GONE GIRL, by Gillian Flynn
Okay, really late to the game with this one. This was the big book of last year that everyone was reading and talking about. (It's got over 13,000 reviews on Amazon!) Except that it's one that you can't talk about a whole lot without spoiling it. And I don't want to do that. But I did love it. Or at least I liked it a lot.
Many Amazon and Goodreads reviews I've scanned say that they loved it right up to the ending, which infuriated them.... And while I get that perspective, I don't agree. I thought for a while how Hollywood would have ended it, or if I could think of a better ending, but I think it's one of those books that if you have a strong sense of justice and that people who do bad things should be punished by the law, then you might have an issue with the ending.
But I could argue that the bad character(s) did get their just desserts in the end--a life sentence of sorts. (Oh, it is hard to talk about this book, without talking about it...) Suffice to say that it's a story with two conflicting points of view and one of the POVs has a broken timeline and the characters play with your perceptions of what's going on, and it's really good fun/interesting to guess.
Let's just say that one of the characters (in my non-medically trained opinion) is a sociopath, and the other one isn't the greatest person on the planet, either.
And Molly... They might call this book a thriller, but it's not scary. You're safe.
I've read that Rosamund Pike has been cast as the wife for the movie version, and Ben Affleck as the husband and let's just say I find that casting very interesting. They are both sufficiently beautiful people (important) and Pike definitely has the acting chops to pull off her character, I think. And Affleck sufficient charm. It will be interesting to see whether Hollywood gives the story a, well, more Hollywood ending. I do feel like the ending will fizzle a bit on screen, if it's not changed in some way... But David Fincher is directing. Can't wait. (But don't wait for the movie. Read the book. The storytelling technique is so well executed.)
THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE, by Simone St. James
Another one where I was late to the game. And full disclosure, Simone is a friend to me and to this blog. Which makes it even more embarrassing that I took so long to read this great story. Too many books, too little time; sometimes I set the wrong reading priorities...
The Haunting of Maddy Clare recently won two RITA awards and also won the Arthur Ellis crime writers award. A book that wins contests in both a crime writers organization (a Canadian one, to boot, where the bias is usually toward the literary) and two romance writers' awards is fascinating in itself.
The book is extremely well-written and it's basically a 1920's set ghost story. The heroine is a temp who gets hired by a ghost hunter, who's also a WWI vet, because the owner of the haunted building (a barn) thinks that the ghost will respond violently if a man sets foot in the barn. The combination of the supernatural elements, the who-done-it mystery (which I admit I figured out long before the characters did...) and the well-developed setting and characters made this a very satisfying read that I gobbled up over two days. Highly recommend.
Now, I need to read Simone's second book (which I've owned since it came out) and Molly talked about on Monday.
No word yet on the movie version casting. :) (Here's hoping, Simone!)
THE FIFTH WAVE, by Rick Yancey
So, this one I wasn't quite so late to the table. And I enjoyed this one too. Big YA sci-fi books like this are sometimes hard for me to fully enjoy because I get caught up in jealousy. ;) And when that happens it's usually jealousy of the marketing and promotion and attention a book got, not the book itself... But if the book is strong enough, I can stop reading like a jealous author and simply enjoy the book. That's what happened to me with books like Divergent, by Veronica Roth and Angelfall, by Susan Ee and with The 5th Wave.
This book has several POVs and because I didn't read the book all at once, (both Gone Girl and Maddy Clare were interspersed...) I admit that at times I was confused when I picked it up about whose POV I was in and/or why I should care about a particular character. As a writer, I might want to study this book again to figure out why it annoyed me so much when he switched POVs, because normally that's not something that bothers me in a book... But that's a topic for another day.
In a nutshell, this is an exciting, well-told story about humans trying to survive an alien-induced apocalypse. While that premise is not completely unique, it is certainly well-timed (I can be envious about that part).
Okay, I am going to let my "envious writer" show now... And this is just a comment in general. It's so hard to read a book that has elements that are already in my own current WIP, or in a book already in the can. The less-popular author will always be accused of copying, regardless of which book was written first, and regardless of whether the less-popular author has read or is even aware of the popular book... Sigh. Just a hazard of the trade. But warning to my critique partners... I'm going to need to brainstorm a few things to change the outline for my new WIP that now feel just a little to similar to things that happen in The 5th Wave. Dammit!
Has anyone else read any of these?