BOOK REVIEW: Sharp Objects – by Gillian Flynn

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Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
First published: September 26th 2006
Finished reading: February 14th 2016
Pages: 272
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“There was nothing I wanted to do more than be unconscious again, wrapped in black, gone away. I was raw. I felt swollen with potential tears, like a water balloon filled to burst. Begging for a pin prick.”

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I’ve heard a lot of people say they liked Gillian Flynn‘s debut novel best, and I have to agree Sharp Objects is my favorite as well. The story is sick, twisted, disturbing, full of unexpected plot twists… Which is highly typical for all her work, but somehow Sharp Objects managed to convince me better. It’s not that I actually liked her main character; Camille Preaker is just as dark and problematic as the characters in Gone Girl and Dark Places. Camille still suffers from both her complicated childhood and her history as a cutter. When she has to travel back to her hometown for an assignment, she will have to face her ghosts of the past as well as doing her job as a reporter in covering the murder of two young girls. The whole murder and disappearance of the two girls is a very intriguing plot on it’s own, and the situation with Camille’s family only adds an extra layer to it. Sharp Objects has a fast pace and is well written, with many plot twists that will keep you guessing about what really happened to those poor girls. Dark and twisted, but highly recommended if you like the genre!

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Camille Preaker has had a very complicated childhood and her body shows the proof: she has been cutting words all over her body ever since she was a teenager. As an adult she finally had a chance to escape her hometown and she now works as a reporter in the big city. Her cutter history got her into a psych hospital, and things didn’t get better when she is released as her boss tells her she has to return to her tiny hometown for an assignment. A young girl was murdered last year, and now another one is missing… Camille doesn’t want to go, but her boss convinces her it will be her best chance to finally move up the ladder. She hasn’t been home for a long time or spoken to her mother or her half-sister, and they are all surprised when Camille shows up at the door of the family’s Victorian mansion. Things don’t exactly go smoothly and Camille soon finds herself both fighting against her old demons as well as trying to get a proper story so she can finally leave the place that has tormented her for so many years…

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Sharp Objects might be Gillian Flynn‘s debut novel, but for me it is her strongest work yet. Almost every main character in the story has some dark, twisted or disturbing secret and the two different storylines (the murder investigation and Camille’s family history) slowly intertwine as Gillian Flynn throws one plot twist after the other at you. Sharp Objects is a fast-paced and intriguing read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. If you like the genre, make sure you read this book.

WWW Wednesdays #78 – February 17th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr a few days ago and so far I’m in love with the prose. It’s so beautifully written! It’s been a while since I last read a WWII themed story as well, so I’m really enjoying this novel. I’ve also started Every Day by David Levithan, although it’s still too early to tell if I like it or not.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished was Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider, my last TBR jar pick. I literally flew through the pages and I really loved the story and its characters.
* I then read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, which turned out to be a lot better than both Gone Girl and Dark Places. Sick, twisted, disturbing, but very well done.
* The last book I finished since last week is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and it sure took me a long time to do just that. I know everybody seems to love this read, but unfortunately I wasn’t blown away by it. I didn’t hate it either, but I just expected more of it… More about my problems in the full review.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to pick up The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton soon; both because I have been looking forward to it for quite some time now and I need it for a challenge as well. I might read Mr. Kiss And Tell by Rob Thomas first though since I’m in the mood for a mystery read and I loved the first book. I also finally want to stick to my promise and start with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon as soon as I finish All The Light We Cannot See… And The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney is my new TBR jar pick.

WWW Wednesdays #77 – February 10th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m still not that far into Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, but I plan to change that today. Hopefully I will like it as much as everyone that has recommended this novel to me! I’m also still decided whether to DNF Eve by Iris Johansen or not. I have put it on hold for now, but the combination of a misleading blurb (it was supposed to be the first in a trilogy, but ended up being book number twelve in a series, so a lot of background is missing) and sexual attraction/romance scenes that make me cringe really make me not want to continue reading it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished was Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, a book I ended up enjoying despite my initial reservations about the love triangle. I loved the worldbuilding, plot and action and will be picking up the sequel soon.
* I then picked up Never Never Part Three by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher to finally find out how the story ends, and I ended up being VERY disappointed with how they decided to conclude the story.
* I was actually going to DNF the last read, Death Of Secrets by Bowen Greenwood and in a way I wish I did, because it really was a bad read. Lousy characters, chaotic plot and I didn’t like the prose either… I just couldn’t concentrate on the story even though the general idea of the story does have potential.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish Me Before You, I will pick up All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I was actually planning on picking it up during the weekend but I didn’t have a lot of time to read… I also want to make a start with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon so I can finally begin with this series I have been wanting to read for ages. And I want to give Gillian Flynn another go and read her other novel Sharp Objects as well. My latest TBR jar pick is still Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.

