The majority of readers were enchanted by the Gone Girl story, whether they first read the book when it was published in 2012 or after the Ben Affleck-led movie adaptation was released.
This psychological thriller kept us turning pages till we eventually found some form of resolution, and tricked so many of us with its unexpected story twists.
It might be disappointing and challenging to move on from a book that you were engrossed in, wishing you could go back and read it with no recall of what had transpired.
If Gone Girl falls into that category, you might be looking for another book to fill the void.
Below, we have listed 5 books that we consider to be similar to Gone Girl, in terms of plot points and running themes.
We recommend checking them out if you haven’t done so already.
If you loved Gone Girl, then we are certain that you will enjoy reading the following 5 books that we have listed below.
These books are The Couple Next Door, The Girl on the Train, In the Woods, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Girl in the Window.
Themes In Gone Girl
When seeking a similar book to the one that you have just finished, and have fallen in love with, your best bet is to initially seek out a story with similar themes.
It is easy enough to find another book of the same genre, but it is often the themes that truly connect the narratives.
Here, we have listed the five main themes of Gone Girl. The 5 books that are similar to Gone Girl – that we will be examining later in this post – contain many of the same topics.
Please note that we will be discussing spoilers while exploring each theme.
The Role Of Women
The issue of women’s roles is frequently tackled in books with female protagonists. Amy is initially introduced to us as a devoted wife who wants children with her husband.
This subject is quickly turned on its head halfway through the book, revealing Amy to be a cunning mastermind who exploits her perceived ‘weaknesses’ through femininity.
Even though this is not revealed to us until about halfway through the book, Gone Girl is predominantly a tale of vengeance.
On a second reading, it becomes evident that Amy’s revenge strategy has been in place from the first page since she has already plotted her revenge against Nick before the story has even begun.
The story is portrayed from two distinct perspectives for the first section of the book: Nick, in real time, and Amy’s fictional diary entries.
Later on, we learn that Amy is fabricating her story, and all readers feel deceived when they realize they have been following an unreliable narrator in part.
The writing careers of Nick and Amy are related to this theme as well.
The reader learns that Amy’s upbringing—with her being the unconsenting inspiration for her parents’ children’s books—has influenced her perspective on the world.
Despite her fictitious diary entries leading us to assume otherwise, Amy does not wish to have children, yet at the book’s conclusion, she reveals that she is pregnant.
After the story’s conclusion, we’re left wondering what happened to her and Nick’s child.
Just as the media in the book manipulates the public against him, Flynn deftly employs manipulative techniques to turn the reader against Nick.
The reader is uncertain of Nick’s innocence until that story detail is disclosed. Talk shows and newspapers both employ clickbait strategies to paint him in a negative light, and persuade the public that he is guilty.
Books Similar To Gone Girl
Now that we have explored the main themes discovered in Gone Girl, let’s take a look at 5 books that have often been compared to the novel itself.
Each of these books shares at least one theme with Gone Girl, and all are considered to be psychological thrillers (If you like psychological thrillers, you might also want to check out Books Like Sharp Objects and similar titles).
‘How well do you truly know your family?’ is a topic posed in Shari Lapena’s American crime thriller, The Couple Next Door.
Lapena’s persuasive writing takes us on a tour into the darker aspects of humanity, and as a lawyer, the compelling stories are motivated by her cases and trials.
The book’s narrative depicts the lives of a couple who reside in New York.
They are only prevented from divorcing by the birth of their daughter, and their worst nightmare comes true when she goes missing.
- Excellent plot twist that you won’t see coming.
- Complex characters.
- A fast-paced plot, but with enough suspense to keep you hooked.
- Some readers perceive the ultimate ending as unnecessary; they would’ve preferred the storyline to have ended at the plot twist.
Themes: Dishonesty, Betrayal, Social Class, Parenting
The Girl on the Train is a psychological drama, and a thoroughly head-spinning read, with an estimated fifteen million copies being sold internationally, and a movie starring Emily Blunt being created after its release.
