Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

 Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Other notable works: Gone Girl, Dark Places

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.

Gillian Flynn is a master at making her readers feel uncomfortable.  For the entire book I had this uneasy feeling as if something bad was about to happen.  It is a bit more slow paced than Gone Girl, but it always feels like Camille is one page away from something very bad happening.  At one point I actually had to stop reading because I felt like I had experienced enough uneasiness for one night.   Even so, that uneasiness is really what made me love this story so much.  Each character has a secret and it is so much fun to find out these character's dirty laundry.  I'm not sure which character is creepier: Amma, Camille's 13 year old lolita-wannabe half-sister, or her cold, seemingly perfect mother Adora.  As much as I disliked these characters as people, I couldn't get enough of them. In the end, I felt a little numb.  It was sad and I felt for Camille.  She has had a hard life and survived the best should could in a toxic environment.  Unfortunately, if you're a character in a Gillian Flynn novel then you're probably not destined for a happy ending.  Sharp Objects forces readers to dive into a dark family mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.  If anything, this book will make you thankful your family isn't as crazy as Camille's. 

Rating: 7/10

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