Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

thegrownupThe Grownup by Gillian Flynn

My Rating: 4.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: November 5th, 2015

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicholson

Pages: 80 pages

Source: Purchased

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: A young woman is making a living, faking it as a cut-price psychic working at Spiritual Palms (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage – mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke. Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor, built in 1893. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home, and taking possession of the stepson. She has even found trickles of blood on the wall. The young woman doesn’t believe in exorcism or the supernatural, but she does see an opportunity to make a lot of money. However when she enters the house for the first time, and meets Miles, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time….


This is a spoiler-free review.

For me, it is extremely challenging to write a review on any of Gillian Flynn’s work without an excessive amount of excitement and an inability to get my thoughts straight. Her stories constantly leave me in a state of shock, both at her complex, meticulously plotted story lines as well as her beautiful and skillful writing itself. This woman has an unbelievable talent for the written word and the construction of unique and multidimensional thrillers that stick in one’s mind long after turning the final page.

Throughout the course of this story, we follow the nameless protagonist, a young woman making a living as a fake psychic, as well as practicing some questionable backroom work on the side. She is a very classic Gillian Flynn female protagonist, emerging from a dark past into a gray present. Flawed yet strong, and quite talented at manipulation, she is one of those characters that will do anything in her power to get want she wants, regardless of how her actions affect others. She has a flair for the dramatic and an aptitude for inspiring trust from others.

One day, a very distraught woman named Susan arrives for psychic counseling. Believing not only that spirits have invaded her house, Carterhook Manor, but that they are also attacking her incredibly disturbed stepson, Miles, she employs our main character to cleanse the house.

Of course, our main character has no actual ability to help this family, but seeing this as a way to rake in some extra money while having to do very minimal work, she is unable to pass up the opportunity. However, she ends up getting a lot more than she bargained for. After a series of harrowing events at the house, she finds herself beginning to believe in Susan’s outlandish fears, and tries her hardest to save the family from whatever harmful forces might be at work there.

The writing, the intricate and twisted plotting, the vivid characterization, as always, are all absolutely stellar. Though this story is very much classic Gillian Flynn material, in certain ways it has a bit of a different quality to it than some of her other work. I found that it sort of felt like some of the old psychological thriller films that I enjoy watching—with a modern twist to it, of course. It is unclear for a while what direction Flynn plans on taking the story—what genre she will be focusing on—and that adds yet another layer of mystery for the reader. And when questions are answered, when that mystery fully unfolds, Flynn once again leaves us all shocked and breathless.

The ending is really the only aspect of this story that I have slightly more mixed feelings on. That is not specifically due to the fact that it is an open ending in general—I typically love a well-written open ending, provided it fits solidly into the story as a whole. It is perfectly possible to feel satisfied without knowing exactly what happened after the final pages of a novel, and to be given the chance to imagine your own conclusion or further events. In my opinion, the idea of using an open ending definitely works well and seems appropriate given the overall plot and feeling of this story. However, there is just something a bit off about the one that Flynn presents us with.

This storyline wraps up far too abruptly—it is surprising, but too rushed for my taste. I think my main issue with the ending stems from the fact that it comes across as entirely too much of a twist. It is absolutely fantastic when a book shocks you with something completely unexpected, but it has to be at least somewhat coherent in the context of the rest of the plot. The sudden revelations here seem to be a bit jammed in, come completely out of left field, and are just slightly too far-fetched. It was as if I had fallen into a completely different story in the final pages. So, while it is clear that it is intended to leave the reader in amazement and suspense—and it did completely stun me—it left me a little too unsatisfied and confused.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and it was beautiful display of why Gillian Flynn is one of my all-time favorite writers. She is a brilliant storyteller who, time and time again, completely nails the mystery and psychological thriller genres. A master at crafting complex plots and intriguing characters with dark tales, she excels at captivating her readers and holding them in an iron grip until the final word. Though I might not recommend this for a first experience with Gillian Flynn’s work, I would very highly recommend giving this a read if you have enjoyed her novels.

4.5 TARDISes


Top 10 Tuesday – March 15th, 2016


Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books on your spring TBR. As always, the gigantic general TBR that I have makes this a very easy list to come up with books for! I’ve been picking up a lot of new books lately, so this spring I’d really like to focus a bit more on some of the novels I’ve had sitting on my TBR for a while as well.

Let’s do this spring thing! 😀 (yes…I’m lame 😛 )

adarkershadeofmagic darkplaces theknifeofneverlettinggo morethanthis

1. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – I read my first V.E. Schwab novel—Vicious—at the end of last year, and since then, I have been dying to read more of her work. This trilogy is the most appealing to me right now as I’m really in the mood for some magic and parallel worlds. I absolutely can’t wait to dive into the story—and to get more awesome V.E. Schwab-ness in my life!

