A narrator always gets to know the reader before spilling their deepest secret.
I am a murderer.
She was just a silly nothing of a girl until I made her rise to fame. A pennything.
So, reader: sit down, cozy up. I’d offer a cup of tea, but you may worry it’s poisoned, and you may be correct.
But I can’t just tell you how she died. That’s too easy. Too quick. Buckle up: you’re in for a villainous monologue.
Would you read it? Would you buy it? Or would you set it back on the shelf? I’ll be sending the final wording to a cover designer soon, so I’d love your thoughts.
If you’d like to continue reading, fyi: patrons will be getting an excerpt of the book posted this week! Plus, the first 20 patrons are receiving a printed Cast of Characters in the mail. Sign up as a patron for that and more goodies in the future!
The Sandman is taking me. He unscrews my hands, my feet, my ears, my nose – whatever is in reach. Then the dreams – I enter my dreams and am falling apart. Why does everyone stare? What are they looking at? No, not a human. I’m nothing but an abomination now, an automaton. He did this, emptying my eye sockets, cleaning out my soul.
There was love, at least the option. I could have been the talk of the town in an entirely different way. People flocking and I had eyes for only one. That’s how it was. He wasn’t all the others were, but he worshipped me and that was enough.
Then the dreams came, falling always falling, drowning but in air not water, and tearing, ripping, gripping for the parts of me that fell away. My heart, see I still have my heart, in my grasp here. Pounding ‘til the drumbeat woke me to twisted sheets and twisted arms. I’m awake. I’m together. The falsehood of dream is gone.
The stares continue, but the glares escalate. My melodies are no longer a siren song, but an omen – first to strangers, my father, my love. No, I’m here, I’m still here, don’t you see. But that’s not my voice, listen to me, listen. Return my eyes and I can show you where I am. Please, the Sandman has me, it’s the Sandman, not me. I’m awake, I’m together, the falsehood of dream is gone ‘til the sun leaves.
The Sandman presented himself at last – a menacing beast of a creature, black of soul and body, but my eyes – he had my eyes! Don’t you see, those are mine, but there went my hands and feet next, and I was losing every piece little by little, and who am I, Klara, Olympia, I can’t remember, tell me who I am. And all that was left was my heart, pounding. I’m awake, I’m together, the falsehood of dream is gone….
The heart beat down the street, safe within my false body. I couldn’t see, I couldn’t hear, I couldn’t feel the touch of my distant love. Up the tower, higher and higher, I’m still here. I’m here, can you hear me? But now there is nothing to do but leap, into the air and let the ground prove my life as it takes it. Am I awake yet?
Well this is not an official review per se, so much as I had some sporatic thoughts as I read the book “Gone Girl” that I wanted to share. First off, total kudos to Gillian Flynn, this story was phenomenal.
It was interesting reading a book where people kept saying “Amy” and I’m like “huh?” and then I remember. Like walking through a grocery store where someone has a kid with your name and they keep calling them out. You know it’s coming, but it still gets your attention every. single. time. If you haven’t found a book where a major character has your name, you should.
Fav quote: “We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A f***ing commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection or personality traits selected from an endless Automat or characters.” – For those who have read “Gone Girl,” this quote is even better realizing that Nick is the narrator of this section….as if he subconsciously knew all along. Anyhow, this quote speaks to the modern human condition a bit, as well as give an interesting foreshadowing to the story.
For those of you who didn’t see the shocker mid-story (no spoilers!), I hate to break the news but I totally called it. It was still a complete delight, but I knew it was coming. Because I’d read “The Seven Sisters” by Margaret Drabble in college. It’s like a literary version that uses a similar shocking twist. In case you’re looking for a more literary, less thiller, angle of this type of psychological exploration.
Your Side (what I was dying to dialogue about)
I’d love a discussion as to who is the villain and who is the victim. Amy? Nick? Who’s the worst here, who’s the instigator? I’m not talking theological “They both chose their sin” sort of thing, I get that. But I’m interested to hear thoughts. Is Amy relatable? Is Nick? Were they meant for each other? Are they more destructive being together or separate? Answer some or all of these questions in the comments, I’d love your thoughts and I’ll share mine.
I am so thrilled I received this book through the FirstReads program.
How do I simply sum up by Dani Atkins? It’s about parallel universes and what-ifs and second chances and, more thematically, loss and hope and faith. Imagine waking up from an accident with perfect memory of a traumatic 5 years. Only everyone else has a completely different memory of the past 5 years, as if the instigating traumatic event had never occurred.
Dani had me hooked, and bawling, from the first chapter – but then again I’m a sucker for the best-friend-your-whole-life romance (team Jacob, team Gale, team Eponine – and now team Jimmy.) Some of the characters seemed cliche and I guessed the plot ending, yet this book still gave me a sleepless night as I ripped through the pages to the end of the story hoping against hope – and what I was hoping for I wasn’t even sure. Which reality did I want to be true? And what did I want the explanation for the other reality to be? I guess I can understand the Rachel’s struggle, myself not sure of what I wanted.
I give this story 4 stars, plus 1 star for the best-friend-romance. I know, that last one’s biased, but it’s my review. Loved it!