Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mini Reviews - Gone Girl and Wonder

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

I think I need a shower ...
 to get away from the two very sick people that twist and weave the story in the book titled,
Gone Girl.
And twist they did.  
(As a matter of fact, I had to keep looking at the photo of the author to make sure she wasn't some wacko-type. Nope, she looks quite normal. Maybe that scares me more!)

This story felt ripped right out of the headlines of today's papers -- but this was one of those stories that sound too unreal to be true - yet probably is....

On their 5th anniversary wife, Amy, goes missing and now husband, Nick, is the prime suspect. (This could be AnyTown, USA.)
 When Amy's diary appears, chock full of a clues pointing to problems in the marriage, Nick's future looks even grimmer. (Sound familiar?)
This was not a mystery but a psychological "thriller" and it just didn't "thrill" me.
Truly, by the end I was just pretty much bored with both the main characters and I just didn't really understand or care about their personal motivations.

But that's just me - I know there are plenty of bloggers who raved over this one. 
(I guess I'm often in the minority.) 

I will admit that I have thought a lot about this book, and maybe that's what the author wants have me thinking about things long after I've turned the page. I just wish I felt I was somehow a better person after I'd finished the book.
Instead, I need a shower.

by R.J. Palacio

Loved it!

I spend my time in school.
With 30+ kids. 
Every day. 
12 hours a day.
I know kids.
I live kids.
This author is spot on as she writes about kids.

Auggie is born with such severe deformities of the face that his life has been a series of operations and homeschooling for most of his elementary school years. Now, ready to start 5th grade, Auggie is heading off to school for the first time. But will he be accepted in the world of school? It's a place where all children make fun of 'different.'

I've had this student. The student with a 'wonky' eye, a face deformed, a smart wit hiding behind a mixed up 'front.' Although Auggie is physically lacking, many kids are lacking in other areas and this becomes their story as well.   

The author paced this so well. Each chapter narrated by a different character in Auggie's life. I felt pulled in quickly and cared about the character and his incredible family.
They were truly loving and caring. (I wanted to be adopted.)
Seriously, it was so cool to read about a family that was NOT dysfunctional. (I was in finishing up parent-teacher conferences though too so it was great to hear and read about a family that loved each other!)

I loved the chapter headings, the 'precepts' that the English teacher reads and espouses. I loved the growth, the messages and the characters. This book made me want to share it; to read it again.

One of my favorite passages was this:
"my head swirls on this , but then softer thoughts soothe, like a flatted third on a major chord. no, no, it's not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn't. it takes care of its most fragile creatures in ways we can't see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds."

Now I'm going to Unwind by Neil Shusterman. I was sucked in on page one!!!


Susan said...

You were BORED with GONE GIRL??? I couldn't tear through it fast enough. I agree that the story is pretty wacked out and that neither of the main characters were very likable, but the book still entertained me. Maybe I'm the wacko???

Enjoy UNWIND. I love Neal Shusterman. He comes up with such unique ways to tell stories!

Becky said...

Okay, that's hilarious. I so agree! I hated these characters and couldn't suspend that enough to enjoy the story. Ugh!