about the end, but after some contemplation, I don't think any other ending would have been appropriate.


  3. Jenny Says:

    "There are a very few books I have loved that feature despicable characters and Gone Girl has made that list."

    I'm the same way Rummanah, so now I'm VERY curious to see if I'll be a fan of this one as well despite such an unlikable character. And I really need to know this twist. It's going to eat at me until I know:)


  4. This one's on my TBR list! Can't wait to get to it! Thanks for the review! :D


  5. I loved this book and I agree about the twist it certainly punches you in the gut and makes you dizzy. I changed my opinion on my both Nick and Amy countless times and I loved that this book kept me guessing. I am so glad you did as well!


  6. I have a love/hate relationship with this book...the end just seemed to be too much/too implausible for me...but maybe as you say it was just that chilling due to the twisted characters. We're discussing this one in my book club next month..can't wait to see what the otehr ladies think.


  7. Candace Says:

    I think I HAVE to read this now. I NEED to know what happens! I do remember hearing of this but forgot what it was about. Its not really a genre I typically pick up but now I'm anxious to read it. I think I might buy a copy for my mom and read it first. :)


  8. I haven't heard of this one but I'm already curious about this twist. I'm not usually a fan of despicable characters either so it's interesting that you ended up still loving Gone Girl, Rummanah. Hopefully I can give this a try sometime.


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