Gone Girl

The book we selected to read for the PBF Book Club for the month of August was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

gone girl book

If you’d like to see past book reviews that have popped up on PBF, please check out my Books page. The PBF Amazon Store also features every book that we’ve read through the PBF Book Club for easy browsing!

Alright, now it’s time to discuss this crazy book! Just in case any of you out there are on the fence about reading Gone Girl and don’t want to read my review because it includes major spoilers, let’s just say I couldn’t put it down and think it’s definitely worth a read.

Brief Summary

Gone Girl begins on the day Amy Dunne goes missing, which just so happens to coincide with the five year anniversary of her marriage to her husband, Nick. As Amy’s disappearance surfaces, Nick’s reactions are odd and confusing, though he insists he’s innocent.

The book follows Nick and Amy (through past entries in her diary), as police seek to find an answer to the missing person mystery.

My Review (Includes Spoilers!)

It didn’t take me long to get sucked into this book. I was almost immediately captivated and invested in the story.

Who is this Nick guy? Why is he acting so aloof and indifferent about the disappearance of his wife?

And yet, I never thought he was the killer because I felt like I should think he was the killer.

That’s not to say I wasn’t completely blindsided by the turning point in the middle of the book. Diary Amy? Real Amy? Two totally different people!? I honestly said, “Oh my gosh!” aloud in bed as I read next to Ryan.

Naturally I then started to hate whack-job Amy, and yet I never really began to like Nick. I think that is a testament to Gillian Flynn’s writing skills. She wrote Gone Girl in a way that made me enjoy reading a book where I wasn’t really rooting for any of the main characters. I was rooting for the truth!

I love a book that sucks you in and makes you want to hop in bed when the sun is still up so you can dive into the pages and Gone Girl definitely had the affect on me.

As for the ending, after talking about this book with some of my girlfriends who read it this month, I know opinions about how this book concluded fall all across the board.

At first, I felt upset. How could Amy get away with murder? And now she’s back with Nick!? I went to bed feeling uneasy about the ending and yet awoke in the morning feeling satisfied with the way the book wrapped up. Two crazies living together forever and ever? Sure! Why not?

While I obviously wanted justice for the man Amy killed, in the end, I could picture Amy and Nick living together in their crazy world for the rest of their lives and somehow making it work.

I just hope they don’t have a bunch of children.

Disclaimer: I edited the last sentence of this post to say “I just hope they don’t have a bunch of children” rather than my initial comment that read “I just hope they don’t have children.” I realize my initial comment confused a bunch of you who read the book who saw that Amy was clearly pregnant at the end and I can absolutely understand why. I honestly meant I hope they didn’t have a bunch of kids and raise them to be crazies like they were. It was supposed to be a quippy little remark, not cause doubt in your minds as to whether or not I read the book we selected for my own blog’s book club. I apologize for any confusion and assure you I read the book.

Blogger Link Up

You can find additional reviews of Gone Girl on the following blogs:

Discussion Questions

  1. How did you feel about the ending of Gone Girl?
  2. Gone Girl was clearly divided into two parts. Did you find yourself more wrapped up in the first half or the second half, or did you enjoy both equally?
  3. Was there ever a time you were convinced Nick was behind Amy’s disappearance? When?

Comments

  1. says

    I definitely liked the second half better. Diary Amy was ANNOYING and I was almost relieved to find out she was fake. Real Amy was definitely an unlivable sociopath but I didn’t quite find her believable, which is not to say I don’t think sociopaths are real…I just think Flynn really failed to get into her psychology well enough.

    I really liked Nick. I thought he was an excellently written character who was flawed and complicated and normal.

    But I know what you mean. I was very much rooting for the truth to come out, even though the truth was too wacky and complicated for anyone to believe it.

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  2. says

    I wasn’t sure how to review this book because almost anything I said I thought would spoil it! I completely forgot about the end when I wrote my review. I thought the ending was really messed up! But I guess they are both crazy and maybe because of that, it could make sense. Definitely a weird relationship! I think I liked the second half more. Though, I did like Amy’s character more in the first half, before we found out she was a psycho! For some reason, I never thought Nick was the killer. I think it was mostly because it seemed like everyone wanted you to think he might be the killer, so I knew it would be too cookie cutter if he was. Even though the plot was a bit crazy and not realistic, I really enjoyed all the twists and turns. The book definitely kept my attention!

