August 8, 2018

Summer Reads: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Broadway; 424 pages; $9.99
Has anybody else been watching Sharp Objects on HBO?

The fifth episode of the limited series (miniseries) aired on Sunday night, and I believe there are three episodes left. The series is based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl and Dark Places. I was hooked to the series after watching the first episode and I later purchased the novel a few days later, but I didn't start reading it until a day prior to the third episode and I ended up finishing the book a few hours after the episode.

The novel centers around Chicago newspaper reporter Camille Preaker, who has a share of personal demons with alcohol and cutting words into her skin. Shortly after spending time in a hospital, her boss, Curry, encourages her to travel back to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to cover the murder of a young girl, Ann Nash, and the disappearance of another girl, Natalie Keene.

Somewhat against her will, Camille returns to Wind Gap, where she sorta invites herself to stay at her family's home, which she hasn't visited in many years. Camille grew up with Adora, her high maintenance mother, and an emotionally estranged step-father, Alan. Her half-sister Marian, who she was very close to, died mysteriously at a young age, which sent her down an emotional roller coaster that has never stopped. She has another half-sister, Amma, a spoiled thirteen-year-old that she barely knows. Amma has a weird control over the people of Wind Gap.

After the body of Natalie Keene is found with her teeth removed (the same happened to Ann Nash), the town goes into a frenzy, pointing fingers at Natalie's brother, John. Still working on her own emotional problems, Camille works with Richard Willis, a Kansas City cop assigned to help solve the murders, to track down the killer. However, the further she investigates, the more she learns that her past is connected to the murders.

Final Thoughts

I have a bad habit of buying books that have been adapted into movies or television series and I never get around to reading them. For Sharp Objects, I was determined to read the book before the series ended. Actually, I just really wanted to know the killer's identity, which was predictable and satisfying at the same time. I don't want give away the ending, so you're going to have to read the book yourself or wait until the last episode of the series.

The setting is what appealed to me the most, as I live in Missouri. I easily connected with the main character, Camille, who is very flawed, but in a realistic way. Like most people, I have my own personal demons, but they're not as horrible as Camille's. She's a very damaged character, mostly thanks to her crazy mother who never really loved her, and of course she never got over the death of her sister.

Overall, I loved reading Sharp Objects. The author does a great job of pulling the reader into the story with detailed descriptions and gritty dialogue.

Note: I just bought the author's other novel, Dark Places, but I don't know when I will get around to reading it. And I was given a copy of Gone Girl as a present a few years ago, but I've never read it yet; though I have seen the movie.

About the Author
Gillian Flynn is the author of the runaway hit Gone Girl, and international sensation that has spent more than eighty-five weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. He work has been published in forty languages. Gone Girl is now a major motion picture from Twentieth Century Fox. Flynn's previous novels, Dark Places and Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, were also New York Time bestsellers. A former writer and critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.


  1. I’m watching this show, too. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but I do want to read the book. The book might help clear up the confusing bits of the show.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. The book is told from Camille's point-of-view, so you get a better understanding about her character. There are many scenes in the series that are told out of order compared to the novel. The sex scene at the end of the fifth episode was heavily toned down to what occurred in the book; though maybe the rest will be shown at the beginning of the next episode, but I doubt it. Also, the flashbacks in the series are not in the book.


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