#504 ~ Sharp Objects

Cover of Sharp Objects
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Published by: Crown Publishing Group

Published on: July 31, 2007

Page Count: 272

Genre: Fiction

My Reading Format: Paperback edition purchased using my #RH300K gift card

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook

Related Review: Gone Girl

Note: The term “messed up” is used below as a substitute for the more vulgar variation that I actually said, thought, and tweeted to make this review safe for work. I leave it up to my reader to decide whether to make the mental substitution.

Summary from the Publisher

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.

My Review

For at least a good 10 minutes after finishing Sharp Objects, I pretty much could only say the following on repeat, “This book is messed up. No, seriously. This book is messed up.” There is so much going on in this slim volume that I find it hard to wrap my head around reviewing it. Sharp Objects is toxic, twisted barbed wire, and awe inspiring. I love that there is a author out there who can write like this. I love that there is a author out there who doesn’t feel the need to patronize damaged women. In not hiding Camille’s weaknesses, temptations, and depravities or minimizing Camille’s responsibilities, Gillian Flynn has made her both real and heroic.

It has been almost exactly a month since I’ve finished reading Sharp Objects. Even now, when trying to describe it to friends who have read Gone Girl, I go back to those 10 nearly speechless minutes after closing the cover. More so than even Gone Girl, this is what has me yearning for more Gillian Flynn. Sharp Objects is utterly messed up. I could give it no higher praise.


  • At 2013.02.25 06:53, Sandy said:

    I know, right? Completely MESSED UP. I feel the same way about Flynn…she get’s it. She is brilliant at mining all the ugly stuff that most people don’t have the courage to face. So you must read Dark Places, if you haven’t already. More MESSED UP, more amazing Flynn.

    • At 2013.02.25 07:17, Heather said:

      Isn’t it? Heh.

      • At 2013.02.25 08:41, Jennifer said:

        I’ve been curious about this one ever since I read Gone Girl. Flynn can write crazy like no one else! I’m definitely going to have to get a copy of this!

        • At 2013.02.25 10:15, Karen White said:

          Well now I feel really behind as I haven’t read Gone Girl yet.
          My question on this, though. Is the violence really disturbing? I have a hard time with that as it tends to give me nightmares.

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            After reading Gone Girl, I really want to read Flynn’s other books.

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            • At 2013.02.25 11:58, Ti said:

              I can’t remember if Charlize Theron was just cast in the movie version of this book, or Dark Objects. I am thinking the latter.

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              • At 2013.03.09 23:24, Rachel said:

                I read this Friday after reading your review of it. You’re right – it’s totally effed up in a good way. I loved it!

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