5. Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
genre: mystery thriller/fiction
Summary: Marriage can be a real killer.
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?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
Rating/Recommendation: 5 out of 5 stars. There's nothing -- literally, nothing -- I can say about this book because it is just brilliant. Not just the writing style that Flynn has which is dark but hilarious, twisty and breath taking in its ability to make you keep reading even though you know the end is not going to be pretty or even remotely what you want but when it gets there all you can do is nod and say "yeah, that's about right." Gillian Flynn has a great narrative voice that gets you inside her characters and whether you love them or despise them, you can't help but wanting to know more about them. Excellent book; highly recommend.
6. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
by Ayana Mathis
genre: historical fiction/cultural fiction/literature
Summary: A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Rating/Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Gorgeous and heartbreaking. That sums up the experience this book was. The twelve narratives grab you and you want to scream at Hattie for what her actions do to her children and scream at the adults those children become for letting that affect them -- which is just something the book focuses on -- children pay the price, always. Yet you understand them, care about them, want to hug every last one of them because you feel the pain there. I loved that Mathis didn't shy away from subjects like sexuality, mental illness, abuse, suicide but she didn't beat you over the head with them in her narrative: they were simply a part of life. Highly recommend this.