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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Currently…

(I originally got the idea for “Currently…” from Kate Hart, who snagged the idea from Amy Lukavics, who picked it up here.)

Loving

Hot apple cider. Random, but it’s been tasting extra yummy lately…
My new L’Oreal Hair Serum. Finally a product to counteract our hard water…
Trader Joe’s — I always feel so happy in that store…
Babies! On Sunday, one of my favorite friends had an adorable little boy. Yesterday I got to visit him and hold him… So fun!

Reading

I’m a few chapters from the end of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. Just like last year’s Gone Girl, Flynn’s debut is FREAKING ME OUT. So many deplorable, pitiable characters. So many visceral, disturbing images. Such astute, evocative language. I cannot put it down.

Watching

HBO’s Girls. Lena Dunham is brilliantly funny. Never before has a show made me enjoy cringing. Also, MTV’s Catfish. I have a mini-crush on Nev, and every single episode is absolutely captivating. (On the subject of TV, I’m ready for Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones to return!)

Thinking About

The end of my revision. I’ve incorporated all the feedback my agent and I discussed and I am loving the results. Just a few chapters left in my final read-through, a quick beta test, and then my manuscript will be on its way back to the inbox of Agent Victoria… Yay!

Anticipating

That quick beta test I mentioned above? I’m swapping manuscripts with one of my favorite blog friends. We both love to read and write upper contemporary YA (with lots of romance!), but oddly enough, we’ve never read each other’s work. That’s serving us well, though, because we’re both needing fresh eyes on our manuscripts. I can’t wait to read hers!

Listening To


Ho Hey by The Lumineers… Not exactly country, but this song rocks.

Wishing

For warmer weather! I acclimated to the pleasant temperatures of my new California home pretty quickly. Lately, though, it’s been freezing! Okay, that’s probably dramatic. Today it got up to 55, but in the mornings when I get up to run… Brrr! Hurry up, spring!

Making Me Happy

My loves… always.

What’s currently making YOU happy?