The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

Copyright 2014

Published by Crown Publishers

An imprint of Crown Publishing Group,

A Division of Penguin Publishing House LLC, New York.

This book is a short work of fiction billed as a thriller and suspense story. With 62 pages and no chapter or section breaks, the plot moves forward at a snappy pace. Gillian Flynn’s writing is smooth and witty, the first person narrative carrying us through as though we are sitting across from the main character, sipping tea and listening to her story.

What a story it is! We follow a ‘psychic’ as she goes to cleanse a poor mousy woman’s house, thinking that she will smudge a few herbs and wait out whatever hormone was messing with the teenage step-son. This doesn’t seem to be the case, however, and we quickly discover that there is more going on than meets the eye.

The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn is a well written book with a gorgeous cover jacket, a minimalist but beautiful design for the hardcover and interior papers, and well developed characters. With the short amount of time you spend in the world of this story, having characters you identify with and can see on many levels is a great feat for the author.

Unfortunately, this book was billed as a thriller and suspense novel but I did not find myself feeling much of either emotion. In fact, the most I felt was concern for the characters. Because of this, I am giving the book cover and design 4 out of 5 stars and the story itself 3 out of 5 stars.

**I received this book from Blogging for Books free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.**

Author Interview: Melissa Barker-Simpson

Thank you all for joining us here for another fabulous edition of Author Interview Friday! Today it is my great pleasure to welcome to Melissa Barker-Simpson, author of many genres, into our midst. Let’s get this party started!

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

I write under my own name, and a pseudonym. Though all my novels have an element of romance, I write strictly contemporary romance using the pen-name Nat Hobson (which was my great-grandfather’s name).

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

Probably the moment I received a copy of my first published book in 2008. It was odd seeing my name on the front. It still feels surreal!

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

My current novel is a fantasy, the one before that science fiction. I also have a crime thriller series, which is what I’m working on at the moment. I’ve always been drawn to science fiction. The first novel I wrote as a teenager was sci-fi, though it will probably never see the light of day!

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

That’s a tough one. I read so many different genres now. It used to be science fiction, but I’m delving more into dark fantasy, and I’ve always been a fan of horror; James Herbert, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker, being among my favourites. I enjoy travelling to new worlds and sharing the journey with intriguing characters.

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

(1) I’ll start with a favourite of mine – Barry Fielding. He was only ever supposed to be a minor character, but his inherent charm convinced me to give him a much bigger role! He’s intelligent, and funny, and more complex than I realised. He constantly takes me by surprise. Barry is getting his own book later this year (to be published next year), so you can expect to hear more about him soon.

(2) Jack Reacher springs to mind (by Lee Child), so I’ll go with him. I’m terrible when it comes to choosing favourites, so instead of talking myself out of the answer, I’ll move on! Reacher is a military man; he’s tough, but fair, and highly skilled. I don’t think he goes looking for trouble, but it finds him anyway.


  • There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

It would be both terrifying and thrilling to see my characters on the big screen. I enjoy it when books are adapted, interpreted for a different medium, and are able to separate themselves (as much as they can) from the original material. I also enjoy when books, or the essence of them – the characters – are adapted for television. I can see the team I created, Morgan and Fairchild, causing havoc with their own series. But it would be great fun.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I don’t really suffer from writers block per se. There are times when I’m stuck with a particular scene, or dissatisfied with my work in progress. At those times I take a step back (some would call it avoidance!). I usually work on something else, until the characters draw me back in and the words start to flow again. I always try to write something.

  • What inspires you?

Other writers; bloggers; my friends and family, and people I meet while interpreting. I find inspiration in everyday situations, and find my mind wandering constantly. I feel fortunate to have so many different characters in my head. They inspire me to tell their story, and connect with others.

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

If I’m honest, I still say sign language interpreter when I’m asked ‘what I do’. If I mention the writing, I use the word writer, as opposed to author. The question I dread is ‘what do you write’ or, if talking about a specific book, ‘what’s it about?’

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you please!)




Twitter handle: @mbarkersimpson



Thank you Melissa! What great responses this week!

Remember, if you or someone you know is an author, illustrator, photographer, agent, publisher, or coffee fetcher who would like their own featured interview here, please let me know!

Have a marvelous day!

Make Mine Mysterious

Tomorrow, October 6, 2013, marks the beginning of Mystery Series Week! Be honest with me, every now and then don’t we all just love to delve into a good mystery?? This weekend I am going to dive into some of my favorites, like Trixie Belden, Sherlock Holmes, and maybe even a few of the darker Edgar Allan Poe (or maybe I will hop back in time and read one of the Baby Sitters Club Mysteries that I have hidden in my daughter’s closet).

But wait! How do you know that you’re reading an actual mystery novel and not a cleverly masquerading thriller?  Most of the time mystery fiction seems to be referring to the classic ‘who-done-it’ gambit, in which a detective(s) discovers a crime and uncovers clues in order to track down the perpetrators, oftentimes getting themselves into heaps of trouble before solving the case. Contrarywise (I know that’s now really a word that spellcheck thinks exists…but I love it! Back to work now)…contrarywise, Thrillers involve the ‘hero’ attempting to stave off a crime, or crimes, while dealing with an antagonist that is calling many of the shots, (i.e. ‘there’s a bomb on the bus’).  Thriller Mysteries doexist, but differ from other mystery fiction in that the hero is attempting to stop a serial criminal, i.e. a serial murderer, thief, juggler, etc. from performing their next act of crime.


So now that I’ve given you that little lesson on mystery, that you probably didn’t really need, my question to you is this…Who are you reading this weekend? May I suggest Caroline Keene, Franklin W. Dixon, or Gertrude Chandler Warner?

Whoever you choose to read, I do hope that you will visit me again soon! I will be posting this coming week about a few of the different mystery series that each ‘age range’ can boast, and maybe even giving my opinion on a few that I’ve read! Until we meet again, Have a Blessed Day!