Tag Archives: Dark Places

‘Dark Places’ Movie- A spot-on adaptation

28 Sep
Poster via IndieWire Blog

Poster via IndieWire Blog

My eAudio came in the same week I saw a movie advert for this on Goodreads. It was like fate. And then my friend Nicole texted me and wanted to see it. Double fate. So I rushed through the audio (with thanks to Bout of Books) and saw the movie a few days later. Win.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Sticking to the Book. I think the screenwriters did a really good job of sticking to the book. As I listened to it on audio, I had odd deja vu of having heard the lines already. There were parts taken out, yes, but for the most part, I felt like I was watching the book play out on screen.

Ben as an adult. In the book, he seemed to ‘soft’ to have been in jail almost 25 years. He seemed young and naive still, which is the opposite of how I would imagine someone in jail for that long. In the movie, his anger came across really well and he looked rough and like someone I believed had been in jail for a long time.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The cross. This made the connection between Diondra and the Day’s a lot more visual. It wasn’t a big thing that was over-shown at the beginning but I remembered it when it came up again at the end. It was better for the movie.

Taking out Michelle’s diaries. This ties into the point above here. Michelle’s diaries were very ingrained in her personality and there’s not enough time in a movie to engrain that in the plot. It was set up well, slowly and fundamentally, and it couldn’t be done in the movie. I’m glad the screenwriters didn’t try.

No ‘Free Day’ organization. If there’s a scene that was going to be taken out, I’m glad it was this one. I don’t think it did much for the plot. It cast more doubt on Runner, but in the end, that wasn’t needed. It did give Libby the motivation to track him down, but I think he was next on her list anyway. And it made me really dislike most of the women in the story, something Flynn has a habit of doing.

No gross images. There were references in the book to pictures of Libby’s sisters from the crime scene and talk about mangled corpses and brain matter. The movie didn’t show these and I’m really glad it was taken out. That wasn’t something I needed to see. Having someone read me passages about it was bad enough.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

A lot of Runner’s backstory. In the book, he was a likely suspect and a lot of people in the Kill Club thought he was guilty. We didn’t get a lot of that with the movie. Runner was a shady guy to be sure, but a lot of the foreshadowing before Libby met him was toned down. I understand that the movie needed to be compressed, but I thought this lost a viable scapegoat for the Free Day Society’s anger.

Things That Changed Too Much

Krissy Kates. It wasn’t enough. Lyle thought Lou Kates did it and in the book, that seemed like a logical choice because of how big the Krissy Kates thing was the day of the murders. The scenes of Ben going to clean the school in the morning were cut. So he wasn’t acting suspiciously around the locker room and no teacher saw him sneaking around and being aroused near Krissy’s classroom. Those things would be very damning and would point to Krissy being molested like she claimed and would fuel Lou’s anger. But it was all gone and I felt that Krissy’s plot was a weak point of the movie.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Dark Places movie? Do you think Sharp Objects will be made into a film? Was there anything else you would add to my lists?

Until next time, write on.

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WWW Wednesday, 16-September-2015

16 Sep

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


SilkwormCurrently reading:  Slow going on Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I don’t have a lot of time to read it so I’m not sure how soon I could finish this. My hold expires soon and I’m not sure if I can renew it so this trend might continue…
I haven’t look at I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai yet because I’ve had Cloud Atlas. If the hold expires, I’ll get back to this one soon, but I’m almost hoping I can power through Cloud Atlas first.
Getting really close to the end of The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. I’m enjoying it a lot. Katherine Howard’s character is really fun to read. I hope to finish it up really soon!
I’m stopped about 2/3 of the way through Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. It’s still interesting, but I’ve set it aside for my new audiobook…
I got The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith! I’m really excited about this one. It’s the same narrator as The Cuckoo’s Calling which is really nice. I’m enjoying the focus on publishing in this one. I bet it’s something Rowling/Galbraith knows a lot about!

Recently finished: Nothing finished this week. I know, I know, it’s my own fault because I keep putting books on hold. This is true, I can’t fight it.

Though I put out two book reviews since last week! Please check out my reviews of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (3 Stars) and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (5 Stars).

