What I Read: Gone Girl

4/5 pineapples

Gone Girl Cover

After all the rave reviews, I assumed this was going to be the best. Book. Ever. But you know what they say when you assume...

Okay, so this wasn't the best book ever but it was still pretty great and maybe my expectations are just too high (I'm a picky book person). Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer and I enjoyed how much she twisted my mind as I read Gone Girl. There's no clear "bad" and "good" involved, and that's just what I like about it. Flynn has created a very unconventional novel, one where you never know where to place your alliances and who to trust (spoiler: no one). I liked how she kept me on my toes, especially after the first section.

The characters are also fantastic. You can tell Flynn knows Nick and Amy very, very well, and she used them to create some of the richest characters I've seen in a recent novel. I'm a huge fan of characters, and they often make or break a book for me. I think it's the people Flynn has imagined that made reading this go so smoothly, and I felt invested in their lives. Nick and Amy, while dramatized, are completely realistic; just like real humans, they have flaws.

But of course, Gone Girl also had a few flaws itself for my reading preferences. The drama could be a bit much, and sometimes I rolled my eyes at a scene. There were also a few "twists" I saw coming from a mile away (but others that shocked me very much). Most importantly, it's not a book that's changed my world in any way. To get five pineapples, I'm expecting a book to make me think about my own life or the real world differently; something that inspires thought. Something that goes deeper than an entertaining read. This is not one of those books.

Long Story Short: Gone Girl is worth a read. If you have a weekend or some travel time to sit down with a book, this is an excellent choice. Flynn knows how to draw you in and create really developed, intense characters that keep you turning pages. It's more than a beach read, but not quite literary canon status. Most importantly, Flynn is an extremely talented writer and for that I would read her again.

You can find more reviews and details for Gone Girl on Goodreads, Amazon, Allison Anderson's post, or Catch the Lune's review.

What do you think of Gone Girl? Any good books I should look into this summer?


Books I Bought: Memorial Day Sale

Something to know about my love of reading: I never bought books, like actual, physical books, until high school. I grew up in a house where if you wanted to read something, you got it from the library where it was free and temporary. My shelves were full of yearbooks, Bibles, and books gifted to me at some point or another in my childhood. Once I experienced the joy of putting my own pencil next to the inked words, I discovered a whole new way to read. And I do love having my own thoughts on each page, along with the possibility of reading a book again whenever I want. Yet my mind is trained to only ever buy a book unless I know I'll like it (such as classics), I really, really want it (i.e. The Fault in Our Stars), or it's secondhand. When I buy a book, it's an occasion.

That's why Half Price Books is my bestie, and when I saw all books would be 20% off Memorial Day I couldn't pass it up. I still restricted myself to only three books, and put the rest on hold at the library :)

The three books I got are as follows:

Books I Bought 1

Gone Girl. After reading Allison Anderson's rave review on this book, I had to read it for myself. She was so enthralled with the novel, and so many people have suggested it before, I'm finally going to tackle it.  The library list was too long, so since I could get it cheap I went ahead and picked it up. I can't wait to dig in! You can also watch Allison's (Amarixe, to the beauty world) mini video review of this book here.

Mrs. Dalloway. I tried Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse and couldn't get through it. As in, I never finished it, which is really saying something for me (I strive finish every book I start).  So my mom recommended Mrs. Dalloway as a good second try, and then to read The Hours, a novel inspired by this one, afterwards. Goodreads describes the novel as detailing "a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post-World War I England." Hopefully I'll enjoy Woolf better this time. I want to like her soooo badly since she's such a famous female writer.

The Bean Trees. After being introduced to Barbara Kingsolver's essays in my women in literature class this past semester, I wanted to explore some of her fiction. According to Goodreads, The Bean Trees is about Taylor Greer, a young woman who "arrives in Tucson, Arizona [with]...a three-year-old American Indian girl named Turtle, and must somehow come to terms with both motherhood and the necessity for putting down roots." I must be honest, I'm starting with this one because it's shorter than The Poisonwood Bible. But I am still looking forward to trying some Kingsolver fiction!

Books I Bought 1-2

Have any of you read these books lately? What did you think of them? I'm looking forward to starting Gone Girl this week. As always, I'll let you know what I think :)

Also be on the lookout for a couple new types of posts soon. I'm still trying different things out, so I'm excited for your feedback!