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    • Summer says

      I agree, she was at least pretending to be preggos. Which of course means she would find a way by the time things got critical… psycho!

      I thought nick might be behind it in that he helped her escape the town, that life, etc. I thought maybe she was alive somewhere and couldn’t face a messy divorce wrecking her perfect image and perfect family. If he helped her, it would explain why he didn’t want to talk too much to her family.

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    • says

      I thought Nick might have like multiple personality disorder or something and had completely forgotten he had killed her. I hadn’t expected Amy to be a total psycho-pants, but it was clear he was either being framed or had somehow forgotten what had happened.

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  3. says

    But she was pregnant at the end–from the artificial insemination that they were going to get a few years earlier! To me, that was as disturbing as anything. She gets away with murder, blackmails her (albeit crazy and awful in his own way) husband, and becomes a mother. The whole thing is so disturbing! It made me wonder how often something like this might happen in real life. Amy is such a master of deceit that she’s completely fooled everyone, including Nick, at first. No, he’s not likeable, but she’s worse. Kind of like the lesser of 2 evils. It’s really hard to know who to sympathize with. Not either of them, not her parents, not the cops, maybe Desi? But he and his mother weren’t likeable either. Anyway, I could go on forever! Such an awesome book!!! I’m reading Sharp Objects by her now.

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  4. Dana says

    I actually was really disappointed in the ending. I understand te whole
    Two crazies living together but i am really bummed that she never got busted for what she did. I was never convinced Nick was a part of the murder because i felt like i SHOULD. However i really did love the book and couldnt put it down. I just wish there was a different ending.

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  5. Lindsay says

    I really loved this book as well. I thought it was captivating, and I can’t think of another book where I went from loving to hating a character so strongly. Before we found out Amy was crazy, I thought that maybe Nick’s Dad had killed her, since he escaped the retirement home on the same day and had so many issues with women.

    It was definitely a good read! Lots of twists and turns.

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  6. says

    I agree that her writing is fantastic in that none of the characters are very likable and yet I remained fascinated by all of them! More than anyone else I was rooting for Nick and was just really hoping he was innocent when he started to seem really guilty. The ending caught me off guard because I was really hoping for justice especially for Desi (felt awful for his mother and really hated Amy at that point), HOWEVER I appreciate it being so twisted! I see a movie and perhaps a sequel (?) in the future!

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  7. says

    I had really high hopes for this book, and I’m guessing I’ll probably be in the minority here, but I didn’t completely love it. I liked the first half of the book best and found the second to be totally unbelievable (though perhaps that’s what the author was going for). And I HATED the ending. Nick might not have been the most likeable character, but come on, you’re gonna stay with your wife even though she faked her disappearance and might kill you at any moment?!

    But I must say that this author did a really great job writing this book, even if I didn’t like her ending. She included so many twists that you never knew what to expect!

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  8. says

    I never thought Nick was behind it because I thought they wanted me to think he was, when he truly wasn’t. At one point in the first half of the book I was like this was staged and Amy was trying to get away because Nick abused her, not because she was crahazay! I thoroughly enjoyed the book and thought it was very well written up until the very end. I did not like the ending and I thought it proved Nick weak. Oh and I don’t think that child is his, I think it was the guy (I forget his name at the moment) who “raped” Amy.

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  9. says

    Lol, but that’s why Nick stayed – she got pregnant! Haha so they do have children! And I agree about rooting for the truth but not the characters. I really enjoyed the twists in the stories, but overall I didn’t like it because I didn’t like any of the characters and I really disliked the ending, it just seemed twisted! Haha it was certainly interesting, that’s for sure.

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  10. says

    I haven’t read it, but I peruse the Best Seller page on Amazon daily (for free books! Woot!), and it just made me all kinds of happy when this book got to the top of the list, knocking “50 Shades of Gray” from the #1 spot.

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  11. Mama says

    I think she is pregnant in the end, which is why Nick wants to stay. When it was over, I was a bit disappointed with the ending. I really wanted her to be held accountable for all her lies. Nick wasn’t good, but she was worse. And the potential as parents – way too scary.