Bird BoxReading Next: My book club met on Monday and I got my copy of Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I’m going to pick it up as soon as I finish The Boleyn Inherritance. I’m not putting another book on hold!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (5/5)

15 Sep

I’m not normally a thriller reader, but I liked Gone Girl. I wasn’t rushing to read everything Flynn has ever written but when I found out that Dark Places was being turned into a movie and it was timing up with my audiobook hold coming in, I knew God was smiling on me to have everything fall into place. So perfectly.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Summary from Goodreads:

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

I was prepared to have every character like I did in Gone Girl. I thought none of them would be redeemable and they would all end up being terrible people and I’m so happy that I was wrong! Libby is hard to like at first, but she grows on you. Lyle is likable all the way through which was refreshing. I loved the alternating points of view and the time jumps, which helped reveal just enough to keep me up late finding out what happened next.  And like in Gone Girl, there are twists all the way through and they’re wonderful. I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, and I’ll warn you when I’m going to spill some major plot points!

I can’t imagine growing up in Libby’s shoes, but I don’t think it would be a walk in the park, a ‘brand new Day’ for me. It would be hard and I think it would give me some of the quirks that Libby had. She seemed very real to me. She had been under an illusion she was coaxed into for so long that she believed it and had trouble finding a new truth. I bought it. I loved figuring out the clues with her. I loved being as shocked as she was. The character I identified with the least was Patty, but I think that’s only because I’m not a mother. I couldn’t understand why she did what she did after Ben was accused.

Runner entertained me the most. I won’t say he was my favorite but by far the most interesting. He’s so manipulative and cunning that no one knew what to think of him. He was talked about the whole book but only showed up in the plot once or twice. I liked that he was the person everyone wanted to blame but in the end, he was blameless (is that a spoiler? I don’t think so, I never thought he was guilty).

The characters were hard to relate to because of their unique story. I most related to Lyle because of his strong passion for something taboo. Maybe my strong love for books, Titanic history, and turtles isn’t taboo like murder investigation, but it’s still uncommon. I respected his passion and how far he was willing to go to do something he believed in. Some people said I was crazy to stand outside for 4 hours in the rain to meet David Sedaris, but that’s what I’m passionate about.

Gillian Flynn Image via the author's website

Gillian Flynn
Image via the author’s website

Okay, here’s the part where I’m going to talk about the ending, so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know. Is everyone gone now? Good. I TOTALLY called half of the ending and it made me love the book. When Lyle mentioned the group of people in the Kill Club who were ‘inventing their own serial killer,’ I was immediately suspicious. It’s the old trick, “If you mention a gun in Act one, it better go off in Act three.” I knew there was a reason Flynn put that kind of detail into the book and finding it made me so gosh darn happy!

Reading about Patty going through Ben’s accusation (the one floating around the day of the murders) was hard. It was a good twist to the book, but it also was hard to hear about her suffering through that knowing what was coming up a short while later. I don’t want to say too much so as not to spoil the book, but that was hard to read.

The audiobook I listened to had three narrators for the three narrators in the book, Rebecca Lowman, Cassandra Campbell, and Mark Deakins. I liked that there was a narrator for each narrator in the book, especially because of the gender change. I felt Lowman and Campbell sounded a bit too similar, though, and it took me a while to realize they were different speakers. They all did well, but none sticks out more than the others.

Libby learned two hard lessons. She had to learn to forgive both Ben and herself. It was easy to forgive Ben when she’d solved the crime and knew his only crime was… well, I won’t spoil it here but loving someone. Forgiving herself was harder. She’d made a mistake when she was young and impressionable and it was something she had to live with for a long time. She’d talked herself into believing the lie and coming to terms with it and the ramifications of it was her struggle. It was never too late for Libby to right her wrong though it became harder the longer she waited.

Writer’s Takeaway: Using multiple points of view can be hard. There is such a thing as too many narrating characters and three can be pushing that limit. I think Flynn handled it well and I commend her for giving us three people whose lives and actions made the biggest impact on such a complicated story. I like that we switched between Libby figuring out the mystery and Patty and Ben living through it. Flashbacks can be hard, too, but these gave us forward progress with the modern plot line.

