Girl Fight! Why Amy (Gone Girl), Kick A** over Rachel (Girl On The Train)


**  Warning this post will contain potential spoilers to both Gone Girl and Girl On The Train


Recently I finished the book, Girl On The Train.  If you have been on the blogesphere lately you may have noticed this book.  It is… EVERYWHERE.  An EVERYWHERE book does not necessarily constitute a need for me to read it – however, my interest was piqued.  Having seen it was being compared to Gone Girl increased that interest.

Now, having read both books, I have thoughts on why Amy from Gone Girl makes for an excellent protagonist and why Rachel from Girl On The Train does not.  (Yes I know I am poking the bear)


Amy Dunne is brilliant.  Scary brilliant.  She can be the “everything woman”.  When she meets Nick she is exactly who he wants her to be.  She is sweet, beautiful, vulnerable.  She makes Nick feel like a man and he falls in love with her.  BUT (and it is a big but.. we are talking baby got back but!) we all know that Amy is flawed… more dangerously than Rachel because Amy can cover her flaws well.  It is not until later in the book that we discover how flawed Amy really is…. twisted and damaged to the core she still ends up on top even in the end.  Those who know her true colors are few and too afraid of her to do anything about it.



Rachel comes with a lot of baggage.  Most prominent is her trouble with alcohol.  Her inability to stop drinking puts her immediately at a disadvantage.  She is a burden on those around her.  She can not hold down a job.  As a witness, because of her drinking she is unreliable.  Those who try to like her find her to be too much work and they quickly move on.  Rachel has dug herself into a deep hole.  In the end, she pulls herself together and is working towards being a person who will probably trump Amy in genuine niceness and togetherness.. but for me, it was too little too late.


Unreliable narration is the hook to both of these books.  Can we trust what the narrator is telling us?  Narration to narration I still give Gone Girl the win as when the book turned and twisted to what was really going on I was BLOWN AWAY.  When Girl On The Train twisted I was surprised, but not over the top.  I think by that time I had spent so much time struggling with Rachel that I was not engaged enough to appreciate what was indeed, an excellent twist of events.


Disclaimer:  This post is all in fun.  Based on my thoughts, solely my opinion, on both books and their protagonists.  I actually enjoyed reading both books, just had a protagonist issue with Girl On The Train (my issue.). Let’s discuss!  Did you like one protagonist over the other?  Is it even about the protagonist or is more about the narration that makes the books?  Do you agree or disagree with what I have said here?  Is it even a fair fight?

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places, Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl, Book Journey

Libby Day was seven years old when her two sisters and mother were murdered by her fifteen year old brother Ben.  It was little Libby’s testimony that put Ben behind bars for life and now, 24 years later Libby stands by her testimony and has never went to see her convicted brother.

While Libby was a sole survivor of what was known as the “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.”, the term “survive” is a loose definition.  Libby is used to being cared for by a trust fund and has never held down a job.  She suffers from bouts of depression and often finds it hard to get out of bed.  However, the trust fund is running dangerously low after all of these years and Libby needs to figure out what she is going to do with her life and how to finally take control of her future.

When Libby agrees to be paid to speak to a group called The Kill Club, a group of people who follow true crimes, she thinks this will be an easy task.  She is shocked to find out the group has other theories on what really happened that night and they believe Libby’s brother Ben is innocent.  For a fee, Libby agrees to take another look at what happened the night of the killings, which means she will have to reconnect with the shadows of her past.




A few years ago a friend of mine recommended I read this book.  She described it as being even better than Gone Girl (by the same author) and I meant to read it then, but we know how that can go.  Finally, recently I picked up this book and found it engaging right from the start.  While Libby is a strange protagonist (lazy at times, disengaged in real life…) she grew on me.

I flew through this book in two days and enjoyed another twisty turny read from Gillian Flynn.  I guessed at the ending, and I guessed wrong.  It was much more twisted than I had thought and I loved the super craziness of it all.

If Gone Girl was a book you enjoyed to be shocked by, do not miss out on Dark Places.  This book will be a movie released in 2015.  Be ready… I will be. 🙂

  • Paperback: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 Reprint edition (May 4, 2010)

Gone Girl – Book VS. Movie


Woo hoo!  Finally, 10 days after the opening of the movie, I made it to see Gone Girl!  The movie made from the book whose spoiler page has become by far my all time most popular post on Book Journey.  Seriously, here are the stats since I wrote the post in 2012:

Months and Years

Oct Nov Dec Total
2012 6,028 5,790 6,922 23,741
2013 2,993 2,578 2,299 40,138
2014 140,912 264,276


* I eliminated most of the months as this graph was just too big to fit into the post. 