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  12. says

    They do have children! At least one child… that’s how Amy coerced Nick to stay – by getting pregnant! Such a creepy book, I happened to read it in August, as well. I definitely rooted for Nick after the first section, but the whole thing just turned out in a really disturbing way.

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  13. Marie-Santé says

    1. How did you feel about the ending of Gone Girl?
    I disliked it. I think Amy deserved a lesson for who she treats people.

    2. Gone Girl was clearly divided into two parts. Did you find yourself more wrapped up in the first half or the second half, or did you enjoy both equally?
    I started to enjoy the book when Nick reveals his infedelity. I really didn’t see it coming!

    3. Was there ever a time you were convinced Nick was behind Amy’s disappearance?
    Not at all.

    I liked the book, but I didn’t understand the end. How can Nick be OK with raising a child with crazy Amy?
    I think Nick is more likable than Amy because his father’s issues kind of explain why he isn’t a good guy.

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  14. says

    I think you pretty much sums up how I felt; I was never rooting for one character over the other, I was rooting for the TRUTH! With that being said, I was a little disappointed in the end, I really wanted Amy to pay for all that she had done over the years to Nick, Desi, Hillary Handy, and the others!

    I must admit I did love the second half better than the first. But maybe that is because I knew there was a HUGE TWIST in part 2 and just wanted to get there soooo badly! Once we learned about Andie, I was hooked. I knew at that point that the book was going to get really good, really soon!

    I never, ever, expected Amy to be involved as she was. I really felt for diary Amy in the first part of the book, so when we learned that it was ALL FAKE I was completely shocked and angry with her! I mean how can someone be so ruthless?!

    I don’t think I was ever convinced that Nick was the true killer, but there were times that I wished he did not seem to guilty! He was pretty awful at proving his own innocence!

    Overall, and regardless of the ending, this was a GREAT BOOK!

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  15. Stacy says

    Wait- so was she not pregnant at the end of the book? I thought she was…

    Also, if I remember right, at the end Amy is upset again… Which means she’s going to go after him again, is what I got from the end.

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  16. says

    You’re kidding about the not having kids part, yes?? Because that’s why he stayed with her — because is INSANE and inseminated herself with his baby.

    I loved the book – ending and all. It wasn’t the happy ending you were expecting — and that’s what made it so damn good! I love endings that make you go “WHAT?!?!?” Although, I couldn’t help but think, “My God there ARE crazy people like that out there.”

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  17. says

    Ok– here’s my take on the ending!! I didn’t like it at first. My thoughts mirrored what a lot of you were saying, as in, “Two crazies living together, kinda good ending.” Or, “Amy’s getting away with it, wth??” BUT…then, I read *way* into the last conversation we hear b/t Nick and Amy and it made me LOVE the ending. She asks him why he takes such good care of her. And he tells her it’s because he feels sorry for her. She asks why and he tells her because she has to wake up every day and be her. This line of his gets her thinking to the point where she says she can’t stop thinking about it.

    Think about the type of person she is. This statement of his will eat her and eat her until she really can’t stand being her anymore (and she’s pretty close to that point already). The way I see it, she’s going to give birth and Nick’s going to continue to play the, “Man, I’d hate to be you” card. She’ll eventually go mad with it and kill herself, leaving Nick and their son free of her forever. Ok, crazy dramatic, I realize, but I think Nick, Go, and Boney came up with a plan to get Amy away from him and their son for good and it involves making her hate herself.

    I enjoyed the second half more because it was so over the top!!

    Diary Amy totally had me convinced, so I thought Nick had a part to play in Amy’s disappearance in the beginning.

    Loved this book!!!

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    • Summer says

      I may be one of the only people who did not think she would eventually kill herself. I took her last line, “I do wish you wouldn’t have said that”, to be creepy and more of a “buddy, you’re in for the long haul and I can hang you at every turn you take, so, try me”. Interesting perspective.

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    • Alison says

      Wow, that’s a very interesting twist that the author might be foreshadowing that Nick’s plan is to get Amy to commit suicide. I never would have thought of it but could see where you got that! Maybe there is a way for him and the child to finally escape from her parasitic grasp on their lives. At the same time, I think it may be equally disturbing to imagine them staying married and raising a child!

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  18. Elisabeth says

    I really, really liked this book!

