Book Review: Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn

Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
ISBN: 9780307341556
Pages: 254
Release Date: July 31, 2007
Publisher: Broadway
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Camille Preaker has done everything in her power to put her past behind her, so much so that she’s barely spoken to her mother or half-sister for eight years. But now, Camille’s newspaper editor has asked her to return home to cover the murder of two young girls. Camille knows that going home will not be easy, but when she gets there, she realizes that she must confront the traumas in her past in order to fully understand what’s happening in her hometown.

Review:

Sharp Objects was Gillian Flynn’s first novel, and wow, is it disturbing. We start the novel with Camille, a gorgeous woman who is absolutely consumed by her past. She tries valiantly to start over, to make something new of herself, but the fact is that she can’t just run and hide. She has to face her demons, which she’s forced to do in order to cover this story. From the beginning, the reader knows Camille has hidden issues in her past, but it’s unclear what they are.

As the story gets going, the reader begins to understand the true horrors of what Camille had to undergo in Sharp Objects. It’s disturbing, but it’s also emotional, as the reader forges a bond with Camille. She’s sympathetic and well-written, and her despair bleeds onto every page. The reader wants to shout at her to leave, to escape before it’s too late, while fearing the damage done to her psyche is irreparable. The reader comes to understand why she fled, rather than facing these dark, desperate issues head on. It’s difficult to read, but completely fascinating at the same time.

The mystery behind the girls’ disappearance almost seems secondary to Camille’s dreaded homecoming in Sharp Objects. It’s the driving force of the story, though, and the mechanism through which Camille confronts the ghosts of her past. Flynn takes the reader on twists and turns, some expected, while others are jaw dropping. It’s interesting to watch how pursuing this case affects Camille personally, and how it causes her to reevaluate her childhood and what she thought she knew.

In the end, I return to one word used at the beginning of this review in order to sum up Sharp Objects: DISTURBING. This is one that might leave you with nightmares, as the raw edges of it are almost too much to bear. It’s incredibly good, though, so I can’t help but unconditionally recommend this, and everything else Gillian Flynn’s written. She has an uncanny ability to get into your head, and stay there, days and weeks after the last pages of her book are turned.

Other books by Gillian Flynn:

Dark Places
Gone Girl

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Comments

  1. I loved this one too, but it was highly, highly disturbing. I just finished Dark Places, and didn’t think that one was as good, but I enjoyed it. Flynn is a master manipulator of plot, and that, I think, is why I enjoy her books so much. Plus, her heros/heroines are always so damaged!

  2. I loved this one too, but it was highly, highly disturbing. I just finished Dark Places, and didn’t think that one was as good, but I enjoyed it. Flynn is a master manipulator of plot, and that, I think, is why I enjoy her books so much. Plus, her heros/heroines are always so damaged!

  3. I just ADORE Flynn’s writing even if it does mess with my head. I am totally besotted with her turn-of-phrase. It is dark and messy but you just can’t put it down.

  4. I just ADORE Flynn’s writing even if it does mess with my head. I am totally besotted with her turn-of-phrase. It is dark and messy but you just can’t put it down.

  5. I just read this a couple of weeks ago – I agree, it was disturbing. Now I just have to read Dark Places which I’m sure is just as warped.

  6. I just read this a couple of weeks ago – I agree, it was disturbing. Now I just have to read Dark Places which I’m sure is just as warped.

  7. This was definitely a disturbing read but I really enjoyed it! I’m currently reading Gone Girl by her and it is pretty good too. Great review 🙂

  8. This was definitely a disturbing read but I really enjoyed it! I’m currently reading Gone Girl by her and it is pretty good too. Great review 🙂

  9. my wife has been trying to get me to read these for a couple months now. says they are right up my alley.

    with a TBR pile like i have though, i don’t know that i can fit them in… you posting about them adds more weight though,

    with your powers combined, this is becoming a “must” not a “would be nice if”

    -jason

  10. my wife has been trying to get me to read these for a couple months now. says they are right up my alley.

    with a TBR pile like i have though, i don’t know that i can fit them in… you posting about them adds more weight though,

    with your powers combined, this is becoming a “must” not a “would be nice if”

    -jason

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