Reading Gone Girl

 

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I have a confession….I love mysteries. It is a major thrill for me to guess whodunit along with the protagonist of the story. I had seen various advertisments about Gone Girl. Since I had never read Gillian Flynn’s work before  I decided to try this book. I am glad that I did.

Gone Girl is about a Nick and Amy Dunne who are about to celebrate their 5 year wedding anniversary. Until Amy disappears. Immediately Nick Dunne becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance.  This story has a lot of similarities to the real life high profilec murder cases of  Scott Peterson and Drew Peterson who ultimately were convicted  of murdering their wives.

Nick steadfastly proclaims his innocence even though the evidence continues to pile up against him.  The story takes quite a few twists and turns which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t read the book yet.  You may find yourself rooting for an unlikely character after certainly details are revealed.  Gone Girl is not a straight forward mystery where everything is as it seems. It is more like  the story of the highs and lows of this Nick and Amy Dunne’s marriage from when they first met until their fifth year wedding anniversary.  One of the major takeaways from Gone Girl is …do you really know the person you are married to/in a relationship? Or do you know a version of themselves they want you to see?

Next week the film version of Gone Girl is going to be released in theaters. I am definitely to going to see it. It will be interesting to see how the film compares with the book. Either way I will be posting my thoughts  on film vs book.  Until then feel free to leave comments on this post.

The Star Attraction by Alison Sweeney My Summer Review

Summer time is one of my favorite times to read chic lit books. Since the temperatures soared into 100’s, I thought it was the perfect time to read The Star Attraction which I found out about through some of my twitter followers. This book was written by Alison Sweeney who hosts the reality show The Biggest Loser and stars on NBC hit daytime dram Days of Our Lives. This marks Alison Sweeney’s first time writing a fictional novel after her previous two nonfiction books. Kudos to her for a job well done.

The synopsis from the book jacket is as follows:

Sophie is a Hollywood publicist who has a fabulous job, a fabulous boyfriend, and a fabulous life. She evens scores her PR firm’s most important actor client and every woman’s dream- Billy Fox. But will a steamy make-out session in a restaurant alley with her big name client cost Sophie her job? And does she really want an escape from her and her loving, if imperfect, relationship with her investmment banker boyfriend? The Star Attraction takes us on a wild ride through one woman’s daytime soap come to life.

At first I was a bit skeptical to read this book. The synopsis sounded like the typical summer beach read. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how funny and entertaining the Star Attraction turned out to be. I actually found myself rooting for the book’s spunky heroine Sophie Atwater to succeed in her quest to find love and happiness. I am recommending The Star Attraction to anyone who is looking a fun, quirky read that will make you laugh out loud. Have you read the Star Attraction? If so let us know what you think. If not what are you waiting for? Until next time…stay cool and keep reading.

DP~MVBCLUB

Rebecca A Review by Traveling T

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier had been recommended to me before by MVB Club. I kept telling myself to read the book, but until it was chosen for my book
club- I had not found time to read it. I began looking for a copy- and managed to find one at my library (the copy wa so old, the pages so yellowed- this book had been passed around!) But, I took the book home and began to read it. The first line:” Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” That line had me anticipating something, something
that would grip me and make me stay interested.

Unfortunately, that line was just a tease. As I read, I began to feel this tiresome feeling of the main character- the character that we never learn a name of. The character was so naive, so insecure, how the constant thoughts of how poor and pitiful she is compared to Rebecca- it was just too much for me. However, I kept going because it was recommended to me and I wanted to see what would happen. Then, about half-way though the book gripped me, made me give it all my attention. When the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers, began revealing things about Rebecca. When the true nature of Rebecca’s marriage to Maxim was revealed. And especially, when a twist came about what had really happened to Rebecca- I couldn’t put it down. I HAD to know what would happen next.

Then the ending. An ending that fit so perfectly in the overall picture of Rebecca.