    Honestly, I thought the ending was a little lazy. Instead of continuing the intensity and crafting a clever, satisfying ending, I feel like we were left hanging. I understand that the actual ending was probably more realistic: we have to live with the consequences of our choices. But…. where were Amy’s consequences?! it also felt a bit out of character for Nick to be so forgiving. Even with the baby, I don’t understand how someone so full of rage just settled in for the long run.

    I still don’t know how I feel about it… hence my immediate tweet to Julie after I finished!

    What I loved:
    As the reader, there was a switch halfway when we stopped hating Nick and really started hating Amy. It takes some serious talent to manipulate the reader and create such compelling characters.

    Great pick for book club. Looking forward to other comments!

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  19. Lauren says

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now….but seriously…..if you do a BOOK REVIEW at least READ the whole book! Its VERY obvious at the end that Amy is in fact pregnant. This is why Nick stays, she used the artificial insemination they had done way before any of this other crazy sh*t happened. The letter about discarding it? How Nick left it on the table, he thought Amy must have thrown it away? Instead she called the place up and had them save it? If you read this book cover to cover you would have KNOWN all this! She has the baby so Nick wont try to uncover all her lies. That’s why he calls off the meeting with the other cop and says I cant do this anymore? Because he has to protect this child from Amy! Ugh….so disappointed…..

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    • Elisabeth says

      Interesting take on it, Kelly. I agree with you…. but I still think there is some fundamental element of forgiveness involved. Nick has to forgive Amy to raise a child with her. They’re not divorcing… they’re living in the same house, day after day, silently dealing with their betrayals. Though his comment about feeling sorry for her does set up a suicide idea, I think there could have been more development on the authors part to help reconcile the broken relationship to a believable middle ground.

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  20. says

    @Elisabeth– I don’t think Nick was forgiving at all actually. I think he was quite the opposite in fact, to the point of egging Amy on into feeling awful about being who she is. That little convo b/t them on the last page of the book? He’s totally setting her up for suicide. Which is just crazy enough for him to do…making the mother of his child kill herself for hating herself so much. I can see him doing that, on the premise of keeping him and his child safe. I can see Go and Boney almost encouraging him to do it too…it’s awful, but they might go to extremes to rid themselves of Amy.

    I think the whole “going to be the best husband and father I can be” thing is just a con of Amy basically. He’s thinking waaay ahead of everyone else.

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  21. Katie says

    I forgot this was the Book Club selection and started it 2 days ago. I’m totally sucked in and it’s taking every ounce of my self control to not read your post! AHHHHHH now I can’t wait to get home from work and keep reading. Is it 4:00 yet?!

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  22. Holly Jo says

    I just finished the book last week, and like you were saying, I couldn’t put it down!
    I’m not usually a person for mystery/thriller books, but I really enjoyed the twists that the book had, and how it didn’t go along the normal expected plot line of a “whodunnit”-style of book.
    I didn’t want to hate Nick, I wanted to psychologically pick him apart to see what made him tick and what were the motives behind his logic. I also had to laugh out loud when Real Amy revealed that there was a Diary Amy, it was so unexpected!
    Overall, for as good of a book it was, I’m still not sure about the ending, like it brought it back around so that no conflict was solved.
    That always bothers me in a book, like ‘What was the point of this journey?’. I think it would have made more sense if something radical had happened (moving out of the country, completely changing around lives, etc.) to justify the mental instability of both partners. The ending didn’t sit right with me.

    Anyway, I am loving the book choices on your Book Club list! I was finding myself bored by my Kindle suggestions, and this really helped kick start my Fall reading. :D
    And I got through Divergent in a weekend, now halfway through Insurgent and WHOA. I can’t say enough how good this series is! (Love the tough female leads!)

    -Hojo

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  23. Summer says

    I LOVED this book! The first part was rather slow, but I definitley thought that Nick’s father left the retirement home and took/killed Amy. So, when the second half happened, my jaw literally fell open! I started the book on Sunday and found out about real Amy on Friday. I finished the book Friday. I couldn’t put it down after I knew! It was great. Amy, what a crazy lady! I finished the book and could picture the movie instantly. The very last line of the movie being, “Oh, Nick, honey, I do wish you wouldn’t have said that” (fade to black – roll credits). And I went online and Reese Witherspoon’s production has this movie with plans to produce! I’m so excited. I am quite sad that there will be a baby that has to live in such a crazy, sad life.

