Title: Sharp Objects: A Novel
Author: Gillian Flynn
Age Group: Adult
Series: N/A, standalone
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I was given this book as a gift and reviewed it.
I've heard of Gillian Flynn--honestly, by now, who hasn't? I've heard many good things and since I've been trying to cycle some of my own books as well as my library loans, I decided to take the plunge and picked up Sharp Objects. Flynn's debut, her first novel, published back in 2006, and I'm just now picking it up. (I'm so freaking behind on my reading.) I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I'm so glad that I read it. Flynn is more than deserving of her place as the queen of gritty, gory crime fiction, and I can't wait to read Dark Places and Gone Girl! Pretty sure it's safe to say I have a new favorite author now.
Sharp Objects opens with the tortured, tormented reporter, Camille Preaker, trying desperately to drown her demons in drink. I really liked Camille--she was tortured, sympathetic, flawed, and I really related to her a lot. She's at turns strong and weak, desperate and resolute. When she discovers that two little girls have been murdered in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, her boss sends her home to investigate. Reluctantly obeying her boss's orders for a story, she returns, forced to face her family and her past. When the past and present begin to collide, Camille discovers that the danger may be a lot closer than she realizes...
Where do I begin? Okay, first, pacing. I was utterly hypnotized by Flynn's beautiful, sparse prose, and Camille's voice. I was spellbound, often times against my own will. Even when I wanted to put the book down, I couldn't. The other characters throughout the novel, too, were what sold it for me. They were almost typical, almost caricatures, but it was really enjoyable. The atmosphere of the novel was amazing, too. I felt like I was in tiny, claustrophobic Wind Gap, desperate to escape the nail-biting tension. And there were twists! God, so many twists. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. There was so much tension and emotion in Flynn's dynamic, simple prose, I couldn't get enough!
But the real kicker, what really sold this book for me? Camille, and her dysfunctional family. I loved trying to figure out who was doing what, who was lying and who was the killer. I'm not sure why, but I love books about families, about relationships, especially when put in the center of a taut, tension-filled mystery thriller--especially if those relationships are twisted and screwed up, leading up to the explosion, the ending, so bright and surprising and freaking terrifying that you don't see it coming. And you just sit there, wondering how you didn't realize it from the start.
This book was almost perfect--almost. There were some characters I didn't really like, but I enjoyed their role in the story. The bottom line: Gillian Flynn's debut novel, Sharp Objects, delivers on almost every front--a twisted, gory thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat! I can't wait to read more of her work! One of my favorite books ever. Wonderful! Next on deck: Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine!