September 13, 2014

Guest Reviewer Shannon McCrimmon: SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, 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 again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

A review of Sharp Objects and some random musings about Gillian Flynn
by Shannon McCrimmon
I have an addiction to Gillian Flynn. It all began when I read Gone Girl, and since that time, this little addiction I have, well, it's gotten worse. Much, much worse. It's probably a good thing she's only written three books and not twenty or my wallet would be in a world full of hurt. You see, Flynn is a genius. She knows how to spin a tale. She hooks you from the start and the way she describes things, well, let's just say I can see, taste, smell, hear and touch what she's written. So, you ask, am I a fan? Uh, heck yeah I'm a fan!
I read the gamut when it comes to fiction: historical, romance, YA, mysteries, but most of the time I'm a lover of YA, 'cause this girl likes a happily ever after. With Flynn I'm not promised a HEA. In fact, her endings are usually the opposite. Her stories don't offer flowers and bunny rabbits. What they promise is the expectation that I'm about to go on a journey, a really freaky journey with characters who aren't redeemable. It takes talent to be able to lure a reader in when the characters aren't likeable.
Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl are all works of art. While Dark Places is my most favorite of the three, all of them have one thing in common: they're awesome. Seriously, though, they're fantastically written and leave you turning the page or touching the screen so you can see what is going to happen next.
Sharp Objects is Flynn's debut novel, and it is the last one I've read. I really enjoyed this one, and the ending sure surprised me.
Sharp Objects follows Camille Preaker, a young journalist who works for an unknown newspaper. Camille is trying to live a better life in Chicago. She was hospitalized for self-harm and has never really gotten over the death of her sister, Marian. Camille's boss sends her to Wind Gap, her hometown, to cover the murder of one teenaged girl and the disappearance of another, whose body is later found.
While in Wind Gap, we meet Camille's family: her mother, Adora, and her sister, Amma. Let me tell you, they put the fun in dysfunctional. As the story unfolds, you discover things about Adora and Amma they make your stomach churn. That's the thing about Flynn, she writes nasty characters, and Adora and Amma aren't very likable. As Camille continues to investigate, you meet other characters who are suspect. At one point while reading, I suspected at least three characters!
There's a smidgen of romance—if that's what you want to call it. Camille and Detective Richard Willis have a fling, but Camille's inner struggles make it difficult for her to open up and have a real relationship. Camille is a wounded soul. And Detective Richard Willis is just a distraction from what's really ailing her: being back home with her family.
In the end you learn who killed the teenaged girls, and it might not be who you suspected all along. I know I was surprised. The ending was perfect. Flynn gives you a hint of happiness, that Camille is going to be okay, and I'm fine with that. It was all about the journey with this one. I highly recommend this psychological thriller. It's got twists and turns that will keep you completely engaged. It's got characters who are real, maybe not so likeable, but they're real. And, it's eloquently written. Flynn has a natural gift. I know I'll continue to read more by her.

Guest Reviewer: Shannon McCrimmon…

Shannon McCrimmon was born and raised in Central Florida. She attended Rollins College and earned a Master's Degree in Counseling. In 2008, she moved to the upstate of South Carolina. It was the move that inspired her to write her first novel. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She'd love to hear from you! 

Connect with her at and while you are there be sure to check out her books!
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