Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

66559So much hype has surrounded Gillian Flynn’s name recently. I purposefully avoided reading Gone Girl because I didn’t want my expectations to overshadow the reading experience. So I decided to start with her first novel, Sharp Objects, and read my way forward. My only real expectation for Flynn’s debut was that the subject matter would be dark – very dark. Which it was. Some of those images are permanently etched into my brain.

Camille Preaker is a journalist for a little read paper in Chicago. Her editor assigns her the job of reporting on two murders in small town Missouri, Camille’s hometown. In addition to discovering the nasty truth behind the grizzly murders of the two young girls, Camille must also come to terms with her own dark past if she ever hopes to move forward and live any sort of normal life. Her family is also batshit bonkers.

The only word that keeps coming to mind is disturbing. Where does Flynn get her ideas from? The creepiness in her novel doesn’t feel like fiction – her gritty imagery feels REAL. Real in a way I can’t honestly describe, but it gets up under your skin and lives there. She’ll lure you in with simple violence and then smack you across the face with visceral shock value. Her characters are layered, complex, and deeply insane. It’s like she’s cut humanity open and allowed the blackened guts of evil to splatter grotesquely at her readers’ feet. I loved the entire experience of Sharp Objects which makes me wonder about my own sanity.

What works most for me is Camille. She’s a strong protagonist – a fighter, a survivor. Her psychological damage is obvious and subtle all at once. She’s not someone you could be friends with, but she’s someone you can come to respect and feel deeply for. Flynn writes her flawlessly and I wonder just how much of Camille resembles Flynn. She just seems to know her subject matter so well.

The only real complaint I have is that the end seemed sort of rushed and oddly choppy. Not a huge problem though because most of the novel flowed well and the pages turned very quickly. I also wouldn’t recommend this novel to everyone because the subject matter is intense, the imagery cringe-worthy, and the story not at all for the faint of heart. But if you enjoy a great psychologically disturbing, dark and twisty story – give this one a try!

Book Order!

I haven’t placed an online book order in a long while – discounting the books I buy for book club, obviously.  This little spending splurge felt great because there was no guilt involved.  With my book spending habits seriously in check these past few months, I could order these gems with a light heart.  So what did I get?

Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson – I’ve wanted to read something by Jackson for quite a while.  Many fellow bloggers sing nothing but her praises.  Plus, there’s the added bonus of being from Georgia, not too far from Between.  It’s a tiny little town nestled away on Hwy. 78 between Athens and Atlanta.  Jimmy and I always giggled at the name when we rode through.  I know I’ve been less than thrilled with the southern novels I’ve read this year, but I’m hoping I’ll find a winner here!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – With Gone Girl garnering so much attention and praise, I’ve been super excited about getting to know Flynn as an author.  Instead of beginning with Gone Girl, I thought I’d reach back a bit further in her catalog and get better acquainted with her style first.

Stiff:  The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach –  I admit to being a Mary Roach virgin, but have long wanted to dive into one of her fascinating books.  And let’s face it – dead bodies are intriguing things.  Or perhaps I’m just kind of a creepy person?  I did want to be a forensic pathologist at one point.  Anyway, I know I’ll love this book.

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin – Don’t worry.  I’m not going to be reading this one anytime soon, but I wanted it on the shelf for when I’m ready to go back to Westeros.  Probably won’t be until next year or even the year after that.  I’ve heard some seriously mixed reviews.  The 4th and 5th books were actually supposed to be one novel originally, but Martin didn’t think an 1800 page book was a good idea – so he split them in two.  This means Crows lacks three of my favorite characters almost entirely.  Not sure how I feel about that.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions on any of my selections!  With the overflowing TBR shelf, I probably won’t be getting around to any of these titles soon – unless you think one of them is a must read!