Wow. I finished this book a few days ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Honestly, it’s still keeping me up at night.
Sharp Objects is Gillian Flynn’s first novel, but she is most well-known for her third novel, Gone Girl, which has now been made into a movie with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and was amazed by the writing and plot intricacies. Mrs. Flynn wrote the screenplay for the movie, and I knew the book was a great success, so I wanted to read more of her work.
I decided to start with Sharp Objects just by virtue of it being her first novel. Let me tell you, it was damn good for a debut. It was just damn good overall.
The story follows a woman named Camille. She’s a mediocre reporter from Chicago with a rocky recent past, and dysfunctional childhood. She’s sent back to her small and eery hometown of Wind Gap to report on the kidnappings and murders of two young girls. As she tries to write stories on the victims, Camille’s personal life and the murders overlap into a twisted mystery.
First and foremost, my rating of this book is 4.5/5 stars. I rounded it up to 5 stars on Goodreads, but my initial rating was .5 less stars and I’ll get into that.
The writing made this book what it was. Gillian Flynn has a knack for writing about twisted women. Camille really came to life off the pages of the book. Other important characters, like Camille’s younger stepsister Amma and her mother Adora, were so well crafted and so unique that I found myself completely entranced in their backgrounds and development.
The plot was enthralling and demented and uncomfortable. I usually only have time to read at night, so it took me a while to get through because I couldn’t read more than 2 or 3 chapters at a time. I would be laying in bed reading, and I would get so wrapped up in the story that it would feel as if the characters were in my room, talking to me. With a book like this, that is not what you want right before bed, trust me.
The development of Wind Gap really relied on the development of the characters. Because this is contemporary adult mystery and doesn’t require specific “world building” like a fantasy story does, the characters really dictated how I pictured Wind Gap in my mind, and that was a good thing.
The one problem I had with this book was the ending, which included the major plot twist. It all felt a little too abrupt to me. Everything wrapped up in a chapter or two, and I really would’ve liked to see more elaboration on the end of the story. In addition, I had figured out who the murderer was half-way through the story. The way in which she revealed it was unusual, but I also wasn’t very surprised with the actual content.
In all, I don’t have many specific things to mention about this book. It was really, really good. It was a short book, but it was jam-packed with entertainment and shiver-worthy writing. Check this book out if you want to read something quick, dark, and riveting. I’d recommend having something light-hearted to read or watch in between the chapters of this book, though. Especially if you’re a night owl reader like me.