Review: The Grown up – a short story by Gillian Flynn

The Grown Up by Gillian Flynn

Goodreads Average Rating: 3.55 / 5

My Rating: 3 / 5

I was beyond excited to receive a copy of this from Book of the Month Club. I had seen it as a stand alone once before but it was pricey for one short story. Getting it as a bonus in this box was a super exciting surprise. I’m a huge fan of Gillian Flynn and the way she tells a story and builds suspense. This story did not let me down in that sense. It was definitely creepy, this time stepping into supernatural territory. Fans of her writing will enjoy this story, even if it isn’t as fantastic as her full length novels.

The Good

  • Unique protagonist. Gillian Flynn is so good at creating unique characters, that you really shouldn’t like, and putting them front and center. In this case, the protagonist is a prostitute, scam artist, and most recently, a fake psychic. By putting her readers in the shoes of such diverse characters, it makes her stories stand out from the many carbon copy tales in the mystery/thriller genre.
  • Super creepy middle section. The middle of this story legitimately scared me. I was reading this late at night, home alone, and I could definitely feel the hairs on my neck prickling and myself feeling more and more uneasy as I read. I read lots of scary stories and lots of thrillers, so it usually takes a lot to freak me out. For this I applaud Flynn’s writing. She knows how to slowly build the tension, until you are right on the edge of your seat. This story also ventured into the supernatural realm, which was new and unexpected for Flynn.
  • Interesting setting. Much of this story takes place in a “haunted” Victorian mansion. She spend a good amount of time describing the house and everything unsettling about it. It definitely felt like something from an older time, adding to the creepy, supernatural vibe of the story. Other parts of the story take place in a fortune teller’s shop with basically a brothel in the back. It was a seedy sort of setting that helped to give the story some grit.

The Bad

  • Too short. This isn’t really Flynn’s fault. From what I know, this was originally published as part of an anthology of short stories by various authors, so it makes sense she had to keep it short and sweet. I felt like certain parts were rushed though, especially the ending. This easily could have been at least a novella, and potentially a full length novel if it had taken its time with things.
  • The ending. The ending was totally unsatisfying and completely ambiguous. You basically don’t get any certain answers at the end of this story, which can work in some cases, but it just didn’t here. Reveals are given, but then taken back, and flipped on their head. It just felt kind of sloppy in my opinion.

This was a quick and easy read, offering a nugget more of that Flynn goodness we all love so much. If you’re a Flynn fan and you haven’t read this, get your hands on a copy and read it. It won’t leave you speechless like her books, but it’s still a good time.

xo,

Nikki

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