So lets discuss the book.  I read Gone Girl in July of 2012.  It was my first Gillian Flynn and it blew me away with all of its twists and turns.  I LOVED it, and I had a lot to say about it, which is why I wrote the spoiler page.  Gone Girl is a book that had me thinking one way, and then I was wrong, and then I thought another way… and I was wrong again.  I gushed in my review of the book!  I was so impressed with Gillian’s talent to write characters that can drive you nuts!


The Movie…

As a disclaimer, I must say that I read the book in July 2012, and seen the movie on October 13th, 2014.  I had hoped to read the book again before the movie but there just was no time to get it done.  That said, I cautiously approached the movie that sat at 2 hours and 35 minutes long.  That, on the front end, seemed longer than necessary, as it turns out after seeing the movie, there is nothing I would cut out out to make it shorter.

Gone Girl the movie starred a well played Ben Affleck as Nick, and Rosamund Pike made for a perfect Amy.  Honestly, the movie played out extremely well and had a nice running compatibility with the book.  I went to the movie with two friends, one who had read the book and one who has not.  The one who had not was a lot of fun to watch as she was shocked by what was happening on the screen.  I found myself chuckling softly to the game playing between Nick and Amy and hung on to the ending credits.  Then we were the last ones in the theater as we sat and discussed the movie.


The Verdict of Book Vs. Movie….  (possible spoilers)


The book.  The book is so filled with high energy twisty turns that I feel it comes across better to be read and get the initial buzz through the pages.  The movie missed a couple of “what I felt to be important” points:

1.  Nick’s dad, and when found wondering around from his retirement home in the book is quite verbal about his negative feelings towards Amy, thus giving you the impression that he may be involved in her disappearance.  In the movie, while the dad is found wondering away from his home, shows no emotion about Amy one way or another… this making his appearance in the movie feel a little useless.

2.  In the book, it is explained well how Amy’s parents have used her for the books her mom wrote, Amazing Amy and you fully understand the pressures that Amy had on her to live up to an animated character of herself.  While the movie mentions these pressures a little… I am not sure if it is enough for the watcher to get the full picture of what that type of perfection caused.

Now, I would by no means rule the movie out.  The movie was actually very good and I would definitely watch it again and will probably own the movie.  See it.  Even if you have no intentions of reading the book, I think you will find the movie to be just a fun crazy insane ride!


Update:  The spoiler page for the book is picking up a pot of movie discussion so I am going to open up a spoiler page here for the movie.  This page will be for those who have seen the movie and open for discussion if you have read the book or not.  Enter below!



Morning Meanderings… Far Out Statistics


Good morning!  And yes…. I did just say “far out” in the title of this post.  It seemed appropriate.

If you kept up with me this week you know I was in Mankato the past couple of days for the Minnesota Library Annual Conference.  There were sessions aimed towards Librarians and staff, and also Friends Of The Library (fundraising ideas, grant writing, 501c3 uses, membership building, etc…) it was a lot of fun and I came home with a few ideas.  More on that tomorrow 🙂

Today I wanted to share with you the funny phenomenon of Gone Girl.  Those of you who have read me for some time are probably familiar with my spoiler page.  This is an additional page I write on books that I want to talk about in more detail because they totally blew me away, or made me angry, or… whatever.  I do not use the spoiler page often.  If you look at my link (also found in the tabs under my header) you will see the books I have used it on.  Occasionally, when a book becomes a movie or there is some hype surrounding the book, I will notice an increase on hits on a particular spoiler post.

But not like Gone Girl.

If you are familiar with the book Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, then you probably know the movie released on the 3rd of this month.  In September, the views of my spoiler page for Gone Girl started climbing… not just by 100’s… but by thousands of view a day.  It was odd.  In face here is what my top post views looked like on October 3rd:

Top Posts & Pages

These posts on your site got the most traffic.



Is that not just crazy?  The post had been receiving hits around 15,000 – 19,000 per day for weeks, but opening day was the largest.

What is the big interest in knowing what people are saying about the book?

What do you think the draw is?

The words they are looking up to find this post are:

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your site.


Search Views
gone girl spoiler 338
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gone girl synopsis 99
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What are your thoughts on this?  Is it just that people are looking to reach out to others that have read the book?  Are they looking for confirmation on their feelings regarding the story line?