How did this get made into a movie? A movie with Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick and social media maven Blake Lively! Also, how do I write a review that properly encapsulates my disdain for this novel without spoiling the shit out of it? Does it matter if I spoil it, because none of you should ever read this…
“You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone—not even to themselves.”
Stephanie is a single mother whose husband died in a car accident a few years ago; she runs a blog and basically lives off the assets her husband left her when he died. Stephanie has befriended Emily, the mother of her son’s best friend, who has a glamorous PR job with a fashion house. She is married to a British man who is gone a lot so the two women become fast friends and Stephanie often picks Emily’s kid up since his parents are a lot busier than Stephanie is. I kept forgetting which kid beloved to which woman so Stephanie’s kid will be Kid 1 and Emily’s will be Kid 2.
One evening Emily has a work emergency and asks Stephanie to watch Kid 2 until about 9 pm but then doesn’t come pick him up. Emily begins to get concerned but doesn’t call the police until a few days later because she is second guessing how long Emily told her she would be gone. Emily’s husband isn’t super concerned she is gone either. Eventually the police are involved and Stephanie posts a lot of blog entries about her missing friend. The unreliable female narrator trope is implemented by the blog aspect of this waste of a perfectly good tree. Stephanie often puts on a better face for her blog readers but then the reader gets a more complete picture in the following chapter.
After a body is found Stephanie starts dating her dead friend’s husband. I am not entirely sure what the timeline of this novel was but it was not long enough to go from “my friend is missing” to “living with my dead friend’s hunky husband” by any stretch of the imagination.
Obviously, because this is a Gone Girl ripoff, Emily’s disappearance and death are not what they seem. To the people in the book. It is exactly what you think it will be. Emily is – spoiler alert- not dead. She faked her death for the two million dollar insurance policy she took out on herself and passed her twin sister’s- who no one, not even her husband, knew existed- body off as her own after she encouraged her to commit suicide. The most irritating part of this obvious plot twist? Emily didn’t need the money. She was just bored. Her husband knew she planned to fake her death and was somewhat looped into the plan but since he didn’t know about the sister he thought her plan went south which is why he decided to shack up with Stephanie. It was incredibly dumb.
There is also a weird, totally unnecessary incest plot that I hope they changed in the film adaptation. I think they were trying to make Stephanie dark and twisty but it was just a gross tangent.