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Movie Review: Gone Girl

September 30, 2015

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                                Gone Girl: Movie Review

                I can’t tell you how many times I have read a book and thought to myself, “This would be an awesome movie!” Sometimes I am lucky and someone agrees with me. After months and months of eagerly awaiting the movie, dreaming up ideal cast members, stalking IMDB for updates, finally the moment comes and it’s released. There are very few times, and I mean very few, when Hollywood knocks it out of the park. Then other times they do a moderately good job, and others they completely butcher the book and make me want to fire writers and directors alike.

                Gone Girl fortunately for those writers and directors falls into the moderately good category, so they will be allowed to keep their jobs for a bit longer. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the overall story line of Gone Girl, allow me to give a brief synopsis.

                Nick Dunne awakes on his 5 year anniversary with a sense of dread he can’t quite place. He goes down stairs, has the traditional breakfast of crepes prepared by his wife Amy and then leaves the house. Hours later, Nick is contacted by means of a telephone call from one of his neighbors; his front door is wide open, and his indoor cat is sitting on the porch. When Nick returns home he finds an unexpected scene, iron still on, his living room in complete chaos, but what he doesn’t find is even more disturbing. His wife Amy is gone. As the story unfolds Nick looks more and more like the culprit, but could this all-American husband really be a killer?

                I know that it is difficult to take a book of several hundreds of pages and fit it into a two hour screen play; therefore, things must be cut. In this instance they did so quite successfully. They were able to cut small, fairly unimportant things from the story without butchering the storyline. The movie itself was mostly out of chronological order, but in my opinion wasn’t really that big of a deal – it still was easy to follow. I don’t feel as though the movie was able to capture the intense desperation of Nick the way Flynn was able to do in the book. Despite all of these things the movie pretty-well followed the book; a few tiny details were altered, small characters were not included, but nothing to send the ultimate Gone Girl fan into a tizzy.

                The casting for Gone Girl was definitely amazing. Too often when books are made into movies, they have a tendency to select unknown actor/actresses that have very small acting range with precisely two facial expressions who completely lack voice inflection. I thought Neil Patrick Harris was a magnificent choice for Desi. I couldn’t have chosen someone better myself. Ben Affleck was an amazing choice for Nick Dunne. He is the perfect choice for the “all American husband” that Nick Dunne fancies himself to be throughout the majority of the book. I’m not as familiar with Rosamund Pike, but I thought she brilliantly captured Amy and her…eccentricities shall I say? I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t seen the movie or read the book. I would definitely suggest to those who haven’t that you do so.

I’m given Gone Girl the movie, 4 out of 5 stars.

Review: Gone Girl

September 29, 2015 1 Comment

Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Nick Dunne awakes on his 5 year anniversary with a sense of dread he can’t quite place. He goes down stairs, has the traditional breakfast of crepes prepared by his wife Amy and then leaves the house. Hours later, Nick is contacted by means of a telephone call from one of his neighbors; his front door is wide open, and his indoor cat is sitting on the porch. When Nick returns home he finds an unexpected scene, iron still on, his living room in complete chaos, but what he doesn’t find is even more disturbing. His wife Amy is gone. As the story unfolds Nick looks more and more like the culprit, but could this all-American husband really be a killer?

The initial chapter of Gone Girl was a bit of a slow saunter, then fortunately it became a sprint I couldn’t put down. The basic premise of this book is not something unfamiliar, how many news casts have there been about women vanishing without a trace. How many times has the finger been pointed at the husband? Guilty, not guilty, this book seemed like a chance to be behind-the-scenes and really find out what happened to all those women seen on the news. However, this novel did not end that way.

The characters of Gone Girl are despicable, truly. Nick is pathetic; he has some sort of wanna-be good-guy syndrome due to daddy issues. He couldn’t even fathom how far he truly was from being a “good guy,” if there even is such a thing. He is self-centered, and I disliked him from the very beginning of the book. And despite plot twists, my opinion of him remained the same. Amy on the other hand is a complete sociopath, she clearly suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. If ever there were a fictional character that should be placed in a padded room with a Thorazine drip, it is she. I am not going to further explain these opinions, however, at the risk of giving away key plot points to future readers.

