Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Dream Job: Professional book reader.

Although I am not shy to the fact that when asked/forced to read, much like in school, it is far less enjoyable than doing it on your own. Regardless, I kind of wanted to start a book review section for my blog. To strengthen my commitment to reading & just to have some intellectual & physical proof that I read these books & have formed an opinion on them. And maybe you’ll pick up on a book or two you might want to read.

sharpobjectscoverTitle: Sharp Objects
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Author: Gillian Flynn

First & foremost, Gone Girl was on the best books I’ve read in the past 5 years. It kept me absolutely entrenched in the story & as cliché as it may sound, I literally could not put it down. That is what drew me to read the rest of Gillian Flynn’s books.

Sharp Objects is Flynn’s debut novel which won a Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller in 2007. According to Goodreads it is #43 on a list of 1585 Most Disturbing Books Ever Written list.  Also according to Goodreads; Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

The novel is about a reporter, Camille, living in Chicago who has to go back to her small hometown in Missouri to ‘investigate’ / write about recent murders of two young girls. Surprisingly enough, Camille is reluctant to go back to her hometown. She has a tumultuous relationship with her mother- who happens to be the richest person in the town, a hypochondriac & more controlling than my own mother. She has no relationship with her real father or her step father, who is weird as fuck & only serves his purpose by catering to her mother. She had a sister who died at a young age due to being mysteriously sick, she now has a half-sister whose personality came straight from that movie Heathers, a little bit sweet, a little bit sexy & a whole lot sadistic for a 13 year old. Camille also has spent time in a psych ward & is forced to wear pants & long sleeves in the Missouri heat because she’s a cutter. And not just a cutter but she cuts words into her skin, all through the book she’ll trace the words on her arms, her palms, her legs, her hip, her back.

If that sounds like a lot, please keep in mind those are only a few characters. There’s also the little boy who saw the murderer but no one believes, there’s the town sheriff that is stuck in this 1950’s a woman couldn’t have done this mindset. There’s the main suspect, the 18-year-old brother of one of the murdered girls who Camille hooks up with, and his girlfriend, and his family. There’s the rookie detective sent from Kansas City that Camille falls in love with, or he falls in love with her, either way :Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t work out. There’s the other murdered girl’s family, there’s Camille’s half sister’s groupies, there’s Camille’s boss & his wife back in Chicago, who didn’t have kids of their own, so they’ve taken Camille in as one of theirs. There’s her old high school friends, the group of girls she went to high school with who are now the rich socialite moms of the town.

Basically, if you could think of any cliché that would be in a crime story about a middle aged woman going back to her hometown- you got it right in this little book. The writing reads like what I would imagine a decent romance novel would. The kind where you know it’s not superior creative writing but more dumbed down & easy to follow along with. And yet, it’s one of those books you can’t put down. The plot line is good, just like Gone Girl, there’s plenty of twists & turns throughout the story that keep you going. Kind of like a good horror movie where you think you might know the ending but you’ve got to keep watching to make sure. So, in a kind of cheap thriller, easy & quick to read, borderline mentally fucked up story kind of way – it’s a good book. I mean, I’d recommend you read it if you’re in to horror lit & maybe have some down time in between reading better written books by better authors.

I’d say the worst part of this book is chapter after chapter, you’re building up to this conclusion. You’ve got the story line & a climax that builds up for the majority of the book – only to find the conclusion in a few sentences at the end of the book. And in the true sense of a plot twist, the book ends in a halfway hopeful ending with the murderer found & arrested. Camille goes back to Chicago & attempts to go back to her life with a few changes outlined in the book. And then… BOOM the epilogue – 2.5 kindle pages reveal the truth of what happens after the happily ever after, who the real murder was and how it happened and justice prevails. I mean, it’s good, it’s shocking, it’s not like any other juvenile horror story I’ve read but 2.5 pages in an epilogue to sum up a 200+ page book? The ending definitely felt rushed.

I’d rate it a 3/5 stars.

I wouldn’t read it again but I don’t regret having read it at all & I’ll wait for the movie adaptation to hit Netflix or Redbox.