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  24. says

    I just finished this book! I took it to the beach this weekend and finished it in 2 days. I loved it! I’m still analyzing who was the antagonist in it though. Such a great read!

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  25. LC says

    I’m with everyone else who said she really was pregnant… that’s why Nick stayed with her! I’d like a sequel told from the child’s point of view later on.

    I read on Amazon that Reese Witherspoon bought the rights to turn it into a movie.

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    • Yajaira says

      I would love to watch the movie version if Reese did buy the rights. I would love to see how she interprets the story and how she explains it to us. And a sequel will make an awesome read as well.

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  26. says

    They ARE having children. She was clearly pregnant at the end of the book. Crazy lady saved his sperm! That cannot be overlooked

    Overall, I enjoyed it. Different from any book I’ve read!

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  27. says

    Oh my gosh, it’s so hard waiting for all my friends to read this book so I have someone to talk about it with! I totally agree that Nick was never really someone I could like. I loved how I never saw so many things going on in the book coming. I might have to check out some of her other books soon!

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  28. Sarah says

    She changed “I hope they don’t have kids.” to “I just hope they don’t have a bunch of children.”

    Julie- I doubt this comment will even make it through but I don’t know why you feel the need to lie to your readers. Just be honest and you will gain much more respect.

    I actually liked a lot of aspects of your blog but I’m beginning to think that you are fake and who knows what else you will lie about if you are willing to lie about a little thing like a book that you did not read.

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      • Cindy says

        Oh GOOD GRIEF already with whether or now Julie read the book! I don’t think my reply is going to end up in the right spot but I’m replying to Sarah’s original post. I read a lot of blogs and I notice mistakes here and there. I read one today (a weight loss blog) where the blogger wrote ‘I sure hope I pack on extra pounds during this vacation!’ I laughed out loud but certainly knew what she meant to write! Besides, if people read your blog daily they would know that you mentioned the book several times over the course of reading it. So, whatever. Calling someone a liar over something like this is absurd and ridiculous. Just stop reading the blog already.

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    • says

      also, maintaining my integrity and the integrity of this blog is very, very important to me, so if you have any other questions about gone girl and my review that will help alleviate concerns about whether or not i read the book, i am happy to answer them.

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  29. Erica says

    I would really appreciate it if when you revise your posts, you would offer a disclaimer saying what you edited and why. You do freelance work right? Isn’t that what a newspaper or any reputable publishing company would do? I’m not trying to be mean but it looks really bad when you fix things after you publish with no explanations. Have fun in Hawaii!

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  30. Sammy Jean says

    I honestly didn’t like the ending. I thought it was a cheap cop-out! I mean, she spent so long building up the tension between the two characters, making you really feel the hatred between them… and then she puts them together and we’re expected to believe that they can live out their lives “crazy ever after”? Sorry, not buying it. That being said, I clearly enjoyed the first part better. I felt like I was able to anticipate that Amy had something to do with her own disappearance from the beginning, but the depth of her insanity still baffles me. I also don’t think that Amy should have killed Desi– but hey, I’m not the author. I think it would have been better if she would have actually died in the end. I don’t think I was ever totally convinced that Nick was behind Amy’s “death”, but for sure felt he could have played a part in her disappearance. I think if I could change the ending, they would have done the whole thing to get money out of the rotten awful parents of Amy!!

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  31. Alison says

    I just finished this twisted, manipulative, suspenseful, addicting read last night and wow!! It was definitely a page turner and had me guessing right until the end with all the twists the author incorporated. I enjoyed the first and second parts equally well and was blindsided by Nick’s affair with Andie (which is when I got intensely into the book). I was also shocked to find out that Diary Amy and real Amy are 2 different people and thought it was an excellent twist!! Towards the end of the first half, I admit that I started thinking that Nick was the killer and was either a sociopath liar or had some personality disorder in which he didn’t remember murdering her. Amy is one manipulative, CRAZY, wicked woman!! I was a bit disappointed with the ending and was really rooting for Amy to either be locked up in jail or at least for Nick to get up the guts to divorce her. However, after reflecting on it, I realize that they are both equally psychotic and therefore deserve to be together (although I feel incredibly sorry for that poor child!). Another excellent book choice!!

    When are we going to vote for September’s book of the month? I’m eager to start!