WWW Wednesdays #76 – February 3rd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m close to finishing Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch… It took me long enough! I still love the worldbuilding and the story is quite interesting, although I’m not completely blown away by it either. I also picked up my copy of Eve by Iris Johansen during my days away camping, but I don’t really like it so far. The case sounds interesting, but I feel I miss a lot of background information and the whole sexual attraction/romance scenes are cringe worthy. Fingers crossed things will improve later on!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Only one book finished this week: Confessions by Kanae Minato. It took me a little while to get used to the writing style, but as soon as I started reading the second confession (chapter), I was hooked. A very dark, disturbing but intriguing read!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I finally have a copy of All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, so I’m planning to pick it up soon. I might read Mr. Kiss And Tell by Rob Thomas first though, since I really loved the first book in the series… And I want to give Gillian Flynn another go and read her other novel Sharp Objects as well. My latest TBR jar pick is still Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.

BOOK REVIEW: Dark Places – by Gillian Flynn

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Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
First published: May 5th 2009
Finished reading: January 11th 2016
Pages: 349
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“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”

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There has been a lot of hype around Gillian Flynn‘s other novel Gone Girl, but I honestly didn’t think it was actually worth it. I still decided to try her other novels though, and I picked up Dark Places first for no particular reason. I know a lot of people seem to love this read as well, but I can’t say I was impressed. There is no doubt Gillian Flynn was able to create a disturbing, dark and twisted story with many crazy plot twists and a somewhat surprising ending. That said, I had a hard time getting into the story and it took me a long time to actually finish it. I didn’t like the characters at all and the whole mystery around the death of the Day’s family actually reads a bit slow. How can such a disturbing story read slow? Imagine an event and have it repeated over and over with small details being changed… It’s like hitting the snooze button in the morning. I know the whole unreliable narrator thing has been used a lot lately, but I just couldn’t enjoy it in Dark Places. It didn’t help that I couldn’t feel no sympathy whatsover for the main character Libby Day. That is kind of the point in this story and she does feel ‘real’, but it didn’t help me like this story any better. All in all not my favorite read.

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When Libby Day was only seven-years-old, her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in the small town of Kinnakee Kansas. The murder scene was a bloody mess, and Libby only survived because she managed to hide outside in the freezing cold… The killer? Her own fifteen-year-old brother Ben; she knows because had heard him herself that night. Twenty-five years later, Ben is still in prison and Libby has grown up being a mess. She never overcame what happened that one night from hell, and lives off the money other people sent her. But the money is running out and she has to find a way to take care of herself… And just at that moment a secret society called the Kill Club offers her money to help discover proof that her brother Ben is actually innocent. Libby doesn’t want to, but cannot bring to find herself a real job and has no other choice than accept the offer. Libby soon has to face the ghosts of her past… Will she find out the truth about what happened that night long ago?

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The blurb sounded quite interesting and the general story itself is both dark, twisted and intriguing at the same time. Still, I can’t say I loved Dark Places. Maybe the book was just too disturbing for me, but what I can say is that it took me ages to finish it and the characters were a mayor turn off. If you ask me, I would stick with Gone Girl for now instead of Dark Places… But I’ve heard her first novel Sharp Objects is actually a lot better, so I’m going to try and read that one soon.

WWW Wednesdays #73 – January 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I finally picked up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and so far I’m absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to continue reading it later today! Looks like this is one of those books that is actually worth the hype around it…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished since last week is Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty. A very good middle grade story that has a good mix of fantasy and scary elements and I really liked the prose.
* I then finished All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this historical fiction novel. Such an original, beautifully written and emotional story!
* I was in the mood for another crime read so I picked up Confessions Of A Murder Suspect by James Patterson. It’s the first time I read a Patterson YA novel, but I flew through the pages and it was a really entertaining read.
* Afterwards I decided to read Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl since it has become a tradition to reread at least one or two Roald Dahl books a year. He is one of my favorite childhood authors and I always love rereading his work. This is not my favorite, but still good.
* The last book I finished during the read-a-thon was Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid.  I can’t say I was impressed by this one. It wasn’t terrible but there were some parts that really bothered me…
* The last book on this list, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, was not as great as I would have thought either. It’s definitely a dark, twisted and disturbing read with many crazy plot twists and a somewhat surprising ending, but it took me a long time to actually finish it and I didn’t like the characters…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC waiting for me: Eternal War Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. This book set in the 13th century is a mix of historical fiction and fantasy and I’m really looking forward to it! I really should read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings as well, so I can at least start finishing all those poor neglected series… Although I will probably read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng first. Last but not least, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is still my newest TBR jar pick.

