Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Gone Girl

Every once in a while a psychological thriller comes along that indeed thrills this psychologist/author (psycho author). That book is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Fatal Attraction of the 21st Century"

...only I'm not sure who plays the role of the psycho Glenn Close character -- the wife Amy or the husband Nick?

Gone Girl is a fascinating read, an emotional rollercoaster featuring two "whackos" (thanks for that apt description, AnneOK) who have the misfortune of marrying each other. Nick is a magazine writer from Missouri who feels guilty for his charming good looks. Amy is also a writer, a beautiful blonde, and the daughter of two psychologists (the poor thing -- she's definitely screwed for life with parents like that!)

Nick and Amy meet in NYC and fall in love with each other...or who they think is each other. When they both lose their jobs in the recession, they move to Nick's small Missouri hometown. Amy hates it there, and Nick isn't loving life either. When Amy suddenly goes missing, is Nick to blame? Did he murder his wife?

I love how the author manipulated my emotions so well. First I liked Nick. Then I hated Nick. Then I hated Amy. Then I thought they were both nutjobs who deserved each other!

The author's voice is fun and snarky. Here Nick watches Amy cook him breakfast the night after they have a blow-out argument:

When she spied me lurking there in grubby boxers, my hair in full Heat Miser spike, she leaned against the kitchen counter and said, “Well, hello, handsome.”

New Yorker Amy is so disdainful of small town Missouri.

Yep, I have gone cold turkey off all things East Coast and I have earned my thirty-day chip (here it would be a potato chip).

Here Amy describes her neighbor Noelle, and I cringe from the spot-on snide remarks about my Midwestern home:

The Midwest is full of these types of people: the nice-enoughs. Nice enough but with a soul made of plastic--easy to mold, easy to wipe down. The woman’s entire music collection is formed from Pottery Barn compilations. Her bookshelves are stocked with coffee-table crap: The Irish in America, Mizzou Football: A History in Pictures, We Remember 9/11, Something Dumb with Kittens.

Amy's character is simultaneously scintillating and scary. Her cognitive intelligence is stellar (thanks for that insight, Mitzi) but her emotional intelligence is abysmal. I think she might meet criteria for both Borderline Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder. When she catches Nick doing something naughty, she sizzles with a revenge plan.

I had a new persona, not of my choosing. I was Average Dumb Woman Married to Average Shitty Man. He had single-handedly de-amazed Amazing Amy.

Nick's got his own issues. I diagnose him with Narcissistic Personality Disorder!

This novel takes a while to build up to the drama and suspense, but it's well worth it. All the background and characterization of the first 200 pages is likely necessary to manipulate the reader's emotions so well.

Recommended for: single people who want validation for never marrying, and married/partnered people who want to feel good about their marriage by comparison!
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Nicki Elson said...

My sister-in-law was just telling me how much she loved this book. I'll get in on my list for sure - how can I not after your most excellent reasons to read it, haha.

I like that you include appropriate quotes from the book in your reviews - it highlights your points and also gives me a clue as to whether I'll enjoy the writing style.

Jennifer Lane said...

Thanks, Nicki! I like to bookmark favorite quotes as I go, and ereaders make that oh so easy. I think you'd definitely enjoy this story!

Gina Gao said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks so much for sharing.

Carol Kilgore said...

Nice to meet you on Alex's blog. Great review!

Jennifer Lane said...

Thanks, Gina! I'd definitely check it out. I'm a new follower on your blog.

Jennifer Lane said...

Carol, your book that was featured sounds very good. Thanks for stopping by!

Smash Attack! said...

Someone just mentioned this book to me and then BANG! You reviewed it! I am wicked intrigued now and will definitely need to read it.

Jennifer Lane said...

Smash, strap yourself in for quite a ride with this book. You'll be happy these two aren't your clients! Thanks for stopping by.

LTM said...

I've had this one on my TBR list a while. I even have a sample on my Kindle! I've got to get it now. Thanks, Jennifer! :o) <3

Anonymous said...

I asked for this book for Christmas. I'm hoping next year I'll read more 'adult novels' then YA like I did this year. That or Historical Fiction. ha ha! I'm just afraid I'll burn out on YA.

Jennifer Lane said...

LTM, have you read this yet? Maybe you'll get it as a present this holiday season. :-)

Jennifer Lane said...

Broken Shelf, I love variety so mixing in YA and adult books is essential for me. And now NA books too!


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