* CONTAINS SPOILERS
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I think we all know the plot by now … Nick, the perfect guy, and Amy, the perfect girl, meet in New York, fall in love and get married. Once they move to Missouri, it’s impossible to keep up the facade of being perfect any longer, and the ugly side of Nick and Amy’s personalities emerge and a destructive battle of wills begins.
The process in which Nick and Amy’s marriage disintegrated into a toxic mess of lies, power struggles and psychological tricks fascinated me in a can’t-tear-my-eyes-away-from-the-wreckage way. Although there’s been much discussion about the Cool Girl manifesto, Nick is just as guilty of pretending to be the Good Guy, and I really liked how Gillian Flynn explored both sides.
The third part of the book started losing me because I was bored and thought things were getting silly and taking too long.
Without a doubt, Gone Girl grabs you, shakes you and doesn’t let go. I enjoyed the mystery and the twists of the story, having no idea of how things would work out. I didn’t like the ending at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that Nick and Amy continued pretending to be a happy, normal couple in their sick, not normal manner.
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The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann (audio book narrated by Mark Deakins)
In 1925, British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett went into the Amazon jungle in search of the mythical Lost City of Z and disappeared. The book follows Fawcett’s life leading up to his disappearance and the author’s attempt to retrace his steps.
I enjoyed the spirit of adventure infused in Fawcett’s story and the impenetrable mystery of his disappearance. The book also contained a lot of anthropological background on Amazonian tribes, stories of explorers meeting tribes for the first time and accounts of the numerous failed expeditions to find Fawcett.
Although it was interesting to read the comparison of what Fawcett would have experienced exploring the Amazon in the 1920s and the author’s own modern-day adventure, I think the book would have been better off staying focused on the past.
Colonel Percy Fawcett was the Indiana Jones of his time and this book is a riveting look at a man in pursuit of what could possibly have been simply an illusion.
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Euphoria by Lily King
In the 1930s, Andrew Bankson meets fellow anthropologists, Nell and Fen, in the jungles of New Guinea where all three are obsessed with studying the local tribes. Starved for company, Andrew quickly becomes attached to the vivacious couple, finding something about them that makes him want to live again.
I loved everything about Euphoria; the combination of setting, plot and characters seemed so perfect. I practically hugged my ereader when it was time to read again and was stunned with sadness when the book was over.
It was fun switching from The Lost City of Z to the jungles of New Guinea for this love triangle. The story delves into how precious connection and understanding can be once found between people who are very different.
Have you read any of these books? What are you reading now?