Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn: Book Review

Too many sharp objects.

sharp objects gillian flynn book review
Sharp Objects Book Cover Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn
Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Share Areheart Books
September 26, 2006
Hardcover
254

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, 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 in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

This review contains spoilers

I’m really grateful for having read Gillian Flynn‘s books in reverse, because Sharp Objects was not my favorite at all. I’m so sure so many other people were in love with book, telling by many of the other reviews I’ve read, but I felt this was her weakest novel. Then again, I’m partial to Gone Girl, so I guess my opinion really doesn’t count here now does it?

I felt like the concept of “sharp objects” was overdone and referenced too many times; after several references to all the pointy, razor-y things in this book it’s like, okay we get it, now what? Also, I found Camille’s sick obsession with cutting herself a bit tiresome to read about. Every scar is literally underlined with some means of symbolic importance to illustrate just how damaged she is and I understand that; but for whatever reason, it became a dull angle after a while.

Nonetheless, if there’s anything to be known about Flynn, it’s that she’s a damn good writer. While I don’t consider her incessant determination to highlight these sharp devices in her book it doesn’t hinder how brilliant a mystery this was. Despite what I would consider her shortcomings, there’s no denying Flynn’s skill at creating master plots and gripping crime stories. Having read her entire canon already, Flynn is a maven of the mystery genre.

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Unlike Gone Girl and Dark Places, however, I found this story to be very predictable. I had already decided on two primary suspects from the book’s beginning: Meredith and Adora. Meredith, because of her bouts with Ann and Natalie (which seemed too alarming that she was the only one who knew about the biting); Adora, because she was just fucking creepy all around. However, I was thoroughly surprised to find out who the real culprit was in those last few pages. That U-turn of an ending is why I will always hold Flynn at such high esteem; she never fails her readers and always has something up her sleeves.


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Written by Paris Close

Paris Close

Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.