Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It’s about time I got my hands on this book. I’m really late, I know.

Though the library’s hardcover copy was gnarled and stained, I still had patience and flew through this book. My reaction: WOW!

I’m sure you’ve already read “Gone Girl” but here is a little summary: Nick and Amy Dunne seem to have the perfect life. They’re (seemingly) happily married, but when Amy goes missing, their small town turns to Nick for answers, who seems to be in the same boat as everyone else. Lies and deceit make this harrowing story by Gillian Flynn hair-raising.

The story seemed to be typical at first; spouse goes missing, blame other spouse, turns out he/she killed the other spouse they’re arrested. But as the story progresses, the lies told by both Amy and Nick complicate the plot.

Image result for gone girl bookIt is written from the alternating perspectives of Amy and Nick. Amy’s perspective is shown through her personal diary, which later becomes a part of the plot. Through these first-person perspectives, you can see the similarities and differences in their thoughts. Since this story is about a relationship gone haywire, you can see through their thoughts why they thought they were good for each other at first but not later. It’s a very personal telling of their inner feelings. Especially for Amy, as she writes down everything she is feeling. Nick’s perspective is told on the present. He is in the time when Amy first goes missing and it carries from there. Sometimes the things Amy and Nick think are downright psycho. And that’s what makes this book so intriguing.

Amy and Nick’s characters are extremely well-developed, due to this first-person perspective. It is truly unbelievable how the thoughts of psychopaths can seem so real, almost relatable (not saying I’m a psycho, OK). Flynn creates characters that actually contribute to the story and plot in their own way. It’s remarkable how each and every character is so important to the story.

This book was just the right length. I wasn’t left missing information nor was the book stretched out. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

★★★★☆

I actually had to read this novel for school. And surprisingly, for once, it was pretty good. This international bestseller by Markus Zusak won many awards for its complicated story and wonderful characters.

Liesel Meminger is the main character in the book, and her story is told through the perspective of “Death” in Germany during the 30’s and the Second World War. She is a young German girl who is fostered by two poor parents and as the story goes on, Liesel grows into a teenage girl. Along the way, she develops family relationships, makes friends, learns valuable lessons, and creates her own values, all while the horrors of Hitler’s rise and the war occur. It’s a coming-of-age novel that will strike a chord with readers.

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Let me start by saying that this book is bursting with literary devices. The entire book is quite literally one giant metaphor, as “Death” tells the story. Every page has a metaphor somewhere, used in some way. You could be talking about socks and there would still be some deep metaphor made by the author. This is really great for analyzing and interpreting the multiple meanings. When I was discussing this book in a seminar, we all interpreted the book differently, and our answers were all reasonable. The descriptions are so detailed and the language used is not complicated and not too easy, which I like in a book.

The fact that Death tells the story, I found, was very interesting. It created a lot of literary devices and all, but it was also interesting to see how Zusak used Death to illustrate its role in the war. He talks about how “busy” Death becomes in the war and how demanding Hitler is of Death. I think it’s quite clever, and it was enjoyable to read these parts.

The thing I didn’t like about the book is that it is so unnecessarily long. There are countless parts in the book where I could not find a single explanation as to what it adds to the book. Trust me when I say I genuinely tried to find its relevance to the book; I was being graded on my analysis. Not only were these parts useless, but they were just plain boring! Some characters have no real purpose in the book. In fact, they just take away from the story. This book would be so much better if it was less than 584 pages.

Overall, this book was pretty enjoyable. I would recommend this to freshmen, not sophomores (as I was when I read this book). Thanks for reading!

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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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★★★☆☆

I love how the cover of this novel goes with my blog theme! Anyway, this was an okay-ish book. Lots of twists and turns, however it was a little unrealistic for me. I had really high expectations for this book, and although the beginning of the book was fabulous, it honestly fell flat for me shortly thereafter.

Leonora Shaw is incredibly surprised when she receives an invitation to her old friend’s bachelorette party at a cozy cottage, or so she thinks. Leonora lives an isolated life as a writer who doesn’t communicate much with others. She can usually be found holed up in her house writing her novels, or sending emails to her publishers. She contacts one of her other friends, who is also invited to the party, and checks in with her to see if she is attending the party. Her friend tells her that she too has been taken by surprise after having received this invitation out of the blue. Nonetheless, Nora impulsively accepts the invitation and this simple action sets off a number of events that nobody saw coming.

