Published by Broadway Books, Crown Publishing on January 1st, 2012
Genres: adult, mystery-thriller
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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. 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?
For our first read of the year, Pixie and I decided to tackle this pop-culture juggernaut together! I am so glad we did – not only was it a gripping read, the movie is coming to DVD soon and I’ve been trying my hardest to avoid the spoilers. And speaking of spoilers: this review will have slight spoilers, but we tried really hard not to just give it all away. Proceed with caution.
Bekka: I don’t even know where to begin with this one. I thought I was prepared for any possible outcome, but I wan’t. My mind was sufficiently blown.
Pixie: To be honest, I was considering making this my first DNF of the year. I’m really glad I kept at it, because I ended up being mind-blown.
Bekka: Same! I really hated Nick in the beginning. His chapters were just ruining the book for me. I was fine with Amy’s early diary entries, but every time Nick came back, we learned new horrible things about him that made me want to not keep reading.
Pixie: I basically hated every character in the beginning except Amy, and she even annoyed me some. Her diary entries sort of pulled me from the story and I would lose focus and get bored a lot. It wasn’t until the “big reveal” I became immersed and didn’t stop reading for hours.
Bekka: Yeah, I can see how that would be the case, especially at first. It was kind of jarring to be pulled out of Nick’s story at the height of the tension, to be thrown into Amy’s story, like 6 years into the past. But once we got to page 200 or so, holy. Shit. I didn’t see it coming at all. I actually got chills!
Pixie: Me too! That was one of the biggest shocks I’d ever had from a book!
Bekka: As far as plot goes, I think Gone Girl was spot on. But I did have a lot of issues with the characters and some of the themes. Especially later-Amy, who kept calling herself a feminist, but HATED every other female character in the book. I think it would have been fine (given everything we know about her) for her to hate all the women, but it would have been better to leave the pseudo-feminism out. I also found it weird that Nick considered himself a feminist ally but the only women he remotely respected were the ones who offered him unconditional support. I just don’t understand why Flynn put the “feminist” angle in at all.
Pixie: I agree and see your point there. The later-Amy was extremely terrifying to me. I mean, I was up late reading this book, and I was scared of her. Haha.
Bekka: She was definitely an interesting character, and all of the shit that she makes herself do? That she can convince herself to handle? Insane. What really scared me about this book was the idea that you never really can know a person. You might think you do and then BOOM the world explodes like it did for Nick and Amy.
Pixie: That was exactly what I kept thinking about. And I didn’t exactly sympathize with Nick, because he was pretty awful himself, but I did have thoughts after of what and why he would have stayed in that kind of situation if he knew. It just leaves you wondering.
Bekka: It definitely made me think of my own marriage and all of the million things Amy and Nick did that I’m adding to my Do Not Ever Do list.
One more thing about Amy: one of the biggest running themes throughout this book was how amazing Amy is – she’s bright, she’s brilliant, she’s smart. But like two thirds through the book she makes some REALLY stupid decisions.
Pixie: Oh goodness, I completely agree with that! She did make some stupid decisions. And speaking of Amazing Amy– the Amazing Amy references to the character her parents created were fantastic. I really liked the irony in that because by the end, I got it. We can see how completely opposite real Amy is of the fantasy her parents made.
Bekka: I took a special kind of delight in the fact that her parents were child psychologists and thought those Amazing Amy books were a good idea.
So what did you think of the end? Nick was well and truly screwed by the last page (Which I couldn’t believe was the last page! I got to the end and I swear my book was missing pages.)
Pixie: I think mine was missing pages, too. 🙁
I was stunned at the end. As much as I’d hated Nick, I was basically hating her at that point also and I was really hoping for some kind of I don’t know… catch? Ugh.. I don’t really want to give the total ending away either. I was just mind-fucked. There. I said it.
Bekka: This book definitely had me almost rooting for characters that I despised. I love it when a book can do that, though. I’m really happy we decided to go ahead and read it!
Pixie: Me too! What a fantastic (though a slightly creepy read) way to start the year! I will be reading more by this author for sure in the future. 😀