Book review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

21 July 2018

If you're looking for a book that will keep you up until very late at night that it's early, you should read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Yes, the same writer of Gone Girl, the book that made me want to throw my Kindle against the wall right after I finished reading it. Days later, I realized I loved the book and looked forward to the movie. I even took half the day off from work to see the first screening on its first showing day!

Four years after reading Gone Girl, here I am reviewing Sharp Objects. My interest for the book got piqued because I heard about the TV series starring Amy Adams as the protagonist Camille Preaker.

Lending support are Patricia Clarkson as her mother Adore and Eliza Scanlen as her half-sister Amma.

I purchased the ebook and wow. What a trip.
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, 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 in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.
The night I finished this, I intended to go to sleep by 10 PM and only read one chapter before I turn in for the night. But then I had to read another chapter, and another, and another. Just one more. How about another one? Oh look, I'm almost at the end. Oh. Before I knew it. it was 2 AM and I was done. I was alone in the condo that night and was too unnerved I couldn't go to sleep! The slightest sound from the neighboring units frightened me and I couldn't stop thinking about how great a writer Gillian Flynn is.
I am a cutter, you see. Also a snipper, a slicer, a carver, a jabber. I am a very special case. I have a purpose. My skin, you see, screams. It's covered with words - cook, cupcake, kitty, curls - as if a knife-wielding first-grader learned to write on my flesh. I sometimes, but only sometimes, laugh. Getting out of the bath and seeing, out of the corner of my eye, down the side of a leg: babydoll. Pull on a sweater and, in a flash of my wrist: harmful. Why these words? Thousands of hours of therapy have yielded a few ideas from the good doctors. They are often feminine, in a Dick and Jane, pink vs. puppy dog tails sort of way. Or they're flat-out negative. Number of synonyms for anxious carved in my skin: eleven. The one thing I know for sure is that at the time, it was crucial to see these letters on me, and not just see them, but feel them. Burning on my left hip: petticoat.
If you consume books to escape from the harsh realities of life, do not read this book. This book is gruesome, real, raw, dark, and terrifying. Flynn's writing is so effective in that it stays with you long after you have finished reading; it has been days after I have read Sharp Objects and I am still affected by the characters.

J and I have started watching the TV series but only two episodes have been released so far. Netflix has spoiled me so. The two episodes I have seen are worth the wait though, as each one feels like a mini movie. I'm glad I heard about Amy Adams playing the role before I read the book so it made it easier for me to visualize Camille and how everyone says she was the prettiest girl in Wind Gap when she was young. Props also to Sophia Lillis who plays a very convincing young Camille. She could've been a cloned younger Amy in real life!

I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the show, but I am almost scared to read Dark Places. Maybe I'll wait for another four years. 

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