I am a big believer that first impressions are never the right ones. When I was younger, my tastebuds were under the impression that bacon should never be enjoyed with eggs of any sort. Scrambled. Poached. Fried. It didn’t matter, I would not go within a ten foot pole of eggs (Easter eggs, well they were a different story.) Now, as a 22 year old frequent bruncher, I am head over heels for eggs of all sorts. Especially scrambled. Every time I go out for eggs it serves as a permanent reminder to always give things in life a second chance. Also, to never order a half serving, I have 20 years of non-egg eating to make up for…
The first impression I had of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel ‘Sharp Objects’ was that it was a cut copy of a Kathy Reich’s novel. First impression = classic crime novel. Murder case, small town and underrated female journalist. I really struggled to get into the story and could only read half a chapter at a time. I really wanted to read this story because of my love for Flynn’s blockbuster novel ‘Gone Girl.’ I have never read a book so tantalisingly evil and satisfying before. I consumed that book within two days. I must explain that there is always an exception to every literary rule. Regarding the literary rule of book first impressions are not always the right ones, ‘Gone Girl’ is that very exception. Flynn’s devilish plot writing skills had me hooked from the first page.
Flynn had extremely high standards to live up too, standards defined by her own ability to write like a pure literary goddess. I had heard raving reviews about ‘Sharp Objects’, but it fell under the book category that can only be described as “push through the first seventy five pages of the story and you will get into it…” You may have heard of these books dear reader. Stephanie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ is a prime example. I assure you once you tackle past the first seventy five pages of the story, you’ll start to see Melanie is a kick ass protagonist.
Under no circumstances was I ever going to abort the mission of reading this story. I am committed to finishing a book once I’ve started. Seriously, I read all three of the tacky ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ books just so I could find out the bizarre ending. But I will be honest, this book needed exactly seventy five pages before I felt like I was really connected with the story. The initial writing was distant and safe, very different to the forwardness of ‘Gone Girl.’ I did find that I was continuously remind myself that this story was not ‘Gone Girl.’ However, after I hit the seventy five page mark, wow this story took off.
‘Sharp Objects’ explores the story of Journalist Camille Preaker travelling back to her hometown of Wind Gap to investigate the disappearance of two young girls. Returning home brings back vicious memories from her childhood and Camille struggles to reconnect with her hypochondriac mother Adora, socially awkward stepfather Alan and cruel half sister Amma. The frivolous behaviour of the town and her own family is disturbing to Camille and she reflects on the reasons why she was compelled to leave her small town. The books tagline ‘this family isn’t nuclear, it’s toxic’ rings true throughout the entire story, as ‘Sharp Objects’ investigates the secret inner workings that every family tries desperate to keep hidden from outside eyes.
Flynn is outstanding the way she can connect to an audience through the written word. She has such a deep and rich understanding of the human condition and I found myself in awe of the way she could capture emotions. I was in particularly a fan for the feministic hues she layered throughout the text. Camille who is a woman who preaches gender equality and claims that women should be held accountable for their actions just as men should. I found myself really cheering for her headstrong attitude that was often knocked down by other fragile women throughout the story. For a character written in a very vulnerable light, Camille to me was such a strong woman. Her love for words is astonishing as she is desperate to hold onto every memory she creates, fearful that it will slip through her fingers if she doesn’t write it down…
The story continued to shock me the entire way through. There were plot twists introduced that I never saw coming. Especially the way Flynn dramatically develops her characters throughout the story. Flynn paints her character’s in such a perverse light that you will find yourself horrified at the obscenities depicted in the story. This book has actually been scheduled to be released as a Television series! Maybe it is more like ‘Bones’ as I first thought. This excites me so much because there is so much more on screen time for Camille to develop as a character than two hours in a film. Even more amazingly, Flynn herself is an Executive producer of the show. This TV special is going to stay very true to the book. (On a sneaky sidenote, hopefully ‘The Mortal Instruments’ TV series will stay true to the books too!)
I was horrified, shocked, disillusioned and heartbroken in this book. It was one of those stories that will stay with you forever. There are so many elements this story that I haven’t discussed in the review because it is so much sweeter to read about them in the story yourself dear reader. Flynn is so brilliant at revealing them as the lot thickens. I have already recommended this story to a number of people and am planning to read Flynn’s third novel ‘Dark Places.’ Flynn just has an art for writing that cannot be taught. Don’t fall for the trap that I did that I was going to be reading another ‘Gone Girl’ novel. I promise ‘Sharp Objects’ will charm you under it’s own unique spell of magical story writing. It is a story powerful enough that I would happily pick up and enjoy again.
And also, make sure to treat yourself to bacon and eggs at the latest convenience. Your tastebuds deserve some love.
Miss Book Dependent xo