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Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

If you had of asked me what I thought of this novel just after I finished, I would have said one thing: disturbing.

I went into Sharp Objects hoping for an engrossing, relentless murder thriller, filled with complex characters, and that’s exactly what I got. Gillian Flynn did not disappoint me with her first novel. It takes talent to be able to write characters that suffer from raw emotional issues that don’t come off as being melodramatic, but Flynn pulled it off easily, making the characters truly real.

Fresh out of a psychiatric ward and working as a journalist, Camille Parker returns to her home town to investigate the murders of two young girls. Moving back in with her neurotic, hypochondriac mother, ineffectual and absent step father, and step-sister who has bizarre grasp on reality, Camille finds herself becoming tangled in the world she’d left behind.

Sharp Objects is a deeply unhealthy book that is not for the light hearted. Exploring dark, somewhat frightening mental issues such as self harm and abuse, Gillian Flynn has written a deeply disturbing novel that will keep you on your toes. It’s a definite page turner; one that kept me guessing who the killer was up until the final pages.

What added more to my enjoyment of the book was the set of strong, independent women. Something rare in crime literature, as women are usually depicted as weak, helpless victims while the men are the abusers. This was definitely not the case. A large portion of the women in the book were promiscuous and abusive, self-destructive and violent. Men are only fixtures in their lives. It was a refreshing take on what is often written in thriller novels.

This book is incredibly unwholesome, but I would still highly recommend it. If you’re interested in reading about a mentally unstable mother-daughter duo I would pick up a copy. Although, maybe not if you’re squeamish.

★★★★☆

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