Sharp Objects is my second Gillian Flynn novel. I was able to enjoy Gone Girl even with its ridiculous amount of hype. Sharp Objects was just not something I enjoyed at all though. I do not recommend this to anyone.
Sharp Objects is a very familiar mystery plot about a girl that grew up in a small town, has since moved away, but now has to go back to uncover a mystery. Camille is a girl that had a troubling childhood in the town of Wind Gap. Camille’s mother was abusive, her sister died young, she was overly sexual at a young age, and she developed an issue with cutting words on herself. She was able to get away from Wind Gap and through the help of friends and treatment, she became a reporter for a Chicago newspaper. When two young girls from Wind Gap are found murdered, Camille must go back to where she grew up, and attempt to cover this murder.
First off, this is a very readable book. I flew through this and the pacing was great. Gillian Flynn is a decent writer that can sometimes just go off on a tangent trying to write something edgy. With Gone Girl, it worked, but with Sharp Objects it was almost insulting.
There are two things I dislike strongly when it comes to books, insulting the reader’s intelligence, or insulting your own character. I am going to attempt to put into words why I felt this book was so insulting to the character of Camille. Camille has some serious mental problems that she has struggled with her entire life due to her life in Wind Gap. She is just holding herself together as it is, but her boss and supposedly someone that cares for her sends her back to Wind Gap to cover a story. At first I was alright with this because I didn’t realize how sick Camille really is. As I continued to read this novel, I can’t for the life of me understand why Camille’s boss would ever do something like this to her. I realize she has the inside scoop and can get to the bottom of the story but nothing should be more important than Camille’s mental health. As the novel progresses, I have serious doubts that Camille can even hold a job as reporter with the issues she has.
This novel starts out with a woman in her 30’s that has not succumbed to societal pressures and created a career for herself away from the heartache she endured as a child. It quickly turns into a novel about how many awful things can happen to Camille, how weak she becomes, and how much of a victim she becomes. I really disliked this strongly. We have a woman go from an example of someone that can overcome her mental health issues to someone that almost withers and dies. This is just sending the complete wrong message to any girl reading this book.
I was alright with this book until Camille succumbs to the peer pressure from her 13 year old half sister and takes hard drugs with her sister at a high school party. Camille, an adult of 30+ years, goes to party with her 13 year old half sister. Are you kidding me? The story covers it up as her wanting to get information about the case from the party but the entire scene is all about Camille wanting to be accepted by a 13 year old girl. WHAT!? What 30 year old cares what a 13 year old thinks of them? Stop insulting your character and me Gillian Flynn.
The mentality of the female characters in this is so messed up that it made me angry. It is just ridiculous how the people in this town looks at sexual promiscuity at an extremely young age(12/13). For Camille to have gotten over her own mental health issues, she should have realized that the rape that happened to her when she was 13 was awful, yet when she returned to this town, she acted like it was no big deal. No no no no no. If she still thought the way she did about sexual abuse, there is no way she got over her mental health issues when she was younger, and there is NO WAY she should have ever gone back to Wind Gap. Ridiculous.
This is a book about really messed up people that view life in a way that just makes me angry. I don’t mind books like this where the main character is the voice of reason and they fight through the issues, but Camille is so damaged while she is covering this case, that it just makes me angry that Flynn wrote a female character that this happened to. Hated everything about the second half of this book.