2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – My explanation for this choice can be summed up in two words—Gillian Flynn. The only reason I have been putting this one off is due to the fact that I want to make sure I’m reading it during a time where I can give it 110% of my attention. Now that I have emerged from my slumpishness at the beginning of the year, I’m ready to devour the crap out of this novel! Also, I’m fairly certain Gillian Flynn is my spirit animal. Just saying… 🙂

3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I just wrote a review for A Monster Calls last week, and now I’ve got a massive urge to read more Patrick Ness. Back when I read A Monster Calls for the first time, I adored it so much that I immediately went out and bought almost every Patrick Ness novel in existence, which included the entire Chaos Walking trilogy. I’m hoping I can finish the entire thing before the end of the year, so it’s about time I get on it! On a side note, I also partially blame Heather from The Sassy Book Geek for reminding me the other day that I still need to read this trilogy! 😛

4. More Than This by Patrick Ness – Speaking of Patrick Ness… Look, sometimes you just need to go on a Patrick Ness binge, you know?

sixofcrows Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.indd doctorwhoborrowedtime

5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I picked up a copy of this novel last year right when it came out (and when I saw those black pages, to be completely honest!). Since then, I have heard nothing but fantastic things about it, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I think. I’ve also had Leigh Bardugo’s books on my radar for quite a while now, and this series definitely seems the most like my type of story. It sounds absolutely awesome!

6. Beastly Bones by William Ritter – I read and really loved Jackaby at the beginning of last year, so I’m excited to continue on with these books. This series is hilarious, creative, and honestly just plain fun—it should hopefully be a nice, chill read, which is something I’ve been really needing lately. On top of that, the next book in the series is coming out this summer, so I need to catch up ASAP! 

7. Doctor Who: Borrowed Time by Naomi Alderman – A bit of a random choice, yes, but we all know about my love (*cough*obsession*cough*) of everything Doctor Who. There are a number of these novels on my TBR at the moment and I want to start making my way through them. They are nice for a entertaining, quick read each month, and this is the one I’m most in the mood to read next. Also…Doctor Who… ❤

rebelofthesands passenger loveliesandspies

8. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – This is one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and is going to be one of the next books I read. Yes, I know I said at the beginning of this post that I’ve been getting too distracted by new releases lately, but I just can’t wait for this one! And…you know…one more can’t hurt, right? We’ll just keep this between us… 😛

9. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – Another one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and a book I’ve had on my TBR since January. I’ve had to keep putting it off each month, so I’m determined to finally get to it soon. Last week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic also made me realize that, though I completely love stories about time travel, I’ve not actually read all that many. Clearly, this is something I need to fix, and what better way to get started?

10. Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey – I just recently discovered this one and am definitely intrigued. It sounds like it might be a fun read, but I will say, I am slightly iffy about it because it sounds like it will be a little more focused on romance than my typical reads. I feel like this might be a novel that I’m either really going to love or just not be able to get into, but I’m interested to see what I think!

What are some of the books on your spring TBR? Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments!



Top 5 Wednesday – December 30th, 2015


Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top 5 favorite books that you read this year. While I didn’t read nearly as many books as I had hoped that I would, this year was pretty fantastic in terms of quality of books read. It was difficult to narrow this list down to just five, but there were definitely a few novels that particularly stuck out this year. These have not only become some of my top favorite novels of all time, but all of these authors were new to me and are now on my favorite authors list as well!

5. Jackaby by William Ritter

jackabyThis was pitched as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock”, so of course I had to read this immediately—and thankfully, it did not disappoint!

Click here to check out my full review!

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinderThis was my first read of 2015 and an absolutely brilliant way to start off my reading for the year.

Click here to check out my full review!

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gonegirlThis was my first Gillian Flynn book, and by far one of the most intriguing and captivating novels that I read all year.

Click here to check out my full review!

2. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

thememoirsofsherlockholmesThis is my first time making my way through this series and I am kicking myself for having put these novels off for so long—they are fantastic!

Click here to check out my full review!

1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

viciousThis was my most recent read and my last completed book of the year—and it was definitely my favorite of them all!

Review coming soon!


Top 5 Wednesday – October 21st, 2015


Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite authors you discovered this year. This was surprisingly tricky for me to put together because I have discovered a lot of new authors that I would like to read novels by, but I’ve only begun on a small amount of them. However, I have found a few that I have really enjoyed, and I am looking forward to reading more of their work in the future.

5. Victoria Aveyard


This may be a strange choice given the fact that I was not actually a huge fan of her debut novel, Red Queen. I enjoy reading debut authors every year, and I primarily chose her novel due to all the hype surrounding it. And while the overall idea was a unique and intriguing one, I felt that the execution of the plot was rather weak and cliché. Despite all of this, I ended up absolutely loving her writing style, and this is why I would place her on this list. While I didn’t like the story itself, I thought she was a wonderfully descriptive writer, and I am very intrigued to read more of her work.

