Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22: Gone Girl and Reconstructing Amelia



I read these two back to back. Angela and I agreed to read Gone Girl together since everyone loved it, and then she read it and I was in my slump where I couldn't read or write or do anything. But eventually she nagged me enough to pick it up, and once I finally picked it up, that was the end of that. I had to finish.

SPOILER ALERT.  Seriously, Gone Girl shocked the fuck out of me, so if you haven't read it and you think one day you might, DO NOT READ THIS POST. I'm going to start spoiling right under the picture.  You have been warned. SPOILER ALERT. IT WILL RUIN THE BOOK.











I consider myself to be a pretty hefty reader. Not that I read hefty books, but I read a lot.  I like it and I think it's fun.  Maybe it's because I don't read the classics or 'literature' or because I never bothered to study writing or anything like that, but I have NEVER in all my years of reading even HEARD of a narrator who lies!!! I didn't even know it was a thing!!

I mean, she was LYING!!! To US!!! To the reader!! Have you ever heard of that? Am I just living under a rock?!?!

I. Was. Shocked.

Beyond all belief. A few times, during the chapters of her diary before you figure out it's ALL LIES, I thought to myself, this is WEIRD. This is like the TOTAL opposite of what Nick said.  But still, even then, it just never once dawned on me that she was lying.

SHE LIED!!! To US!!!! The reader!!!

I still can't believe it.

Anyway. I know a lot of people are all up in arms about the ending, but it didn't bother me at all.  She was a fucking crazy bitch.  I barely paid attention in my psyche classes in nursing school, but I feel pretty confident in diagnosing her with borderline personality disorder.  I was SHOCKED when she killed that guy. I mean, yeah, I knew she was crazy, but I didn't see that coming.

That whole book just SHOCKED me.

Anyway, the ending didn't bother me.  What was he supposed to do? She was having his baby. He wanted to be a part of the baby's life. What other choice did he have?

And I don't think it was a good ending for her, which made me happy enough. She assumed that when she won, Nick would eventually fall back in love with her and life would be grand. But since she's a fracking looney tune, that's not gonna happen. I think she'll be miserable enough to try another ridiculous scheme, but this time Nick will be hip to the lingo and she'll get burned.

And did anyone else picture Deb when you were reading Margot?

Tonight is the series finale of Dexter!!!

But that's a whole nother post.

Onward.

So, Gone Girl, five out of five amazing stars.  So fricking good!!! It was so well written, so well done, that I wanted to immediatly scoop up EVERYTHING by Gillian Flynn and read until I passed out from sheer exhaustion.

But I haven't read ANYTHING else by her. Because I'm scared it won't be as good, then I'll have a bad taste in my mouth and it will cheapen the experience I had with Gone Girl.

And that was a magical experience.

So yes. I am as crazy as Amy, in some regards.

Also, the Punch and Judy dolls? Had any of you ever heard of them? They have those here!! I saw a store or something in Covent Gardens, and one of the little learn to read books Scott gets at school has a drawing of Punch!!! 

Weird.

Anyway.

Reconstructing Ameila got a pre-write up blurb in the What To Do This Summer issue of EW, so it was on my list before I even bought Gone Girl. EW quoted someone as saying 'this is the next Gone Girl.' Well, after I devoured Gone Girl, I immediately opened Reconstructing Amelia.

It was AMAZING, but I don't agree that it's the next Gone Girl.  It was a COMPLETELY different sort of mystery.



SPOILERS ABOUND ABOUT THIS ONE TOO.



Here's what Amazon says on the back of the book:
Single mother and lawyer Kate Baron is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call. Her daughter Amelia has just been suspended from her exclusive prep school. When Kate eventually arrives at Grace Hall an hour later, she is greeted by the news that no mother ever wants to hear. A grieving Kate can't accept that her daughter would kill herself. But she soon discovers she didn't know Amelia quite as well as she thought. Who are the friends she kept, what are the secrets she hid? And so begins an investigation which takes her deep into Amelia's private world - and into the mind of a troubled young girl. Then Kate receives an anonymous text: AMELIA DIDN'T JUMP. Is someone toying with her or has she been right all along? To find the truth about her daughter, Kate must now face a darker reality than she could ever have imagined.

I can't imagine losing a child. It's something I don't even want to think about, and I usually don't. I was able to distance myself emotionally from Kate pretty well, because Amelia is so much older than Ava, and Kate is SO much different than I am.

This book horrified me and moved me to tears of joy and beauty, sometimes within the same chapter.

I was DISGUSTED to find out the teacher was writing that awful gossip girl paper. I was disgusted to find out that the PTA knew about the hazing and didn't care. I was disgusted that people like that exist, and it reaffirmed my disgust for people with more money than they know what to do with.

I was sobbing at how much Amelia loved her mama.

I was sobbing to Angela, begging her to reassure me that Kate knew, she KNEW how much Amelia loved her, that she KNEW that Amelia thought she was enough.

I don't know. By the time I got to to the end, I didn't even really care how she died. I knew from the get go that she didn't kill herself, and I never really wavered from that. I thought her friend (I can't remember her name!!!) may have pushed her, so I wasn't very surprised with how it unfolded.

I hope that girl gets the help she needs to get over this, somehow. Or at least as over it as you can get.

I don't know. These two books were so vastly different, for me, that I wouldn't rate them together. BUT if for some reason I just HAD to pick which one was better...I'd go with Reconstructing Amelia.  Just because there was SO MUCH beauty. Amelia and Kate and their perfect, non traditional but PERFECT life together...it was nice. There wasn't anything beautiful in Gone Girl, and even though it was AMAZING, there's just something about being moved to tears when you're reading a book, you know?

Gives me hope.

Which is saying a lot for a book about a teenage girl's apparent suicide. 


3 comments:

  1. I felt exactly the same way about Gone Girl. I don't care whether people enjoyed the ending or not--it was amazingly well written!

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  2. I loved Gone Girl. I loved how much I hated both Amy and Nick.

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  3. Okay, so I literally had 15 pages left of Gone Girl when you posted this last night. I stopped at the spoiler alert because I just KNEW there was something in those last few pages. What an f-ed up story. So well written. I did love Sharp Objects - not quite as f-ed up but the ending will surprise you. Now I've got her other one - Dark Places - on hold at the library. So yeah, I guess I am now obsessed with Gillian Flynn. Oh, and those wacko dolls - never heard of them and would probably freak out seeing them in person!

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