Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sharp Objects

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.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Gillian Flynn disturbs readers with her addictive novel, Sharp Objects. The story line, the writing style, the characters, all combine to horrify the audience to the point where they don't want to keep reading, but they don't have a choice. Flynn's creative tying of the reader to the main character, Camille. 

Camille is a young woman who suffers with mental instability. Her body burns and tingles, begging to be cut into. Begging to be covered with words. Words that describe her life, her dreams, her fears. Camille's main desire is to be loved by her family, but her mother is incapable. Readers will connect with her through her emotions, whether evoking empathy or sympathy, disgust or understanding. 

The experiences that Camille lives through are heart-wrenching and sad. An eruption of chaos that can't be avoided. The bond between Camille and readers will be thoroughly strained before the last page, but I firmly believe everyone who starts this book will feel the need to finish it, regardless of the frightening display of human nature. Camille wants to be loved, and readers will offer it freely.

The plot focuses on two murders in her home town of Wind Gap, Missouri. As a reporter based in Chicago, Camille is sent back to get the scoop. Readers discover that she's in the middle of the chaos before Camille does and are immediately frightened for her well-being. But Camille has been sacrificing herself her entire life. Sacrificing her identity, her aspirations, anything and everything for one single act of love. 

The story line is a horrifying experience that readers won't be able to turn away from. It's gripping while disturbing like the cutting addiction Camille suffers from. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone as the novel is blunt, the descriptions are haunting, and the ending is worse than most could imagine. Never-the-less, outstanding piece of fiction. 

Rating: 4.5/5

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