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Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects was disturbing and uncomfortable, but somehow I could not look away. By the first page, I was immediately sucked in by the gripping narrative and style. The tone feels heavy and panicky. The story itself is complex. It is unpredictable and dark.

A Chicago reporter, Camille Preaker, returns to her hometown, Wind Gap, after several years of avoiding it. She is not there to catch up with family nor friends, but instead there on business. Her editor sent her on an assignment to cover the murder of two young girls. While in Wind Gap, Camille is haunted by family secrets and complicated family relationships.  And the longer she stays in town, the harder it gets to stay away from her old habits.

I felt oddly protective over Camille, and wanted her to find her happiness. I found Camille to be a complex and broken character. She made several questionable decisions, but you cannot entirely fault her for them.

In the beginning, readers are informed that Camille had recently left a psych hospital, so you’re already feel for her. And as the story progresses, you begin to understand that Camille has had several terrible things happen to her because human begins can be cruel. And it is unfortunate, but given the circumstances, it would be hard for anyone to have a seemingly normal life if they were put in her shoes.

I was deeply invested in this character and her dysfunctional family. It was interesting to see her relationship to her mother and half-sister play out. Like the majority of the characters in the book, there was always this element that they could not be trusted lurking in the background. And as Camille interacted with all the characters, you could not help but want to lead her away from Wind Gap.  Although Camille had lived in Wind Gap growing up, she felt like an outsider and the town natives felt dangerous and mysterious. The natives had sort of a removed vibe, where as they existed in their own town and never sought to leave it behind.

I think there could be said about the parallels and contrast between Camille and her younger sister. Both sisters grew up in the same unsettling household and toxic small town. Although both sisters responded directly, it would be interesting to see those comparisons and contrasting elements and if they were done intentionally by the author.

Like mentioned earlier, Sharp Objects a very dark book and deals with heavy subject matter, including self-harm, murder, sexual themes, and child abuse. So I do understand why this book would not be for everyone. I do recommend that readers pay attention to trigger warnings, because I don’t want it to impact their mental health.  

Final Analysis

Sharp Objects is a dark, psychological story revolved around family, murder and secrets. It is wickedly disturbing that will leave readers on the edge of their seats and unable to put the book down until the very last page.

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