After Gone Girl, I was pretty sure that I might be in literary love with Gillian Flynn. This book wasn't even on my summer reading list, but I ran across it at the library last week and couldn't resist.
Sharp Objects was written before Gone Girl and had a fantastic review by Stephen King on the back.
The bad reviews I read about this book were criticizing a lack of descriptive detail or not feeling the town of West Gap come alive or that it moves too quickly.
I have to disagree with these reviews. The book was written from the perspective of Camille, a Chicago reporter who has returned home to her small Missouri town to cover the murders of two young girls. Her perspective is what is captured. There is a lack of descriptive detail because Camille is familiar with the town. She notices and points out things that are different than she remembers. She stays separate from the town and its inhabitants so you feel separate. I think it is intentional literary choice.
The pace does move fast, but you get the feeling that life seems to move past Camille that way always. Flynn does a great job of taking you along for Camille's ride. You will find yourself feeling that things are moving too fast. That things are dulled or twisting or painful as Camille would experience them.
No, the characters aren't perfectly realistic. As a disturbing thriller, I would expect the characters to be towards the extreme. Characters, not necessarily "real" people. Every single character in this book is deeply disturbed. They have all been damaged by life. They all have outward signs of their pain.
Sharp Objects is a book I would recommend if you are a crime thriller fan. If you love Criminal Minds or watch TruTV, you will probably love this novel. If you are here because it was recommended for your book club, you may want to pass. This book might be awkward to discuss as there are a lot of touchy subjects, unless you have a crime book club or some other nontraditional type of book club. Then I say go for it.
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