Sharp Objects (Review)

6460221Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: September, 2006
Format:  E-book
Acquired: Amazon Purchase
Pages: 321

Date Finished: September 22, 2014
4 Stars

Goodreads Description

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

My Review

Let me start by saying…this book disturbed the crap out of me!  There were so many aspects of it that got under my skin.  It has been over a month since I finished the book and I still think about it occasionally.  I won’t rehash the synopsis, but there are dead kids with their teeth pulled out, a psycho mom, our lead character is a cutter, the little sister is a “mean girl” in every horrible sense of the word, and on and on and on.  Gillian Flynn took as many uncomfortable, taboo subjects she could think of and crammed them into Sharp Objects.  Don’t get me wrong!  From my description, you may think I didn’t like this book, and you’d be wrong.  I really liked the book.  Weird, huh?

As screwed up as these characters were, I enjoyed the writing immensely.  Flynn has a way of sucking you in, even when all the characters are horribly damaged and psychologically unhinged.  She did the same thing in Gone Girl.  I hated all of those characters as well, and I still somehow liked the book.  I’m not sure how she does it.  I think it’s because Flynn’s character development style is so manipulative; you can’t pin her characters down.  They are like ghosts who are ever-changing, much like real people.  That’s it!!  Her characters are so REAL!  That’s what makes Flynn’s books so good and horrifying and gripping and disturbing.

The plot was decent.  Unlike Gone Girl, there were no major “WHAT THE…?” moments.  You can tell it is an earlier book in Flynn’s career.  She hasn’t quite hit her stride in this one.  There were some lulls and bits that seemed unnecessary.  It is a mystery, but the best parts in the book were the character interactions.  It was more about the town and people, and less about the mystery.

Wrap-Up

Warning…This book is not for the faint of heart.  It’s not scary, but it has a way of creeping under your skin and staying there.  If you really liked Gone Girl, you’re probably not going to like Sharp Objects as much.  As I said before, it doesn’t have the same heft, nevertheless it’s pretty good.  I can’t say it was an enjoyable read because of all the gritty subject matter, but it was an interesting read.  I gave it 4 stars and would recommend it to those without sensitive dispositions.

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