‘Gone Girl’ keeps its readers guessing until the end (Released 2014)
By JULIA SANDERS
Marriage can be difficult for everyone, especially when both husband and wife go into the relationship expecting different things, and when neither communicate what they want. It is easy for a person to get wrapped up in their expectations for marriage.
Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” is a thriller that sheds light on the tensions in a modern marriage, but the book is not a “happily ever after” romance. Instead, it is a thriller full of deception, lies and suspense that keeps the readers guessing all throughout the book. The suspense and thrill in “Gone Girl” would make anyone’s skin crawl. The book comes with unexpected events, unpredictable main characters and an even more shocking ending.
The book starts off innocent enough, despite the fact that the husband describes his wife’s head shape with extreme detail. His wife, Amy, is famous, not for what she did in real-life, but for her book persona, “Amazing Amy,” a book series about Amy that her parents wrote when she was growing up. Throughout the whole book, the reader gets to read Amy’s diary entries, which she wrote diligently for five years. Amy’s diary portrays her as a sweet, innocent wife who has a husband that has anger management issues and seems to be pulling away from her. Amy writes in her diary that her husband did not want kids. Their marriage was not a happy one, full of secrets and lies. At one point, Amy writes in her diary that she fears for her life, and she is afraid that her husband might kill her. Then, on their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy disappears. Police later find blood on the floor of the kitchen that has been cleaned up, which leaves police wondering if Amy was murdered. Readers will not be able to put this book down until the end because they will want to know where the “gone girl” went
Gillian Flynn has written many other novels, such as “Dark Places” and “Sharp Objects,” both of which are thrillers. However, out of all Gillian Flynn’s books, “Gone Girl” is the most popular. It made it on the New York Times Bestseller list for over 130 weeks. Gillian Flynn has won many awards for her book, including International Author of the Year in 2013, and Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year in 2012. “Gone Girl’ starred in Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus and Library Journal reviews. The book was later made into a movie, which was released in theaters in October 2014 and nominated for four Golden Globes. ■
The Thing About Love by Julie James
By JORDAN MEAKER
Readers looking for a pleasant, captivating romance to dive into while relaxing at the beach or pool this summer should look no further than Julie James’ ninth novel, The Thing About Love.
James immerses readers in the world of FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd, former rivals at the FBI Academy. The agents cross paths when Jessica, still reeling from a recent divorce, moves back to her hometown of Chicago to work in the city’s field office. As fate would have it, Jessica and John are placed on an undercover case together, and the two must get over their past animosity to work to take down a corrupt mayor. Annoyance turns into friendship, and soon, the agents find themselves tangled up in a love affair.
The Thing About Love gets off to an immersive start, and it was a fast and fun read.
The back story of Jessica and John’s adversarial relationship at Quantico was entertaining, especially because readers got the story from both agent’s points of view, which conflicted outrageously at many points.
The novel is part of James’ series of books known as her “FBI/US Attorney” series. As a former lawyer, James writes knowledgeably in all her books about the law and crime, and her attention to detail adds realism to the story. Readers not only are treated to a satisfying romantic plot but also a thorough description of the inner workings of the FBI.
Due to James’ attentiveness, the preparations Jessica and John needed to make for their undercover case were intriguing. The agents pieced together new identities from scratch, using creativity and experience.
The importance of family is a theme sprinkled in among the romance and action. Jessica is supported by a large family, including two headstrong siblings that bicker tirelessly but are always there for Jessica. John became close with his father and brother after his mother’s death, and his family enjoys dinner together every Sunday. These supporting characters give the story much of its wit and heart.
Jessica and John have a lot of wit themselves, constantly bantering and having fun. James first establishes a friendship between the two characters, so once their relationship turns romantic, their connection and passion for each other is realistic and convincing.
My favorite aspect of the novel is Jessica’s confidence and ability to fight for herself in a profession dominated by men. Jessica is a strong, complex female protagonist, focused on her career but open to love at the same time.
Although James keeps readers in suspense until almost the last page, The Thing About Love has a satisfying ending that perfectly wraps up Jessica and John’s story.