My full review: Red Queen

4. Noelle Stevenson


I first discovered Noelle Stevenson a few months ago through Booktube, and I am so glad that I did. She writes and illustrates her own graphic novels, which instantly intrigued me. Nimona was one of my most recent reads, and it was absolutely fantastic. The story was hilarious and heartwarming, and the characters were interesting and endearing. On top of that, I completely adored her art style; it was colorful and comical, and it perfectly fit the overall tone of the novel. The entire graphic novel was solidly constructed and made for an incredibly entertaining reading experience. I have become a major fan of her work and I am eager for more of it.

3. Benjamin Alire Saenz


Technically, Benjamin Alire Saenz is an author that I first discovered last year; however, I did not get a chance to read any of his work until a few months ago. I had been hearing people raving about his novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, so I had to pick it up and give it a try; and this was one of those books that completely lived up to the hype. Benjamin Alire Saenz created an inspiring and touching story with rich characters that are very easy to connect with and care about. On top of this, his writing is beautifully poetic. He definitely makes it onto my favorites list for the year.

2. Marissa Meyer


Marissa Meyer is another author that I first heard about last year. I began reading The Lunar Chronicles series earlier this year though, and I completely fell in love with it right from the start. She has a very captivating storytelling style that pulled me in and held me until the end. She also has a knack for creating unique and engaging characters, and bringing to life well-known tales in fresh ways. Overall, I truly enjoyed the world that she created and am looking forward to continuing on and seeing where the series heads. I’m also quite interested to read her future work outside of this series. Marissa Meyer easily makes this list.

1. Gillian Flynn


I believe that I have made it abundantly clear in recent posts just how much I adore Gillian Flynn’s writing. But I don’t think I will ever stop raving about her work! I’ve been hearing about her novels for a number of years now; however, I only just gave them a try a few months back. So far, I’ve only read Gone Girl, but I am planning on reading her other books as soon as possible. Gillian Flynn is a brilliant writer and a genius at constructing complex, twisted mysteries and characters. She has become one of my all-time favorite authors and is, by far, my favorite author I have discovered this year.

My full review: Gone Girl

Who are your favorite newly discovered authors? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!



Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gonegirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn

My Rating: 5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: June 5th, 2012

Publisher: Crown Publishers

Pages: 419 pages

Source: Purchased

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?


This is a spoiler-free review.

Gone Girl is an incredibly well crafted, captivating mystery. With an ingenious plot and many intriguing characters, Gillian Flynn creates a fantastically twisted and unpredictable novel. As I am finding, it is an extremely hard book to review without spoilers, though I am giving it my best shot. I am a huge fan of crime and mystery novels, so I knew going in that this would be an enjoyable read for me; however, I did not expect to love it quite as much as I did. I ended up absolutely adoring every aspect of this book, and just this one novel has already made me a major Gillian Flynn fan.

Though this is a fantastic read no matter what, going into this novel knowing next to nothing about the story would be the best way to go about it. Flynn has skillfully constructed an exceedingly complex plot, with an astonishing amount of layers that unfold slowly as it progresses. There are so many different threads, going off in all directions, which are brought back together in the end and connected to each other. I was amazed by how carefully created the storyline was; how even the smallest elements addressed early in the novel had played a significant role by the end. As a writer myself, I truly admire the amount of cleverness and expert planning that must have gone into the assembling of this narrative.

In my opinion, one of the most impressive aspects of this novel is how frighteningly realistic everything is. The scenarios are outrageous, but they never get to the point of being unbelievable; they are unlikely, uncommon, but humanly possible.

Gone Girl is also full of vivid characters that add further dimension to the plot, many times due to their unreliability. Almost all of the characters that are central to the telling of the story have their own secrets that they are keeping from each other, as well as the reader. We are typically trained to trust the narrator in the stories that we read, but in this novel, it quickly becomes clear that this is not something that can be done.

This is not a story of good versus evil. All of the characters have their faults; all of them are in the wrong in some way or another. No one person is entirely likeable or worthy of full sympathy, and that is what ends up making all of them so enjoyable and interesting. They add further mystery and intrigue to the narrative, and their lack of truthfulness keeps the reader on their toes, wondering whether or not to trust.

Tying in with what I said earlier about realism in the plot, these characters do outrageous things to each other and to hide incriminating facts, however they are extremely believable. It never reaches a point where you are questioning their ability to pull off what they do. You may wonder how people could do such things; how they could get to the point where they feel they need to behave this way. But nothing is ever an unrealistic feat, and recognizing this makes the overall story even more unnerving.

And now we come to my absolute favorite part about this novel: the writing style. I completely fell in love with Flynn’s writing style and felt that it carried me seamlessly through the novel. She does a fantastic job of setting the tone, and her words flow consistently well throughout. She captures the voices of her characters perfectly, and paints a very sharp and chilling picture.

Suffice it to say, I loved this book and very highly recommend giving it a try. This is by far one of the most well-written and expertly plotted novels that I have ever read. It was a fast-paced, disturbing, and startling read, that had me completely captivated from page one. It takes a lot of skill to construct something like this, and I am incredibly impressed by her talent as a writer. Gillian Flynn has created a masterpiece.

5.0 TARDISes