Book Rec: SHARP OBJECTS

Oh, look — I’m recommending an adult novel. Shocking, right? The thing is, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is too compelling not to talk about. (Incidentally, the last adult novel I recommended was also by Gillian Flynn, her 2012 thriller, Gone Girl. And  today I bought her sophomore effort, Dark Places. You might say I’m a fan…)

Sharp ObjectsFrom Goodreads:
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.
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.
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. With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

Gillian Flynn has an amazing talent for creating deplorable characters that you can’t wait to learn more about. It’s really a remarkable gift, the way she pens unreliable, insufferable, repulsive people, yet makes them so fascinating, you’re sad when their stories come to a close. That’s not to say that all of Sharp Object‘s characters are horrendous; there were a few people within the pages of this novel who allowed me to retain my faith in humanity. I can’t say more about them, though, because to do so would be to ruin the experience for you.

I won’t say too much about Sharp Object‘s plot, either, for fear of spoiling its twistiness, but I will tell you that this book is a freaking trip. It’s disturbing in the most captivating way, and I am not easily disturbed. I experienced one particularly gruesome scene (Amma at the hog farm, for those who’ve read) at the gym on the elliptical and pretty much had to pick my jaw up off the floor while trying (and failing) to maintain my pace. *shudder* Several times I had to put the book down and step away. There were many passages that made my eyes go wide with horror. I can’t even recall how many times, while reading, I looked over at my husband and said, “Holy hell. This book is fifty shades of effed up.”

I read Sharp Objects through my own filter, from the perspective of an appreciated daughter, a loving mother, and a human being with a soul, and while this is very clearly fiction, in the back of my mind I kept thinking that the things that went on in this story do actually happen in homes and towns across American. Terrifying. While it feels wrong to say I enjoyed this novel, I certainly found it an entrancing, page-turning read. If you’re looking for a psychological thriller and are not easily offended, disturbed  or freaked out, please do pick up Sharp Objects. (Big thanks to my mom for being NOTHING like Adora, and for lending me her copy of Sharp Objects!)

Tell me: What’s the last non-YA book you read and loved? 

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23 responses to “Book Rec: SHARP OBJECTS

  1. All you had to say was hog farm. If you’ve ever been near one, you know the meaning of disturbed.

    My last adult read was SEED, by Rob Ziegler.

    • I have never been anywhere near a hog farm, Matt, but the way the one in SHARP OBJECTS was described made me sick to my stomach. Hard to believe such places exist and are acceptable. Yikes!

      I haven’t read SEED, but I’m off to look it up now. 🙂

  2. That hog farm scene still haunts me. I didn’t eat pork for months after that.

  3. Whoa, I don’t think I’ve read an adult book in months – I need to switch some things up! I read a history of rabies awhile back, but it sounds creepy to say I enjoyed it 🙂

    • The history of rabies does seem like a weirdly interesting topic, Jennifer. If you decide to pick up an adult novel anytime soon, I definitely recommend Gillian Flynn’s work.

  4. I definitely need to read this! I don’t think I’m too easily disturbed. I love Criminal Minds and I feel the same way about saying that as you do about saying you like this book–it feels wrong to say I enjoy it. I loved Gone Girl. It was so unpredictable and suspenseful and just crazy. I promised my sister I’d read Insurgent next (after Just One Day) but I think I will read Sharp Objects after that. The last non-YA book that I read was ONCE MORE WITH FEELING by Megan Crane. I really enjoyed it!

    • I loved GONE GIRL too, Zanne. Hard to believe, but I found SHARP OBJECTS even darker and more shocking. I’m really looking forward to reading DARK PLACES. I haven’t read ONCE MORE WITH FEELING, but I’m definitely intrigued! Thanks for the rec. 🙂

  5. Katy I’m so glad to hear Flynn’s other work is just as strong as GG. GG is my 2012 obsession. As you know 😉 I also have picked up Tara French’s IN THE WOODS but haven’t read it yet. (I think that’s the title) She’s always rec’d to me if you like Gillian Flynn you’d like her stuff- also dark and mystery-twisty. The last non-YA book I read was The Night Circus = lovelovelove. I’m currently reading EVER’NEATH by Brodi Ashton (I just found out she is coming to a bookstore near me next month). 🙂 Buuut that’s YA. And Greek myths 😀

    • Rachel, I absolutely loved IN THE WOODS (though not the ending so much; you’ll have to tell me what you think…). I really enjoyed Tana French’s follow-up, THE LIKENESS, as well. I can totally see why she’s compared to Gillian Flynn. 🙂

  6. This is timely because the last adult book I read was Gillian Flynn’s DARK PLACES. 🙂 I enjoyed it, though SHARP OBJECTS sounds a lot creepier. DARK PLACES was more of a mystery, with some intense moments but not as crazy as this book, it seems. Anyway, since I also loved GONE GIRL, I’m going to round out my Gillian Flynn reading and pick up SHARP OBJECTS soon!

  7. I haven’t read any adult books in a while, but you’re really starting to tempt me with these Gillian Flynn recommendations. Hmm… I think I’ll be checking out GONE GIRL at some point, and we’ll go from there. 🙂

  8. You know I loved (understatement) GONE GIRL, but I do sometimes get disturbed easily . . . still, I want to at least try this one! If it’s too much for me, I’ll pick up DARK PLACES.

    • Sounds like a plan. Yeah… SHARP OBJECTS really messed with me. A few nights I dreamt about it and woke up with a sore jaw from grinding my teeth. Yikes!

  9. Wow. This sounds like a really good story. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Alison Miller

    First, how do you read on the Elliptical? I have tried. And failed. Several times. Also, this book is highly intriguing. I am going to have to check it out! Thanks for the rec, Katy!

    • It is a challenge to read on the elliptical. I find that if I crack the spine of the book I’m reading (I know, I know!) it’s a little easier. Also, the typeface can’t be too small. 🙂 Let me know if you read SHARP OBJECTS. I think you’d definitely be entertained!

  11. So, we visited someone once when I was in high school that ran a hog farm. The gigantic building that housed all the hogs creeped me out, and it also creeped me out that he wouldn’t let us go in it. As an adult, it makes sense to me. The sound that emitted from that building was a sound from nightmares. It sounded like 100 pigs being butchered alive…and it was just a normal evening of their existence. (He didn’t butcher…just raise.) I’m sure the conditions inside were atrocious. I’m not sure if I could read this book….I don’t do dark very well. And someone gave away the ending of Gone Girl to me. (grrrr). We shall see. 🙂

    • Aah! Who gives away book endings?! That makes me so angry on your behalf, Nicole! You might still give it a read, though. Gillian Flynn is an amazing writer and she really knows how to spin a thriller. I’m reading her SHARP OBJECTS now… I’ll let you know if it’s a little less dark. Maybe you can try it first. 🙂

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