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Flynn’s Gone Girl fails to measure up to best-seller praise

Photo credit: Goodreads
Photo credit: Goodreads

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 3/5 stars

With all the promises of “I just couldn’t put it down!” and “OMG, so addicting!!!” I ventured into this best-selling novel with high expectations. This dually narrated suspense story follows the lives of Nick and Amy Dunne, a married couple experiencing difficulties in their relationship.

How refreshing.

The story finally sparks interest with the sudden and unexplained disappearance of Amy on their fifth wedding anniversary. Flynn’s narrative segmentation between Nick’s real-time observations and Amy’s diary nearly forces the reader to keep reading by breaking off in the middle of providing vital information. It’s just as frustrating as it is tiresome.

Flynn also struggled with inequality in character development. Where Amy, self-professed genius and master of manipulation is fleshed out to the fullest, Nick remains the inept, bumbling husband regardless of climactic stimuli. Though it’s clear by the end that Amy is the unadulterated center of the story, it doesn’t change the supremely unbalanced points of view.

Is this a plot device? Maybe, but to the average reader it comes across as sloppy writing more than an extensively crafted linguistic choice.

Overall, Flynn’s writing is strong. Strong enough that after finishing this book I pursued another one of her works Dark Places. However, the ending and the self-indulgent-Amy-show narration made the book semi-predictable and, at times, uninteresting.

Though I wouldn’t extol this book’s praises as others have before me, I would still recommend it if you’re at all interested. You may end up enjoying Flynn’s work in ways I didn’t. Colorful supportive characters and an early plot twist redeem the aforementioned flaws, so it’s not an entirely hopeless pursuit.

Gone Girl is a well-written, well-paced suspense story, but it could have been better. Venture with an open mind and low expectations and you won’t be disappointed.


Updates for the Book Selfie Challenge coming very soon!

In the meantime, check out this trailer for As I Lay Dying, directed by James Franco and based on the book by William Faulkner.

It’s available to stream on Netflix and I’m very excited to sit down and watch it tonight! Expect a review/comparison to the book to be up on the blog within the next few days.

Write on!

“Fall down, never get back up again”

There was a night,
The night of a storm,
When weary road-trip eyes met in a library parking lot,
Leaving lips and arms and legs to follow,
Leaving hands and hearts to follow, unwittingly,
In the dark embrace of night.

You led me to the water,
Flattening blades of grass behind us
As we pursued the otherness,
The separation of unity that was our bodies,
In the whirling eye of a storm.

You whispered in my ear,
The only audible secretion amidst
the deafening pound of waves on the shore
And howling turmoil of the whipping winds,

“I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Karly Marie.”

Soft lips embraced neck’s nape,
Meandered to mandible
And met their match slightly parted,
Tongues tangling briefly in a too-quick tango,
Precluding the fire-bellied lust burning between us.

The wind whipped on,
And we stood solitary,
Teetering on our own outbreak of tempestuous howls.

Yet, we pressed together, flush,
My hair encased us,
Tendrils whipping ‘round our clutching figures
in a cacophonous cocoon.

Silence echoed.

The waves crashed on.

I don’t know how long we stood there,
But, mark it, we still stand today.

No fault in Green’s stars: TFiOS exceeds expectations

The Fault In Our Stars faltered, but once, during its delicate unveiling of the unceasingly-defiant and terminally-ill teenage humanity.

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

Though I tend to avoid books about illness, organ transplants, or medical abnormalities, I elected to read John Green’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel simply to see if it was as good as everyone claimed.

The story follows teenager Hazel, who has been struggling with thyroid cancer since age 13. She is stagnantly unconsumed by her illness, fighting through the very essence of her self-hood for consideration as a being, and not a disease. Green writes her well, though she, at times, descends into some rather stereotypical teenage tropes.

But, she is only 16, and for being so young she is incredibly and believably deep.

During one of her support-group attendances, Hazel meets Augustus Waters, a 17-year-old amputee with an addiction to gracious flamboyance, metaphors and tragic-hero sacrifice.

The two pique each other’s interests immediately, and the story cascades from there.

If you haven’t read, or finished, the novel, please don’t click the “continue reading” section as there will be ample spoilers past that point.

But, before you depart, don’t hesitate to read the novel. Green writes each character nearly flawlessly, keeping the story poignantly realistic with a dusting of optimism to dull the reader’s masochistic pursuit.

Don’t let anyone spoil it for you, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

**CAUTION, SOME SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT** Continue reading No fault in Green’s stars: TFiOS exceeds expectations

Can you define love?

In a conversation with my partner, I asked him what he thought of love, saying:

“Does love happen when you realize your partner isn’t magical or mysterious but they’re just another person who burps and farts and has anxieties and makes dumb decisions, but you still want to feel the things you feel whenever you’re around them whether they’re really magical or not.”

And he responded with the following:

“I would agree with you, I feel that it is finding someone who is willing to accept you for your mistakes and your accomplishments alike, and you, the same for them. Not out of a sense of obligation or to be nice or kind, but out of the simple fact that your life would be meaningless without them. ” 

San Diego 2013
San Diego 2013

Do you agree? How do you see love?

Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email at writewelldaily@gmail.com

Write on!

A Year in Review: Write Well Daily’s 2013 Book Survey

Photo credit: The Perpetual Page-Turner
Photo credit: The Perpetual Page-Turner

Hello lovelies!

In the spirit of the New Year I’ve completed this 2013 Book survey created in 2010 by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner—thanks girl!

Please feel free to browse my answers and consider them my year’s end recommendations to all of you!

 1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

It’s Fine By Me by Per Petterson: An English translation of Norwegian fiction following the life of Arvid Jensen, a young boy in Oslo who befriends societal rebel Audun. An entrancing and magnetic read, this short saga will captivate and touch the reader in ways they won’t anticipate.

 2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe: When my brother and I were kids we listened to this book on audio cassette (yepp, really dating myself here) and I absolutely loved it. However, after studying it in two different classes (English Novel and 18c English) it really fell short of my first impression.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?

The Magicians by Lev Grossman OR The Female American by Unca Eliza: I picked up The Magicians on a whim during one of my many Barnes and Noble trips. The cover art and rear descriptive paragraph made me think the book would be just another story about angsty teens discovering they had magic powers. But, the raw sexuality and carnal undertones, the unapologetic delving into magic’s dark side and themes of possession, death and the struggle for power made this read entirely enigmatic.

The Female American, or a re-telling of Robinson Crusoe from a female perspective, was surprisingly entertaining and easy to read. This text filled in all the gaps that I had been missing from the original Robinson Crusoe with an edgy and fun feel. I didn’t expect to so thoroughly enjoy a class text, but this really captured and held my attention throughout its entirety. Continue reading A Year in Review: Write Well Daily’s 2013 Book Survey

Don’t you forget about me!

Photo credit: Deb Maries
Photo credit: Deb Maries

Apologies for the brief hiatus! 

Went to see Les Miserables in Toronto yesterday with some lovely friends. Such an incredible show. So many strong performances with stand-outs being “On My Own,” “Bring Him Home,” “Red and Black” and “Lovely Ladies.” 

Well done to all. 

Getting some last-minute Christmas shopping done today, but there should be a blog post coming very soon! 

Stay safe out there!