Many people rave about this book- give it 5 stars. I would not; but that is simply because the book did not capture my attention to almost halfway through. I am glad I read it, though, and I do recommend others reading. My book club discussed it the other week, and an interesting comment was made. Most of the ladies in the club had read the book in their late teens to early 20’s. And all commented on how they thought the relationship between Maxim and his 2nd wife was so romantic; but stated that in this re-read of Rebecca- they did not find the relationship as romantic as they once thought.

We like to thank our good friend Tamara for sharing her review for Rebecca with us. Please make sure to visit Tamara’s wonderful blog at travelingwitht.wordpress.com

The Great Gatsby — Book Review

I heard so much about how much people liked or disliked The Great Gatsby. I had to read it for myself. I am glad that I took the chance and read it.  I was surprised by how short the book was. It came in around 175 pages. I had been expecting 600 pages at least.

I was captivated from the first sentence to the last. F. Scott Fitzgerald definitely has a way with words. I felt like I had been transported to 1920s West Egg, Long Island where the wealthy partied with absolute abandon. Champagne flowed endlessly like water out a faucet. Jay Gatsby was the epitome of this era with his polite yet mysterious demeanor. Once in his presence he made each person feel like they were the center of the universe.

But little does anyone know there is one person that Gatsby feels is his reason for being. Daisy Buchanan, his married love interest who happens to be Nick Carraway’s cousin. Daisy seems to be in a loveless marriage to Tom Buchanan who has a mistress. Daisy is tormented by this knowledge. It factors largely in her relationship with Jay Gatsby.

Throughout the book my perceptions of Gatsby and Daisy changed dramatically. I thought of Jay Gatsby as a mysterious potentially sinister man. But in the end he was far that image. He turned out to be person with the drive and ambition to achieve the American Dream. Daisy becomes interwined with this need to succeed as she previously left him because he was poor.

Daisy Buchanan turned out to be a spoiled, cold,manipulative person who didn’t care who she destroyed as long as she got what she wanted. This point was driven home by the tragedies that occurred in the final chapters of the story.

Once at the end of the book it became clear that Jay Gatsby’s love for Daisy was more of an obsession which almost consumed him mind, body, and soul. While Daisy used Gatsby as a means to torment her philandering husband. They left town together to start over. Nick Carraway describe them best at easily destroying others’ lives and leaving it to others to pick up the pieces while they enjoy their wealth elsewhere. Quite a poignant and true statement.

The Great Gatsby had such a profound effect on me that I had to stop every few chapters and process every single event that happened.

One of my favorite quotes was “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

…for one of these characters it did.

 I am highly recommending this book for everyone to read.

Please let us know what your thoughts are regarding it or this entry.

All comments are welcome!

~DP of MVBClub

50 Shades Freed by EL James –The Review Is Up!

The ManVsBooks Club presents:

50 Shades of Freed

Part III of III ~ The Finale

Here I am…on the last page of the trilogy. I was so happy when I got to the last page of 50 Shades of Freed

I was hoping this final book would make reading this series worth it. Sadly it wasn’t. After a three-month courtship, Ana Steele is now Ana Grey.  Her professional life has undergone speedy change as well. She is no longer an assistant to the Editor but now the Editor thanks to the sudden firing of her boss. Mind you Ana is still fresh out of college and a couple of weeks later she is the boss. How implausible! I wish that E.L. James would have made Ana sudden promotion more realistic.

Once again, E.L James relies heavily on constant arguments followed by sex scenes to push the love story forward. Christian Grey confronts his demons by facing them; however, Christian shows his immaturity in several situations. For example:

1. He decides to punish his wife by handcuffed hands and feet together in their kinky relations. He proceeds to mark her body with bite marks as though he is marking his territory.

2. When he found out that she was pregnant. He yelled at her and called her names for her unexpected pregnancy. I felt E.L James went to a new low writing those scenes! How disappointing!

3. Ultimately Christian and Ana reunite. They even deal with kidnapping attempt against Christian’s sister which places Ana and her unborn child in imminent danger…everyone survives. 

