Book Review: Sharp Objects

“See, there I am. I told you I lived. I told you I was.”
― Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects
Book Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publication Date: 2006 
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Adult Fiction
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

I came into this book with VERY high expectations. The first book that our book club selected back in January was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. If you haven’t read that book, it is a MUST read.. one of the best books of 2012, especially if you like murder mystery/suspense novels. After reading Gone Girl, I expected more out of author Gillian Flynn.
The plot centers around Chicago reporter Camille Preaker, who must return to her home town of Wind Gap, Missouri to report on the murders of two local preteen girls. Her family basically runs the town, but her shaky upbringing, coupled with multiple tragedies in her life, caused her to move out of there as quickly as she could. When she returns, we meet her mother and her preteen half sister, who are legitimately crazy.
It was Flynn’s debut novel, and so I shouldn’t compare it so closely to the intricately intertwined novel that is Gone Girl. However, this book had a very slow start. It took a while for me to really get into the novel, to really feel the characters and their motivations. Of course, Flynn is absolutely masterful at slow-playing the development of characters, which gives the reader shock after shock when reading this novel. As the plot progressed, and as we learn more and more about the characters, the novel really separates itself from the typical small-town murder mystery. The psychological aspects of this novel, coupled with the small-town setting, elevate this novel from the typical book in this genre.
As always, Flynn loves to end her novels in a surprising twist, leaving the reader slightly disappointed or mad. This novel was no exception, so don’t expect for all of the characters to end up happily ever after.
“The face you give the world tells the world how to treat you.”
“I ached once, hard, like a period typed at the end of a sentence.”
 “There was nothing I wanted to do more than be unconscious again, wrapped in black, gone away. I was raw. I felt swollen with potential tears, like a water balloon filled to burst. Begging for a pin prick.”
 “I just think some women aren’t made to be mothers. And some women aren’t made to be daughters.”
 “It’s impossible to compete with the dead. I wished I could stop trying.”

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