I really wanted to like this book. There were so many people out there who love Gillian Flynn. She writes in a genre I used to love (and still do when I find the right book). That just didn’t happen with Sharp Objects. I honestly can’t understand the obsession. Maybe my problem is that the story didn’t feel dark to me. Sure, filled with messed up characters, but it didn’t feel in the slightest removed from reality. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think it was special. It never got under my skin.
Camille was a woman with troubles, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have goals and aspirations. Unfortunately, I never felt the urgency of her aspirations like I felt the depth of the former pit she had been in. The probelm was that I felt I relate to Camille too much in some ways and at the same time, not at all. The depression she felt, the desire to care things into your skin was something that I should have been able to relate to. Yet, I couldn’t there was too much credence put on the why rather than accepting what she was. Thus it felt like I was taking part in a bit of psychotherapy rather than feeling a connection to her. That ended up being my biggest problem that I never connected to the main character. She was flawed and going through the motions that would make any other character human, but she never felt real. I never grew frustrated with her. I didn’t suddenly have moments of deep sentimentality. She was just there and from the sound of her character so was she.
The mystery of this novel wasn’t much of a mystery. You’re taken on this ride in which you’re trying to figure out who did it. You go through the motions of getting slow reveals. You get misdirects. However, I never cared. These were young girls who died, but I didn’t care. Largely because the town never cared, but I’ll get to that. Ultimately, the mystery just ended up feeling extremely slow and dragging. I wanted more. I wanted something that surprised me. I wanted something that at least felt earned. Instead the mystery resolved itself in the way I expected after first encountering the character. There was nothing deep or compelling behind it, which made the reveal even less interesting. It was exactly as I thought all along which made the characters seem even more oblivious than before.
Then there are the folks of the town. They are this moving caricatures of what a messed up town is. It’s this supposed view of these people that camille that she doesn’t like The kinds of people this sort of towns creates. However, what doesn’t work for me was how the characters never felt like people. It felt odd that every last person that was encountered felt heightened. Sure, we were looking through Camille’s lens, but it was still bizarre that everyone of them was driven by these inane quirks. It left them feeling like hollow representations.
Like I said, I really wanted to enjoy this book I just didn’t. I don’t always have to to like a character. There are plenty that I don’t. The problem is if I don’t like the MC or any of the characters, I need to at least find them compelling. That just never happened with this for me.