The story is clearly fiction. There are some very convoluted scenarios throughout this novel. This may be a deal breaker for some readers. I, on the other hand, ate it up like chocolate ice cream. I loved the twists and turns and the maniacal brilliance of it all. I personally had been able to predict some of the main plot turns before they happened, but that may not be the case for everyone.

The writing style was easy to follow, and for the most part quick-paced. There were peaks and valleys as with every book, but none that made me consider putting the book down. At times Flynn can be a bit excessive with her word use. Flynn has an amazing affinity for making the reader loathe her characters, while still caring about what happens to them. I have yet to find another author that can achieve this kind of balance.

Alas, the reason this book will receive less than a five star rating from me: The book is going along, things are happening, tension is building, readers are aching for resolve, and questioning what it will be, but sadly, it never comes. The ending of this book let me down so utterly and completely. This novel could have ended in a plethora of ways, and yet the author chose the most anticlimactic one possible. There wasn’t really much of a resolve to any of the issues strung throughout the novel. The ending was a bitter disappointment for me. Regardless, I will be plucking other Gillian Flynn novels from the bookstore shelves soon.

I give Gone Girl 3 stars.

View all my reviews and follow me at Goodreads.

‘Buy books for Syria’ campaign

September 28, 2015

Katherine's Bookcase

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Many high profile authors and publishers are selling their books in Waterstones for the ‘Buy books for Syria’ campaign from the 1st October. 100% of the money is going to Oxfam to help support refugees in Syria.

Authors taking part include David Walliams, Ian Rankin, Julia Donaldson and Jacqueline Wilson, plus many more!

Each Waterstones store will have a dedicated table for this cause. Books taking part in the project will be on sale from the 1st October and will have a ‘Buy books for Syria’ sticker.

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Rockin’ Blog Hop Giveaway!!

September 23, 2015

391f4277102b3f2a57a1999e2a91f6dbEveryone needs a Rockin’ Read! Stop by Sept 23rd to 30th and find out which reads have rocked 2015 for us! There will be a giveaway on each blog so don’t forget to visit them all!

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The book I can’t get out of my head!

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup truck, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

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Your choice of either Library of Souls, or the first book in the series Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children!

Giveaway!

Enter by clicking on link below!

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Book Review: The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

September 22, 2015

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a poignant story about an ordinary boy who is just trying to find where he fits in the universe, and it is brilliant.
I have seen this book in book stores and glanced over it. I have seen the previews for the movie several times without giving it much thought. I honestly did not realize that I was overlooking one of the most well-written and amazing books of our time. I have been in a bit of a book rut. I have picked up the same book about 500 times and was about to my breaking point when I went out on a limb and picked this book up. And I am so thankful that I did. I have read many young adult books in which the author attempted to write a realistic story about adolescence, but never have they even come close. This book however, was on point. This book does include drug use, sex, profanity and other adult situations. That being said, this book may not be appropriate for all audiences.

From the very first page I fell in love with Charlie. He is a bit strange for a boy his age I will admit, but that honestly made me love him that much more. He is thoughtful, observant, poignant, and a bit lost in his own head. I feel comfortable in saying that all of us have or will find ourselves in the state of mind when we are trying to find our place in the world, simply trying to understand who we are. This book captures that very state of being in a way which I have yet to see. Charlie is remarkably easy to relate to and to like, love even. He has this naiveté and innocence that is curious and endearing, but most of all is he is genuine. Charlie could easily be the boy next door, the boy who sat behind you on the school bus, the boy whose name you never knew in school. Yet, he matters, he is significant and only by reading this novel can you truly understand why or how.

The writing style in this book is unique and lovely. There are times when I laughed, times when I felt embarrassed, sad and moments of absolute clarity. The writing is easy to read and flows well; however, the story itself is full of issues that are anything but easy. This isn’t the next Hunger Games, or Harry Potter. It isn’t action-packed and full of vampires or zombies. It has a subtle way of drawing you in and eases you into powerful and unforeseen ending.

The ending of the book left me breathless. I couldn’t place where it was heading, but when I reached the ending it was most certainly not what I had expected.

I give this book 5 stars because I truly love it.

View all my reviews and follow me on Goodreads.

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