Great characters and a great mystery. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review- Dary Places by Gillian Flynn | Many Musings of a Bookworm
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn | As The Plot Thins

WWW Wednesday, 26-August-2015

26 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ScorchCurrently reading:  I finally got Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back on Monday. Woo! This won’t be the fastest progressing book I read, but I’m excited to make headway with it.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is out, too. I just want one of these now and it’s seeming like that’s too much to ask.
I just got back to The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer after a week off to get through Dark Places. I hope to finish this up soon.
Just a little bit with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Again, I’m close to finishing this one so I hope to get through it soon.
I decided to grab The Scorch Trials by James Dashner next. I’m hoping it’s a quick read and I can get it over with quickly and move on to some other books I’ve been looking forward to.

MiniaturistRecently finished: I finished The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on Sunday. Review to come but in summary I’ll say this was a bit over-hyped in my opinion. Good, but not outstanding.
I finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn on Monday. I don’t want to brag, but I half figured it out early on! I was so excited to see the story unfold. This one will be a high rating from me!

One review out this week, one you were all asking me about. Click to find my review of The Martian by Andy Weir! Please go check it out and let me know what you thought about this awesome book. I’m so excited for the movie.

Boleyn InheritanceReading Next: I think I’m going to finish up my When Are You Reading? Challenge next. I only have one book left and it’s on my shelves. So up next should be The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. I’m a big fan of Gregory and can only remember one or two books of her’s I didn’t enjoy. I’m looking forward to this one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 19-August-2015

19 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


MiniaturistCurrently reading:  I want to get Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back soon. I need an ebook in my life.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai would be fine, too. As long as I get an ebook. Please, Book Gods?
Good progress The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I listened to more on my drive back from Chicago on Sunday. However, as it seems all of my books are, this is temporarily on hold. Read on to find out why!
On hold with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Again, something more pressing has come up.
I finally received my eAudio of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn! Yes, this is why everything is on hold right now. This is a long book and I need to get through it before it’s returned so I’m putting my other audio aside for now and pushing through on this one. I’m making decent progress because of Bout of Books. I hope I can keep it up.
While I was on vacation, I needed a new book and was lucky to find The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on sale at an indie store in Chicago. It’s so pretty!

CastleRecently finished: I finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls while I was away. I enjoyed it a lot. It was different from what I was expecting but still enjoyable. I’m amazed at her strength!

And one book review for your reading pleasure. I wrote up my thoughts after re-reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Can’t wait for the movie!

ScorchReading Next: For once, I’m really not sure. I’ve decided that my book club reading A Widow for One Year is unfortunately, one I need to drop. I’m not happy about this, but it’s become a logistical impossibility for me. So at the moment, I’m without book guidance. I think I might grab The Scorch Trials by James Dashner before the movie comes out. I know I’ll get suckered into seeing it. It should be a quick read I can power through during Bout of Books.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 12-August-2015

12 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


CastleCurrently reading:  I should get Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back soon. I hope. I miss it.
Also waiting for I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. So yeah, no ebook right now is weird for me and I’m not a fan. It makes me angry.
Good progress The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer yesterday. I drove to Chicago for a conference (which is why my response time probably sucks. Sorry.) which means 5 hours of audio time. I’ll have another 5 on Sunday so I hope to be almost done with this one soon!
Steady progress with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. I like it? It’s interesting, but I feel bad for the main character instead of outright liking her. So a bit mixed at this point.
I was able to start The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and so far, it’s interesting. Not the light-hearted read I need right now by any means, but enjoyable. It’s one of those ‘so crazy it has to be true’ stories and it’s mindblowing.

ExtraordinaryRecently finished: I made it through The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. This was way too slow to start for me and it was hard to make my way to a good point. I wish it had been a lot faster because I lost interest and mentally gave up on it.

And a book review! Look at me go. My review for Every Man for Himself by Baryl Bainbridge went up yesterday. Go check it out.

DarkPlacesReading Next: Next for physical book will be A Widow for One Year by John Irving. I think my work book club is falling apart and it’s making me sad.
I hope to start a new eAudio soon, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I’ve had it on hold forever and it’s finally coming up, just after the movie comes out. Could this be more perfect?


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!