Bookmarks: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I put Sharp Objects on hold through the Free Library of Philadelphia after I read Gone Girl back in January.  Actually I put Sharp Objects and Dark Places on hold. When I got notification that Sharp Objects was in, I was a little hesitant about reading it as I had trouble getting through the first half of Gone Girl and I hadn’t quite made it to the half-way point of Dark Places when I had to return it (I am on the list again through both Philadelphia and Montana Library 2 Go, just to see who gets it to me first). In the end, I loaded it onto my Nook.

I started reading it on Saturday night and on Sunday morning I was reading non-spoilery reviews to see if I should continue. After several reviews promised me a twisted story and majorly “effed” characters, I decided to push through it. By the end of Sunday I was almost to the half-way point and Monday had passed it. Tuesday was an off night for me and I just didn’t feel like reading. I finished it last night (Wednesday). I am glad I read it.

I always heard writers saying “Write what you know”. Perhaps that is why I have not written that great novel, because what I know is pretty boring. I hope that Gillian Flynn is not writing what she knows. Because she is a master at creating tortured, disturbed characters and she looks so friendly and normal.

Sharp Objects is Flynn’s first novel and out of the two and a half I have read, I think it is the best. Gone Girl was a hard read. It was hard to get through the slog of the first half. I wanted to quit, but everyone said to just keep going. So I did. And it was an okay payoff at the end. Dark Places, like Gone Girl alternates between the present and that past. Sharp Objects is in the present throughout, with references to the past, but now entire chapters devoted to it. It stays in first person throughout, which is a change as well. Perhaps it is because it is her first novel and she felt less confidence in breaking point of view, or not. I don’t really know, but what I do know is that I appreciated it much more.

The characters are beyond disturbed. I had a hard time picturing the main character, Camille as well as get a real fix on Adora, Alan, Richard, John, and Meredith. I could picture Amma and Jackie without problem. It’s not a huge issue for me, I just prefer to have an image in mind and in this book I didn’t.

The story moves along at a decent pace and I think that can be attributed to not going back and forth in time and point of view. 

The characters and their history were well developed and quite twisty and tormented. I enjoyed the relationship between Camille & Curry and I rooted for her to find someone who could accept her. The ending left me satisfied and I felt that it was a good standalone book, unlike Gone Girl.
I read a couple of reviews that mentioned there was a lot of sex and violence and for me that didn’t really ring true. That is not to say there was not sex and violence; I just didn’t feel it had the enormous presence some felt it did. But then, I have read Fifty Shades of Grey, so take that for what it’s worth.
I am giving Sharp Objects 4 bookmarks. Again, the pace was spot on, the characters were well developed, the point of view carried throughout in first person. There was suspense and a clear mystery and as is always a fun thing, a total mind-blowing twist.

If you have read or plan on reading Sharp Objects, I am curious to hear your thoughts on the book.

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