Once Leonora arrives at the cottage, she notices that it actually isn’t much of a cottage. More like a creepy, sinister glass house located in the woods. As the days progress, there are some interesting interactions between the party guests, and Leonora notices that they are all not alone and that there is in fact someone else in these woods who is possibly watching their every move. Who could it be? Is it someone they know, or a stranger? 

I can’t go into too much detail otherwise I will most definitely give away what the book is about. I honestly felt as though so much more could be added to this book because it seemed to skim over the surface in a lot of its most thrilling parts, which is mainly the reason as to why I rate this book 3/5 stars.

Have you read this novel? If so, what did you think of it? 

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The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker

The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker (★)

Woah! What. A. Book. Literally speechless, it’s that good. I was only a few chapters in when I realized that this book is honestly so good. It hooks you in from the beginning. Some chapters give an intimate look into the life of the unforgiving, horrific serial killer known as the ‘Four Monkey Killer’, or the 4MK. I found these chapters particularly interesting because they were written from the killer’s perspective and were truly frightening, as they scared me to the core. It’s the kind of novel in which you honestly have no clue what the ending is going to be. Usually, when I read crime thrillers, I have a pretty good idea of what the ending will hold, but honestly I had no clue what was going to happen and I’m not complaining. If you’re a fan of cliff-hangers at the end of chapters, as I am, this one is for you.


The Four Monkey Killer has been killing people for the past five years. Not one person can identify who the killer is, not even the investigators. However, there’s a break in the case when a man is killed by a bus. He was carrying a black box tied with a white ribbon, which is the Four Monkey Killer’s signature. Additionally, in his pocket, a diary is found and in this diary, a psychopath’s life can be unravelled.


Sam Porter, the lead investigator on the 4MK case, begins to read this twisted journal and the reader also gets a glimpse into the diary entries. The chapters alternate between the investigator’s perspectives, the victim’s perspectives as well as the journal entries. I believe that having the journal entries as separate chapters made the book all the more interesting. These entries were chilling, sick and included many twists and turns.


In fact, the whole book was full of twists and turns, and the ending will seriously leave you speechless. I feel like I say that for a lot of books that I read, but one thing is for certain. This has been the creepiest, most intriguing page-turner I have ever read! This novel is definitely for adults and not for the faint-hearted, as it’s quite brutal!


I had a strong liking for Sam Porter, the lead detective. He’s an intelligent, fast-thinking individual who has a good sense of humour. Although he is battling his own demons throughout the novel, he is strong and hardworking. He is always focussed on the end goal and will do whatever it takes to get there!


Also, I really loved how there was a huge focus on the journey to finding the killer, rather than the procedural police work. This kept me hooked on the book, and I found myself not being able to part from the book until I finished the last page. I had a lot of trouble writing a review for this novel because I didn’t want to spoil the book for anyone, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed it. Leave a comment below if you’ve read this book already or if you’re going to add it to your TBR list. Happy reading!

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Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas (Review)

Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas (★☆☆)

This was quite an interesting read. What drew me to read this novel was its cover. I thought it looked quite eerie, yet very intriguing. I have also heard many good things about this novel, along with Claire Douglas’ first novel, namely The Sisters, which I have yet to read. I saw Local Girl Missing on the ‘fast-lane’ shelf at my local library, so I thought that I might as well give it a go. I read it in less than two days, mostly because I didn’t really have anything else to do during that time. I enjoyed it, but found myself getting REALLY annoyed at some parts. I’ll get more into that in a bit. 

Sophie Collier vanished many years ago, yet no one truly knows what happened to her. Her family and friends have never had any closure. Until remains are found near an old pier of her small town. Her brother, Daniel, informs Sophie’s best friend, Frankie, of these remains that have been found. He tells Frankie that he believes that someone killed Sophie all these years ago, and he wants Frankie’s help in getting to the bottom of his sister’s disappearance. Although reluctant to go back to her hometown, since it holds so many bad memories, Frankie decides to head back to the town in which she grew up to finally put her mind at ease and figure out what happened to her best friend.

Once she’s there, she has many out of the ordinary experiences. First off, she feels incredibly isolated yet she also feels as though she’s being watched. Who could it be? Why would someone be watching her? Frankie, with a propensity to compartmentalize, realizes that her comfy, luxurious lifestyle might be at risk now that she has step foot back into her hometown.  

Secrets. Secrets. Trust. Secrets. Jealousy. Oh, and even more secrets. That’s basically what this book is FULL of. The chapters alternate between Frankie’s perspective and Sophie’s diary entries. I liked that this book showed both perspectives because I feel as though the reader gets to see that there are always two sides to a story. I found myself getting VERY annoyed by Frankie. She just seems SO pretentious at times, and needy. The reason as to why I gave this book 3/5 stars is solely because of how annoying Frankie was. Now, I realize that her character was made to seem this way for a reason, but I couldn’t help but cringe at Frankie’s constant whining and I honestly felt like putting the book down on more than one occasion. 