WWW Wednesdays #72 – January 6th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Bout Of Books 15 is really helping me fly through my books! I have started All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry yesterday evening and I’m really looking forward to continue it today… And Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty I will finish for sure today; a very entertaining middle grade read that is definitely living up to expectations!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished this year is The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury. I actually really enjoyed the first part of the book, but then another freaking love triangle was introduced… And things went downhill from there.
* I then finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, a book I absolutely LOVED. I think this is my new Gaiman favorite, although The Ocean At The End Of The Lane comes close…
* I was in the mood for a crime read so I picked up Dead Wood by Dani Amore afterwards. It turned out to be a quick and entertaining read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as Bout Of Books 15 is over, I’m going to start Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. I’m so excited about this read that it’s getting really hard to wait any longer! I also want to read both Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn; with a little luck I will be able to finish both before the end of the read-a-thon. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is my newest TBR jar pick, which is kind of funny because I already had that title on my January TBR anyway. 😉

BOOK REVIEW: Gone Girl – by Gillian Flynn

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Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
First published: 2012
Finished reading: January 12th 2015
Pages: 422
Rating 3,5

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”

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It sure took me ages to finally pick up my copy of Gone Girl. There has been such a hype around this novel by Gillian Flynn that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to expectations. And now I’ve finally managed to read and finish it, I’m not sure what to think of it. While the story is actually very well written, I was still able to absolutely dislike each and every main character by the end of the book. Which in general is the very sign of hating the book as well. But in the case of Gone Girl, it’s not that simple. The fast pace and the fact that Flynn keeps dropping plot twist bombs like it’s WWIII just makes it impossible to stop reading. This book seriously messed with my head; I’m still in the process of figuring out whether that is a good thing, but I cannot deny it sure is one heck of an entertaining read. The swearing is too much for my taste and I didn’t like the ending, but Gone Girl is without doubt worth reading anyway.

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Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary is not starting the way it was planned… Or at least it seems that way. The couple had to move back to Nick’s hometown in Missouri after losing their jobs back in New York, and Amy has a hard time fitting in. Nick has some issues of his own, and while he was able to open his own bar with his sister Go, he is not exactly happy. Both have changed a lot since they first met seven years ago and their marriage is not the way it was. Amy is trying to revive their marriage by preparing the yearly treasurehunt for her husband, but she never gets to see his reaction… Because on the morning of their anniversary, she suddenly disappears and their now empty house shows signs of violence.

Soon Nick is the main suspect, as according to the police the husband usually ends up being the bad guy. It doesn’t help that Nick is acting strange and doesn’t seem to have an alibi during the hours his beautiful wife supposedly went missing… Amy’s parents fly over from New York and while they initially believe in his innocence, sooner or later they start to doubt Nick. What is Nick hiding with his series of lies and inappropriate behavior? Is he really a killer? And is Amy the perfect daughter and wife she seems to be?

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I decided to keep the summary short to avoid spoiling the fun of the enormous amount of plot twists Gillian Flynn has used in her novel. What I can say is that both Nick and Amy are definitely twisted and on the border of being serious nutcases. Does it show that I didn’t like their characters, nor her parents or Nick’s sister Go? Well, at least the story was highly entertaining… Gone Girl is without doubt a pageturner. Even though I had some problems with this novel, I still think it is worth your time in case you haven’t read it yet. Just make sure you are ready for a crazy and bumpy ride and don’t forget to prepare some popcorn before you start reading!

WWW Wednesdays #23 – January 7th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading, WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

14064My TBR jar this time gave me a better result with I Am Legend. This classic horror/SF story is more my cup of tea and I’m enjoying this novel by Richard Matheson so far. If I can find some free time today, I will probably finish it since it’s quite a short story!

 

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

clockworkprinceclockworkprincessAfter first having read Clockwork Prince, I just HAD to read the final book in The Infernal Devices trilogy straight away. I mean, after the bombs Cassandra Clare drops on us in the last pages of book two, I just HAD to know what was going to happen next. Clockwork Princess did have too much romance in it for my taste, but I’m still glad to have finished my first series (trilogy) this year!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

gonegirlgardensofthemoonI will probably either read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn or Gardens Of The Moon by Steven Erikson. I’ve been wanting to read both titles for ages now, and I think it is about time I finally pick them up.

Top Ten Tuesday #6 – August 26th: Books I Need To Get Soon!

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The Broke And The Bookish presents us every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday’s theme is the Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet. When I first saw this theme, I was mostly thinking: Seriously, only ten? My need-to-get-soon list at Goodreads has about 40 titles on it alone, and I haven’t updated that one that recently. I’ve tried to make a selection for this Top Ten Tuesday though:

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Which of these have you read already and can you recommend to me? Any books I should buy first?