SPOILER ALERT: This review contains some spoilers
Gone Girl has been lying on my TBR shelf for about 4 years, if not more. I bought it when Gillian Flynn’s books were all the hype but somehow never actually got around to picking it up. Then they made a movie and I said I would read it before it came out. It came out, everyone raved about it. I still hadn’t read the book. Somehow, I avoided spoilers and promised I’d read it before I watched the movie. I never read the book, but I never watched the movie either.
Now it’s October 2018 and the monster that was my reading slump, decided to leave me alone and bother someone else. I decided that I was going to at least attempt to complete my reading challenge for the year. I picked up Gone Girl, finally, dusted the cover, and settled in for what was going to be a gentle but rocky rollercoaster ride.
Gone Girl isn’t the first of Flynn’s novels I’ve read. I read Sharp Objects and really enjoyed it. Yet, I had forgotten how crafty Flynn’s writing is, how cleverly she tricks her readers. Gone Girl is what most thrillers make feeble attempts to be, utterly chilling and completely unpredictable. Flynn has a beautiful way of starting out a story slow and steadily increasing the momentum, chapter by chapter, maintaining a steady pace the entire way. Then when you’re getting comfortable she pulls out the cart from right under you and you’re left plummeting to the ground, yelling ‘holy shit, what just happened?’!!.
Just as Flynn intended, I fell hook, line and sinker for every word in Amy’s diary. Nick’s flashes of anger and rage at his wife, designed to expertly guide your suspicions to him. When I figured out what was happening, I actually took a minute to breathe because Flynn had got me so goddamn good. I knew enough to know what the story was loosely about a wife wanting revenge on her husband but I didn’t expect the degree to which Amy had meticulously planned every detail out. She legitimately scared me and she only exists on the pages of a book (I hope!)
Flynn writes strong characters that help tell her story effectively. You’re never too sure which character to trust. She’s never predictable and her writing forces her readers to explore the darkness within themselves. She doesn’t care about making her readers fall in love with her characters. Instead she draws a very real picture of the scars that make people who they are. Nick and Amy’s relationship was the most interesting part of the novel for me. Their relationship was so messed up. Emotional abuse, adultery, domestic violence, murder – it really doesn’t get more complicated than that.
Flynn also has a knack for making you wonder if you share any of these ugly but real character traits. I always enjoy books that connect with me in some way or make me reflect upon the society in which we live, but also on my own life and behaviors. I am not completely sure about why Gone Girl really struck a chord with me, but Flynn stirs up emotions with her stories and it just goes to show that she really is a talented writer.
Now I’m off to watch the movie! Haha.