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  32. says

    Like everyone else, I was definitely into the book! But I have to admit, once Amy was “found,” I completely lost interest. I was so disappointed with the ending, I told friends to avoid it. I thought that it was so abrupt, and kind of a cop out.

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  33. Yajaira says

    JUST FINISHED THE BOOK ON MY LUNCH BREAK ABOUT 10 MINUTES AGO….
    I totally thought the parents were involved with her disappearance in the beginning to help create a new book for AMAZING AMY. Then I thought it was a total stunt to get one of their careers back up and in the NEW so to speak. Once I got to the second part I was like OHHHHHHHH CRAP!!!!!! REVENGE. She was a complete mental case. The third part of the book, was less interesting but I was still on the roller-coaster and did not want to get off. I was interested to find out what would happen to Nick and how she would get away with it. I feel as though I LOVED GO and how she said she still loved him but it broke her heart. That is how I felt at the end but I did not hate Amy. Needless to say I loved the book and it was the best book I have read all year.

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  34. Cindy says

    I’m replying to this late because I just finished the book today. No, really! It’s true! lol ;)
    1. How did you feel about the ending of Gone Girl?
    I was kind of ambivalent about the ending. I really expected after almost 500 Nook pages for there to be a better ending than ‘I feel sorry you have to wake up and be you’ kind of ending. I mean overall I liked it but with the other books I have that are waiting to be read, I was a little disappointed it took so long to get through and was so dense.

    2. Gone Girl was clearly divided into two parts. Did you find yourself more wrapped up in the first half or the second half, or did you enjoy both equally?
    I enjoyed both equally but I thought that the whole scene with the freak show that had her ‘imprisoned’ was kind of a cut short cop out for Amy to come home (another cop out to just be able to write more pages).

    3. Was there ever a time you were convinced Nick was behind Amy’s disappearance? When?
    I only thought something at the beginning when his visit to the beach was discussed and the time couldn’t be accounted for and I think that was dropped or brushed over. I wasn’t really sure up until Part 2 arrived.

    Overall, I liked it and it was a good escape read that kept my attention. It made me think about how so many people are not themselves when they first get together and it only leads to problems later. They want to play that ‘cool girl’ or ‘cool boy’ but, let’s face it, nobody can sustain that level of ‘coolness’.

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  35. Cate says

    I bought this book months ago and finally got around to reading it. I found the book was slow at first and I didn’t take to Nick’s character at all. I didn’t like him one bit throughout the entire book. There was just something about him that kept me from liking him.

    I don’t want to seem like a Monday Morning QB, but I had a feeling Nick was having an affair, but I didn’t think Amy knew about it. You also had to kind of know Amy was going to get robbed by those losers in the Ozarks. I was hoping Desi was somehow linked to Nick in that Desi was helping Amy only so that Nick could come and find her. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

    I was disappointed with the ending. I sort of expected more, but now that I think about it, it does seem fitting that those two crazies end up togehter – Always sleeping with one eye open!

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  36. says

    I read this book after seeing it was in the PB book club. I loved/hated/loved it. If that makes any sense. At first I thought that the first part started dragging and then BAM! the second part. I was relieved for more action.

    I really think that Gillian Flynn developed her characters (though sometimes a little extreme and unbelievable) very well. I felt a sting when diary Amy was fake, but in a good way. I think that the ending was perfect. What he said to her at the end was perfect for describing their crazy, unbelievable relationships.

    After I read the book, I immediately has mixed thoughts. A few days later, I realized how much I enjoyed it and it kept me on my toes. Also respect for the write. I’m going to be reading her “Dark Places” book next.

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  37. says

    I read this book after seeing it was in the PB book club. I loved/hated/loved it. If that makes any sense. At first I thought that the first part started dragging and then BAM! the second part. I was relieved for more action.

    I really think that Gillian Flynn developed her characters (though sometimes a little extreme and unbelievable) very well. I felt a sting when diary Amy was fake, but in a good way. I think that the ending was perfect. What he said to her at the end was perfect for describing their crazy, unbelievable relationships.

    After I read the book, I immediately had mixed thoughts. A few days later, I realized how much I enjoyed it and it kept me on my toes. Also respect for the write. I’m going to be reading her “Dark Places” book next.

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  38. says

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