E.L. James doesn’t bore us with the gory details of the pregnancy and the delivery. Instead we are fast forwarded to two years later where Ana is now the owner of Grey Publishing ,a doting mother of a son, and pregnant with her second child. Christian has made peace with his past and actually enjoys being a father. Ok here I go, I’m going to note something positive…the ending is picture perfect.

At the end of the book E.L. James included a bonus chapter of Christian first meeting with Ana from 50 Shades of Grey from his point of view. I found myself enjoying his thoughts more so than Ana’s the first time.

I wish Ms James had written these books from both of their point of views.

Feel free to write your review below or tell us your thoughts and comments below.

Is the 50 Shades Trilogy worth all the hype?

~DP of ManVsBooksClub

50 Shades Darker — The Review Is In!

The ManVsBooksClub presents:

50 Shades Darker by EL James

Part II of III 

50 Shades Darker picks up a couple of days after Ana Steele breaks up with Christian Grey. I guess she couldn’t handle his “other” lifestyle as much as she thought she could.  During the course of their weekend breakup Ana pines away for Christian. I think she managed to lose 5 lbs in that time. A possible new diet plan for the masses??? Meanwhile Christian Grey has decided to give up his “other” lifestyle. After years of therapy Ana leaving him had that effect on him. Somewhere the psychiatric community sobbing uncontrollably.

It doesn’t take long for Ana and her 50 Shades to reunite. Ana is back to swooning over Christian. Throughout the course of the book Ana decides to the bondage and spanking another try. It all leads to some of most repetitious sex. I can’t believe how bored I became of it. I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough.

In between all the unnecessary arguments, sex scenes, and descriptions of Christian Grey Ana manages to work at a publishing house as an assistant to the Editor. Christian being the control freak that he is, buys the company…(Wow, I guess it’s good to have the boss as your boyfriend hey?)

During the course of the story we found out more about Christian’s past submissives: the women who Christian controlled. One of them begins stalking Ana. This woman turns out to be very elusive. Ana is forced to move into Christian’s penthouse apartment. Ana learns more about Christian first experiences in the “other” lifestyle. He was a submissive to a woman who was friends with his adoptive parents.

Once again E.L. James speedily wraps up the story by having the stalker caught and Christian publicly outing his inappropriate relationship with the family friend at his family’s home.

Overall, I thought this book should have focused more on getting to know Christian Grey.

…but we’ll see where EL James takes us next….

I will next be  reviewing the third and final book in the series…

50 Shades Freed!

~DP of the ManVsBooksClub

50 Shades of Grey — The Reviews Are In!

The ManVsBooks Club presents:

50 Shades of Grey

I must admit I was curious about 50 Shades of Grey. It seemed like everywhere I went I was surrounded by people reading it or discussing it. Finally I had to see what all the hype was all about so I borrowed the trilogy.

Several chapters into it I found myself losing interest. I wasn’t particularly fond of Anastasia, the lead character.  Sorry but she was a bit too whiny for my liking. I know that the character is supposed to be 21 years old but come on.  I would have love it she had more of a backbone (…wishful thinking on my part).

After many coincidental meetings with Christian Grey. The guy is a stalker of epic proportions in my opinion. He reveals his BDSM lifestyle to her. Christian Grey wants Ana to be his submissive. She agrees to it after a few days of considering it….and tet the spanking and tying up began….

Ana slowly adapts to the submissive role. Soon she begins to enjoy it. The following chapters have Christian and Ana having sex all over the place. It got to the point where I thought of them as two rabbits who just couldn’t get enough of it. Somewhere in the middle of the  sex escapades, there were some genuine sweet moments. One of those moments was when Christian took Ana hang gliding for the first time. Another were the constant email banter between Christian and Ana.

Everything was going great for Ana and Christian until what would be the abrupt ending. It seemed like the author ran out of steam; however, I was intrigued enough to want to see what happens next….

Stay tuned for the next review for:

50 Shades Darker…

 

~DP of the ManVsBooksClub