This dramatic narrative viewed through the eyes of an unreliable witness partially follows Rachel, a recently unemployed alcoholic, who takes trains to pass the time.
Day after day, Rachel finds herself studying a young couple as she passes their house, and she becomes concerned when she observes a shift in their routine.
- A well-written and precise plot overall.
- Deals with hard, real-life issues that many readers may be able to relate to.
- The story is told by three female narrators, which is refreshing considering how many psychological thrillers tend to focus on male protagonists.
- The female characters could be viewed as two-dimensional and unimaginative, with most of their plot points revolving around men/children.
Themes: Parenting, Medication/Alcohol, The Role of Women, Betrayal
In the Woods is a perplexing yet upsetting criminal thriller that won many awards upon its release.
The protagonist is Detective Rob Ryan, who experienced tragedy during his childhood, and is currently looking into the killing of a 12-year-old girl.
Despite the apparent connection between the two incidents, Ryan keeps this information to himself.
Readers are drawn in by the book’s compelling narrative and profound melancholy. It is a complex book filled with enough twists to keep you guessing.
- A character-driven story that is filled with twists and turns.
- The reader will still be reflecting on the ending long after they’ve turned the final page.
- A carefully crafted mystery packed with detail.
- In the Woods can be a difficult, overpoweringly sad read… but this point could be considered a ‘pro’ if you enjoy an emotional story.
Themes: Revenge, The Role of Women, Manipulation, Childhood Trauma
Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson is the author of the multi-award winning psychological suspense novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
It was first published in 2005, with more than 30 million copies sold by 2010, and has since gained more and more acclaim, especially after the release of the two films.
The plot of the book centers on a journalist who investigates a missing girl.
The journalist has been employed by the girl’s uncle, who believes his niece had been murdered by a member of the family.
- A thrilling piece of writing that will keep you hooked from the first few pages.
- This novel has won several awards, and ranked #98 in The Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century.
- This is the first novel of a trilogy, meaning you can continue the story once you have finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
- Some readers consider this book to be overrated, especially in terms of the writing itself.
Themes: The Role of Women, Morality, Isolation, Justice
The Woman in the Window, which has more recently gained attention thanks to its Amy Adams–led film version, is thought to share themes and plot lines with Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
The story centers on a woman named Anna Fox, who struggles with alcoholism due to anxiety and trauma, and dwells alone in her apartment.
Anna devotes her time gazing out her window, observing her neighbors, to pass the time. One day, she notices something through the window that changes her life forever.
- This novel is compelling from the very start, drawing you into the story from the very first page.
- A highly suspenseful plot filled with twists and turns.
- Most readers will find themselves relating to the main character, Anna, in some form or another.
- The twists and turns are slightly predictable.
Themes: Isolation, The Role of Women, Alcohol, Mental Health
If you have not read some of the books that we listed above, we strongly encourage you to check them out.
You may even decide that you prefer some of these books to Gone Girl.
Additionally, many of these books have live-action movie adaptations made from the plots, which you may also want to check out in your free time.
We hope you found this article helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There A Sequel To Gone Girl?
There is currently no Gone Girl sequel, as of January 2023.
A sequel hasn’t been ruled out, though, as the book’s conclusion undoubtedly left ample room for speculation, and Flynn has expressed interest in continuing the story at some point.
Until then, readers are left to speculate about what occurred to Nick and Amy’s marriage following the last page.
What Is The Twist In Gone Girl?
The twist that Amy is still alive occurs about halfway through the book, even though Amy herself does not reveal that she is alive to everyone else (aside from Desi) until the last few chapters.
The shocking revelation that Amy had not only been alive the entire time, but that she had been orchestrating Nick’s downfall from the beginning, caught so many people off surprise.
Who Is The Bad Guy In Gone Girl?
Gone Girl’s ‘bad guy’ is still up for dispute, and its readers are split along ideological lines.
Most people will agree that Nick did not deserve what Amy had in store for him, despite the fact that he was neither a decent husband nor even a good guy.
However, some readers found themselves rooting for Amy, seeing her as a femme fatale who did whatever it took to penalize her unfaithful spouse.