Other than that, there were many fantastic twists and turns, which are very important in a good thriller / mystery novel. I felt satisfied when I put the book down in the end as it met my expectations, but definitely did not exceed them. Until next time….Happy reading friends!

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Unsub by Meg Gardiner

I have heard many great things about this author, and as this was my first Meg Gardiner book, I was definitely not disappointed! Unsub was intense and frightening. The vivid descriptions made this novel beyond terrifying. It is so well-written that I was at the edge of my seat the entire time. The book was detailed, yet it got to the point and exceeded my expectations. 

Caitlin Hendrix has been haunted by the Prophet since her childhood. The Prophet is a relentless serial killer who ruined Caitlin’s father’s life, who was the main investigator on the Prophet case in the 1990s. The Prophet was never found at the time, and soon disappeared from the Bay area. The Prophet is an UNSUB, which means he’s an unidentified subject. He is an intelligent, clever individual who leaves distinct messages behind at the crime scenes. He leaves written notes, as well as the Mercury sign (as seen on the cover of the novel). 

Now 20 years later, the Prophet has reemerged, and Caitlin is part of the investigation team of this case. The Prophet leaves behind a string of brutal murders. Is the real Prophet from 20 years ago back? Or is it a copycat?

Caitlin must race against the clock to capture the serial killer before he strikes again. Will the Prophet ruin Caitlin’s life, just like he ruined her father’s? Who is the Prophet? 

There’s just something about this book that is so realistic. The descriptions, the relationship between the characters may explain how realistic it is. This novel reminded me of a few crime thriller shows that I have watched. If you’re into these kinds of shows, the book will definitely be of interest to you! 

This novel was fabulous, and it was suspenseful until the last page. It’s a wild ride all the way to an outstanding conclusion. I give it a solid 5/5 stars! This is definitely not my last Gardiner book!

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About the Author

Meg Gardiner is an award-winning author, and her writing focuses on crime. She attended Stanford University where she received a BA in Economics, and she later studied Law at Stanford University. She practiced law, and later began writing thrillers. Her Evan Daley books are her best-known novels. For more information about Meg Gardiner, check out the Official Website of author Meg Gardiner.

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Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

WOW! I am 100% speechless! Here and Gone is an action-packed, page-turner that takes the reader on a thrilling ride! It’s suspenseful right off the bat and I can assure you that you will most definitely be intrigued right from the first chapter! Haylen Beck did a wonderful job crafting a novel that keeps you reading, as you simply can’t put the book down! It’s that good!

The novel begins with Audra Kinney trying to get away from her husband with her two young children, Sean who is ten years old, and six year old Louise. Audra’s life has been rough, she’s had a messy past, and she needs a break. She just wants to get away. Her destination is California. She stops at a convenience store to get some water, but little does she know that she is about to be in a whole load of trouble. As she leaves the store, she realizes that she’s being tailed by a police cruiser. Everything is about to turn upside down.

A bag of drugs is found in the trunk of her car once the police officer pulls her over to the side of the road. Next thing she knows, she’s being arrested, her children are being taken away, and her car is being towed. 

When Audra is in a jail cell, she asks the officers where her children are. The two officers, who were on the scene when she was arrested, claim that there were no children in her car when they arrested her. In fact, they are adamant that no one else was in the car with Audra when they arrested her. Audra begins to question herself. Is she going crazy? Then, when a new character is introduced, she realizes that she is in fact not crazy at all. Something far more sinister lurks in the distance. Why are the cops lying? Will she ever find her children? Are they actually, truly, missing? 

I found a few themes to be quite prevalent in this novel. Corruption, the hunger for money, the effects of abusive relationships on an individual as well as how strong a family bond is, are re-appearing themes. If any of these themes spark your interest, I highly recommend that you read this book.

The characters complement each other quite well, and in the end, the conclusion is bittersweet. I finished this book in less than two days, so you must have figured out that I enjoyed it! I give it a well-deserved 5/5 stars! Just fabulous! 

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About the Author

Haylen Beck, more commonly known as Stuart Neville, is an internationally recognized crime writer. He has won many awards, such as the LA Times Book Prize, and his novels have even made an appearance on the best-of-year lists in the NY and LA Times! Read more about Haylen Beck by clicking here.

 

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