Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Birchbox Haul and Gillian Flynn Book Review

This post is a bit of odds and ends I decided to glue together rather than have a few short posts this month. I placed an order with Birchbox last month, so consider this my "haul" post, as well as my review of the trio of Gillian Flynn books that was the choice for the October Birchbox book club.

My haul consisted of a thing for me, a thing for my husband, a free gift, and my free mystery pack. I'll just go left from right to make this simple. The gift for my husband is an Art of Shaving introduction kit. It comes with a pre-shave oil, a shaving cream, an after shave balm, and a badger hair brush. I got him the unscented set, but there were a couple of different choices. So far he seems to like it, and I LOVE how soft his face is with it. I think we'll be purchasing some full sized ones later this month with my 20% off coupon. I bought a full sized Beauty Protector spray since I loved my sample from my October box so much. The little yellow bottle is Not Soap Radio in their joy inducing scent, which smells like lemon sugar. I've already used it once for a bubble bath and I am in total love with it. I will have to track down all of the other scents and give them a try for sure. This was part of my mystery two pack that you get free with $35 purchase. The other part was that round thing, which is a mirror. Yes. A friggin mirror. From one of the CEW boxes they put out during the spring. I feel a bit cheated there. I know I'll use the mirror so I'm not pissed, but I'd have liked a beauty sample of some sort. And lastly is my free gift, that TINY little tube on the right. It's the Supergoop eye cream, which I was excited to try till I saw how teenie a sample I got. If I had known how tiny it was going to be I'd have picked something else instead.

I was given all three of Gillian Flynn's books by Birchbox because I am a Birchblogger so I could read and review them on my blog. Gillian Flynn is the author of Gone Girl, which is currently a movie out in theaters right now. I for some reason didn't take a picture of Gone Girl, but that was the book I read first. Consider the rest of this post one big spoiler on all three of the books, so proceed at your own discretion.

Gone Girl. I actually really liked the first half of the book, when it was just Nick (the husband) talking and bits of Amy's diary. Then I got to the big "twist" and I was 300% done. Seriously, the book tanked after that. Nick wasn't a likable character to begin with, and Amy turned out to be a raging psycho. Everybody in that book was awful, nobody was even remotely likeable. And as far as the big twist, I think someone was to impressed with her own cleverness to actually focus on writing something decent. I think she should have left it open ended, let the reader decide what really happened. The whole "Amy faked her own death then trapped Nick in a weird loveless super creepy almost murderous marriage with a baby" thing just felt sloppy and shoddy.

Second book I read was Dark Places, and I actually really liked this one. Gist is girl's whole family was murdered by what she believed was her brother in some satanic cult thing. She lives like twenty some odd years believing that only to be forced to dig into it and discover the truth. The actual killer was a HUGE twist, it actually gave me chills. Turns out to have been two murderers, an "angel of debt" the mother hired to kill herself so the family can have her life insurance money to save the farm/defense money for brother who was accused of satanically raping a bunch of children (totally fake) and the other killer was the brother's PREGNANT girlfriend. There was a ton twists and turns and it was a really good book. I do not regret reading it at all and I know my husband is looking forward to reading it next.

Sharp Objects was the last in the trio and let me just say if profanity and an angry blogger are things you want to avoid than I suggest you quit reading right now. Right, so I'm going to be blunt. I FUCKING hated his book, it made me so god damned angry I'm contemplating setting the damn thing on fire.The plot was straight out of a 90's psychology text book. A mother with a deadly case of Munchhausen by Proxy (forces others, typically children, to be sick so they can swoop in and take care of them, gaining lots of attention from others for their "selfless care". Typically ends in the death of the child), a daughter who goes all crazy pants and kills other small children, and an adult daughter who carves words into her body and as a journalist solves not only the murders of the small children but discovers her mother killed her little sister. Straight 90's pop psych. Gave me flash backs to school (I majored in Psychology before I ran out of moneys). So some garbage plot, but that's not what has be foaming at the mouth angry. There has been articles circling around that Gillian Flynn is a misogynist due to her treatment of female characters, but all the articles I read talked about Gone Girls. And yes, there are no good female characters in Gone Girl, they all suck. But Sharp Objects is the book that really cemented the "you are a huge misogynist" for me. There's a passage where the main character, the cutter, is telling the out of town cop stories about violence in the small town (all violence against women I'd like to point out) and she tells him about "an eighth-grade girl got drunk at a high-school party and four or five guys on the football team had sex with her". That there is rape folks. But wait, it gets better. The cop is understandably upset that that happened and the lady gets pissed, PISSED, at him for calling it rape and saying it was wrong and they should have gotten arrested. The kicker is it was her own rape. She thinks women get what they deserve. There was a whole theme of violence against women, especially of the sexual kind throughout the whole book. And the sexualization of young girls honestly made me sick to my stomach. You are a special kind of fucked up when you can write chapters upon chapters about how hot and tight and smooth a 13 year old girls body is. The book is a pedophiles wet dream, all these children having sex and being sexually aggressive. It sickens me. I want to know what the hell has gone so wrong in your life that you decide one day to add stories about young girls being forced to shove sticks up their vagina's to your novel. Like, what the hell? There are other ways to show the antagonist is a psycho besides writing about sexual abuse and assaults none friggin stop. Everything about this book makes me angry.

Two out of the three books sucked and I would not read again at all. In fact the writing in Dark Places is so good I can't help but wonder if it was written by the same person. I will not be rushing out to buy her next book, that's for sure.

The November book club choice is Amy Poehler's new book, Yes Please, which is sort of an autobiography. I can't wait to get started on it, I think it's just what I need to wipe those horrible books from my brain. Amy Poehler is hilarious on SNL and I just thinks she's an awesome person in general, I'd love to grab a beer with her and just chat. I'll be doing a review of this later this month, probably the Friday after Thanksgiving. Anybody else reading it?


  1. I've read the trio of Gillian Flynn's books too, and I found Dark Places to be the best of the three. You described Sharp Objects the best. It is quite disturbing!

    1. Thank you! I've been a little worried my review was going to cause some serious waves but so far no angry messages. Dark Places was seriously great, wish the other two had been as good too

  2. I literally threw Gone Girl in the trash when I finished reading it! I like the movie a little better but I'm a big fan of Ben Affleck. I will take your word on the other 2!

    1. I haven't seen the movie yet, I have a wee one so I only get out to the theaters maybe twice a year. I'm not going to waste date night on a crappy movie lol