Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (no spoilers)

Of all of my 28 While 28, my reading 5 books this year was the one that people most commented on. Whether it was books as birthday presents (thank you Keith & Bethany) or ONLY 5 books (Erin), or tons of book suggestions...I felt the challenge to read more. So, I am officially "upping" my game. Not to a set number, just because once school starts who knows how much I get done. But I will read more than 5 books this year.

So...before I start with my review of Dark Places, let me give a little preface: I struggle with finding the balance of overly critiquing books vs blanket liking everything I read. Which is easy because you invest your time in something, you're bound to like something about it (or at least I do). So my goal in reviewing these books is for those who know me and know what I like to read the reviews and base their opinion off of that. For instance, if we don't have the same sense of humor, I'm not going to take your review of a book, TV show or movie to heart. It will be more of a review/discussion...full of incomplete thoughts. So, here is my first book review of my 28 While 28.... take it as you will.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. If you liked Gone Girl, good chance you'll like Dark Places. Dark Places was a little gory in some parts, and just like I close my eyes watching an open wound on TV, I skipped a paragraph or two here. 

It is definitely not as "pulled together" as Gone Girl, but there were a lot more characters Flynn was trying to balance in this book. What I really like about Flynn's writing is how she bounces between point of views in her books. (That may be why I like Something Borrowed and Something Blue so much, because each book is the same(ish) story but from different point of views). Although how she pulled it off in Gone Girl was more more interesting than in Dark Places. 

The way Flynn wrote Dark Places is throughout the entire book you know that the Day family murders didn't happen the way it started in the beginning of the book. So you are constantly playing out different scenarios in your head while reading. I did predict the ending, but I wouldn't say that I had every detail correct in the end. The ending was a little too coincidental, in my opinion. 

What I didn't like about Dark Places is that Flynn builds you up FOREVER about who the murderer was, and in the end it felt so rushed. I also don't like (in both Gone Girl and Dark Places) how there are no likable characters. None. And they are only truly relatable if you are crazy yourself. Well, I take that back...I liked Diane, although she seemed really pushy (or Patty was that much of a pushover). The latter, definitely.

Ben's relationships with Diondra and Krissy were, for lack of a better word, interesting. You could tell he was trying to make up for his mom's (Patty) lazy and depressing influence with demanding and high strung girlfriends. Again, all unlikable characters. I did however, like Libby (she is the main character, survivor of the book). I didn't relate to her, or agree with really anything she did, but I liked her.

Without knowing any of Gillian Flynn's life story, I would venture to guess that she does not have a great father figure in her life. Both Ben's dad (Gone Girl) and Runner (Dark Places) were absurd male figures. Runner was more frustrating, because he was in the story line more often...but man, if I could punch someone in the face! 

1 comment:

Heather Dean said...

Hi Mallory! I'm a new blogger in OKC. I found you through instagram & love looking at your blog! I just wanted to introduce myself.


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