rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes my method of picking books is really calculated. I see a book someone else liked, and I stalk Amazon and GoodReads and Barnes&Noble for reviews. I google it and read blog entries and see how people liked it, because if I’m going to spend time reading a book, I want to like it.
And then sometimes I just see something and think, ‘hmph. I’ll read that, I guess.’
Sharp Objects was chosen via the latter method. I saw it on a list of May 2009 something or other and added it to Kindle without even really thinking. I don’t even think I read the description. Suffice it to say,I think I started this book sometime last week, maybe over the weekend. It’s Tuesday and I just finished it. Literally a few minutes ago.. I’ve been buried in it all weekend.
Chicago newspaper reporter Camile Preaker has been sent back to tiny, one-horse-town Wind Gap, where most of her high school friends stuck around and married the jocks, the head of the Science Club, the Yearbook Editor. Camille had left Wind Gap a long time ago, and wasn’t in a hurry to return, but her Editor is itching to break a story and Wind Gap’s recent child murders had ‘Breaking News’ all over it.
Despite her protests, Camille is back in Wind Gap, imposing on her mother and stepfather and half sister, and investigating the strange murders of two young girls in the small, close-knit town. Camille’s family defines dysfunctional. Wind Gap doesn’t want her there. Her cutting and her alcohol dependency thrown on top just mixes everything into a great big ball of drama.
I’m glad chose this book the way I did. I’m seeing a lot of reviews about how dark and macabre the story line is and how jilted the writing is and how awkward the story was told. I don’t think I’d have picked it, if I saw those reviews first. I really just didn’t get a sense of any of that. I was hooked from about paragraph two, fell asleep reading the first night, could NOT stop– the more that was brought to light about Camille, her mother, her sister, her whole history with tiny Wind Gap, the more I was intrigued.
Now let me be plain– I don’t really read fluff. I don’t do feel good. I don’t do chick lit and sarcastic little ditties about how funny kids are and I’m fat but I’m a spunky chick and that’s why you need to love me. I don’t do Non- Fiction, much. There’s a place for that, I’m sure. It’s just not on my bookshelf. I’m the type of person that watches Forensic Files and loves Shawshenk Redemption and will watch an entire day of A&E Crime programming and Law and Order Special Victims Unit– I love the stuff.
I loved this book. I didn’t find it particularly gory. Just strikingly, painfully, realistically… real. I hate reading glossed over horror or pain or despair. I don’t want flowery, purple prose– sometimes when it’s raw and disjoined and just ‘out there’ it pangs more. It makes you sit on the edge of your seat and go ‘oh, wow’.
Camille is that character that you kind of dislike at first– she seemed whiny and weak and I wasn’t sure what to make of her. Then as things began to come to light and unfold (her relationship with her mother, her ODD little sister), I started to gain a little respect for Camille. By the end I positively loved her, as a main character- an unlikely hero, a vulnerable creature.
NOW. Let’s talk about Adora and Amma, two of the weirdest, oddest, most inexplicable characters in the entire book. I spent all of the book going OMYGODWTF? I mean, one moment they were nice and sweet as punch, and the next, a giant pendulum swing in the other direction and OH. My. Lord. Adora got on my NERVES. Amma was just a brat. Wanted to slap them both and I willed Camille away from them SO many times.
Okay, the killer??? Can I just say I KNEW IT?!?!? I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT!