Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

I had been putting aside Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, who is one of my favorite authors, for a while, even when I was almost sure that I will like it. I just wanted savor it but when the dreadful slump threatened, I had to bring in the big gun.

So did Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn work well for me? Was it worth the hype and will I be watching the Amy Adams starring HBO series? You will have to read my book review of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn to know more.

About Sharp Objects

elgeewrites Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - A book review Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn book review

Book Name: Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Fiction – Psychological Thriller

Characters: Camille Preaker, Amma, Adora, Alan and Marian Crellin, Chief Bill Vickery, Frank Curry, Richard Willis, Natalie and John Keene

Setting: Wind Gap, MissouriThe USA

Plot Summary of Sharp Objects

Camille Preaker has been offered a chance to redeem her career as a journalist and her position with her chief, who has been always by her side even during her recent stint at the psych ward.

All she has to do is return to her hometown and cover the unsolved murder of a pre-teen girl and the recent disappearance of another.

While Camille is no way ready for visiting her hometown, but she does it anyway. She hasn’t spoken to her obsessive mother (Adora) in years and barely knows her half sister Amma.

With an uncooperative local Sheriff and handsom Kansas City detective on tow, Camille finds herself not just covering the story but finding the murderer who removes the teeth from his victims.

Will Camille be able to dig through the mystery, without awakening her demons from the past? What’s the deal with her family and her past? Grab a copy of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and read it right away.

Book review of Sharp Objects

I should start with a huge disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn and I have read all her books including her novella. She is one of those authors that I would recommend to anyone looking for a fast psychological thriller or a new reader.

And I am glad to announce that Flynn didn’t disappoint me at all with Sharp Objects. Yes, it is apparent that it is not as nuanced as her later works, but it is still as dark as her books are usually. Fans of dark pasts and dysfunctional families, you won’t be disappointed.

I guessed the killer at about 70% of the book but I think Sharp Objects was more than just finding the murderer. It has always been about the characters themselves for me, which were fully developed and intriguing in their own ways.

If you have read Gone girl and/or Dark places, you know what you are in for and you will love it.

What worked for me

  • No one writes dark and damaged characters like Flynn and I have come to expect them in all her novels.
  • I love how motherhood was a subtle theme all through the book. Even the last article that Camille was working on before returning home was about a mother who abandons her kids for some drugs to her own mother who hugged her “ferociously”.
  • Sharp Objects is set in a small town (I am a huge fan of those) that is creepy and closed in equal parts.

What may have been better

  • You may not like the protagonist at all. And Camille just makes it hard to root for her and her actions gets only desperate and irrational after a while. (I like such characters, but just a warning for those of you who don’t like books with unlikeable protagonists.)
  • The whodunnit part can be figured out or at least guessed before it happens. So if you are in just for the mystery part of it, Sharp Objects might seem predictable.

Content warningy

Self harm (cutting), parental neglect and abuse, mentions of underage sex and rape, recreational drugs.

Bottom line

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is an engrossing thriller that will stay with you for a long time if you like twisted and dark characters and dysfunctional families. Flynn doesn’t disappoint her fans with Sharp Objects at all.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – A book review

I had been meaning to pick up My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite for a long time now, having seen the countless reviews and posts on bookstagram. But after hearing Ms Braithwaite speak (virtually) at the Emirates Litfest this year, I grabbed it immediately. Read my book review of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite to know more.

About My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite book review

Book Name: My Sister, the Serial Killer

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Drama

Characters: Korede, Ayoola, Tade, Muhtar Yautai

Setting: Lagos, Nigeria

Plot Summary of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Set in the modern day Lagos, Nigeria, My Sister, the Serial Killer opens with Korede helping her younger sister Ayoola get rid of her latest victim’s body. Ayoola tells her it was a self defense, but Korede is not convinced entirely.

Korede, a sincere nurse with a crush on her coworker, the handsome doctor Tade. Her only “friend” is a patient in comatose, to whom she confides about her suspicions about her self absorbed sister, who might be a serial killer.

What happens when Ayoola and Tade fall for each other, and her friend who knows all her deep and dark secrets, is no longer in a comatose? You have to read My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite to know more.

Book review of My Sister, the Serial Killer

I loved the plot and while not being original, I wanted to know more about the sisters and what happens to them. There are some flashbacks that talk about their childhood and their late father.

The chapters are quite short and you can race through the book in a sitting, like I did. But the short chapters made it seem like it was rushed and underdeveloped at places.

The small snippets about their abusive tyrannical father, which offer some glimpse into why Ayoola might be doing whatever she does. And the fact that we may never know the full story made it more interesting for me.

I wanted to like Korede, but unfortunately she seemed too passive about her situation and life in general. On the other hand, I loved reading the social commentary about the modern day Lagos and their inept and corrupt police force.

[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”cl9hemzmnn” question=”Please leave a feedback on this” opened=”0″]My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is my first book set in Nigeria, is there any other Nigerian books that I should be reading?[/wpdiscuz-feedback]

What worked for me

  • I loved the premise and it had me hooked from the first sentence.
  • The short chapters with cliffhangers got me reading the entire book in a single sitting. My Sister, the Serial Killer is a perfect popcorn fun read!
  • I loved reading about Lagos and Nigerian lifestyle and I will definitely watch out for the author as well.

What may have been better

  • The short chapters made it seem like there was more to the story and it was rushed through.
  • I wanted to like characters but sadly none of them had any character development to start with.

Content warning

Parental abuse

Bottom line

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a short fun read that may have not lived up to the hype for me. Nevertheless, it is still a good thrilling read that you can breeze through in an afternoon.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

Normal People by Sally Rooney – A book review

Have you read a book that makes you an emotional fur ball and then climaxes with an open ending? Do you love or hate such a book? Let us talk about Normal People by Sally Rooney, shall we?

About the book

Normal People By Sally Rooney Book cover

Book Name: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Marienne and Alan, and their mother Denise Sheridan , Connel and Lorrainne

Setting: Ireland

The plot

Normal People begins with Marianne and Connell as teenagers who are from different social backgrounds attending the same school. Connell’s mother works in Marianne’s mansion. Connell is kind of the popular jock at school while Marianne is ostracized and is rather invisible.

They begin a sexual relationship but later puts an end to it, because Connell doesn’t want his friends to know about it. When they enter University, their roles reverse. Now Marianne’s intelligence and wit wins her friends while Connell feels so out of it and gradually slips into depression.

Their on/off romance continues and they lean on each other time and again, whatever their romantic entanglements were then. Did they end up with each other forms the rest of Normal People by Sally Rooney.

My initial thoughts

As I was saying earlier, Normal People made an emotional wreck of me. I rarely get affected so much by a book that I had to stop take catch a few breathes while I am reading. This book did that to me.

The plot as such is not anything that we have not read earlier nor very intriguing. But it is the writing and characters that made me come back for more, repeatedly. The protagonists felt so real that made me reach out to an old time friend, just to ask if they were doing fine. We all were normal people, once.

Flawed characters that are deep and emotionally broken? Sign me up. Her penchant towards self destruction and his gradual slipping into depression hurt me viscerally.

The only issue I had was not being able to understand why Marienne’s family hated her so much or some kind of background about it. Every time she felt unworthy and mistook abuse as love based on her family, especially the men, my heart broke.

I loved the social commentary parts in the book as much as inner thoughts of the characters.

What worked for me

  • CHARACTERS. Such deep, flawed and real characters.
  • I love plot-less plots, if you get what I mean. Character and angst driven plots are the best and Rooney did a great job at that.
  • This might be a make or break thing, but for me, the open ending seemed like a perfect finish to Normal People.

What may have been better

  • I wanted to know more about Marienne’s family and their treatment towards her. How and why would they?
  • Some readers may have an issue with the style of Rooney’s writing. Trust me you will get used to it in a bit.

Bottom line

If you are interested to read a character driven plot that will affect you emotionally, Normal People should be your pick. Normal People by Sally Rooney deserves all the praise and accolades it has been getting. I am definitely reading more from Rooney in future.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – A book review

How religious are you and how interested were in God as a teen? Our experiences may vary and sometimes our family gets a huge say in these things. There are things that we all have in common and then there are some gaps. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo talks a lot about religion and faith in these lines. Let us get on to my review, shall we?

About the book

Cover Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo review

Book Name: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Characters: Xiomara and Xavier Batista, Caridad, Aman, Isabelle

Genre: Fiction – Romance, YA, Contemporary

Setting: Harlem, New YorkThe United States of America

The plot

With an emotionally distant and a super religious mother, Xiomara Batista, a young teen, feels all alone in her questioning life, religion, on being a woman and her changing body. And boys.

Her Twin brother, who is a closeted queer, seem to know what their parents want and doesn’t have any problem in just doing that. Even if he has to hide things from them. Of course, he doesn’t get picked at by their mother or have so many restrictions as Xio because he was a guy.

Her best friend Caridad, is what Xio’s parents want her to be like. Soft, religious and obedient. But sadly, Xio was born ready to be a fighter, a protector and a spitfire.

Honestly all Xio wants is to be a normal teenager. Wear sexy clothes, meet boys, have a boyfriend, and to be kissed, all of which are forbidden by her religious, controlling and guilt tripping mother.

And Xio has questions. And doesn’t have anyone to help her figure them out. No one except her notebook that she has filled her poetry. Another thing she has to hide from her mother.

What happens when Xio finally finds someone or something where she could just be? Why would her questioning be so frowned upon by the religion. Read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo to know more.

My initial thoughts

Xio is a Dominican, twin, catholic, thick girl and a poet and the author makes sure that she stays true to all the identities – from what I hear. Even if I am not a part of those representations, I could still relate to her and her thought process.

As someone from a “religious but not super religious” family, where guilt tripping, blind faith, sexism and casteism are encouraged, I felt connected to Xio so much that I even forgot that we are not talking about the same religion. I suppose most religions have a lot in common.

Acevedo’s writing, especially the poetry, was so raw and vulnerable that I had to often take my eyes off the book and collect my thoughts, which rarely happens.

If you had not realized it by now, I loved Xio. I wish I were this brave and fierce as a teen myself. And that I was as body positive as she was and I hate that she had to undergo the catcalls, groping, ogling, leering and then be guilt tripped by her mother.

Things that worked for me

  • I loved Acevedo’s writing. LOVED.
  • Xio’s questions about religion and women are so spot on, that she may have picked them from own teen dairy.
  • I love the way the author built real, relatable characters. Xavier, Aman and even Caridad and of course, Xio.

Things that didn’t work for me

I wish I got to know more about Caridad, Xavier and even Aman, for that matter.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a contemporary romance that focuses very less on romance. Written in a verse format The Poet X doesn’t shy away from intense themes like religion, women in religion, puberty, body positivism, and parental control. Good recommendation, even if you are not into Young Adult books.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

Little Fires Everywhere – A book review

With the hype created by the new show, I had to read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG, even though practically everyone around me has read and reviewed it. And I was low-key expecting me another over-hyped chick flick and boy, was I wrong! Read my review of Little Fires Everywhere to know more.

About the book

elgeewrites Little Fires Everywhere - A book review Little fires everywhere

Book Name: Little Fires Everywhere

Author: Celeste Ng

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Mia and Pearl Warren, Elena, Izzy, Moody, Lexie and Trip Richardson, Bebe, Linda and Mark McCullough

Setting: Shaker Heights, OhioThe USA

Plot Summary

Shaker heights is one of those perfect small towns, that is tight knit and followed every rule to the T. The residents of this meticulously planned community give great importance to the appearance and uniformity – they all paint their doors in particular colors, the lawns are perfectly manicured, the garbage cans are hidden behind the house etc. 

The Richardson family is a model family to this Utopia. Mr Richardson, a well to do lawyer, Mrs Elena Richardson, a reporter who writes ‘wholesome’ articles and their four children (two boys and two girls) paint a pretty picture. 

Their perfect lives go for a toss when a non conformist family – a single mother and her shy daughter enter their neighbourhood. Mrs Richardson takes in Mia Warren (an artist) and her daughter Pearl into her rented apartment to help them out – a gesture of benevolence. In a few months, the members of both the families get entwined with each other due to various reasons. 

Meanwhile, an old family friend of the Richardsons adopts a Chinese-American baby and a battle custody ensues. How do the Warrens and Richardsons get caught in the custody web? Do they come out of it as one single piece forms the rest of the story in Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Book review

First of, WOW. I loved the book so much that I am writing the review of Little Fires Everywhere as soon as I finished reading it. This has not happened in a long time. Nor have I written such a big plot summary, in terms of word count in a while. So there is my verdict – WOW. Now let us dig in deeper shall we?

On the surface, Little Fires Everywhere is filled with stereotypes.  

A control freak suburban mom, a distant workaholic dad, non conformist artist, a popular jock, spoilt rich popular girl, moody and outcast teen, and a nerd – there is one of every single fictional cliche. But what I loved is how Ng has spun these cliched characters into deep, multi layered characters

A friend of mine asked whom I thought the baby should end up with, when I was reading the book. I didn’t have an answer then, or now, because that is how the world is. There is no complete black or white. Every character is flawed in Little Fires Everywhere and I loved them all the same. 

For my personally, the most interesting character was Mrs Richardson, or Elena. She is one of the most complex characters I have read in a long time now. She made me question my choices and I am sure everyone feels related to her at some point. 

If I had to nitpick, I am not sure if I like being told incessantly to root for a single character, Mia. Yes, she is ‘the empathetic and enlightened’ one. And I think she got off too easily when compared to her counterpart, given her history. 

Things that worked for me

  • Little Fires Everywhere deals with many intense themes like motherhood, identity, conformism and adoption.
  • I liked the plot and the moral questioning that it posed.
  • Deep, multi layered characters that stay with you long after you have finished reading are something to look forward to.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • I felt the scales tipped too easily when it came to Mia.


Little Fires Everywhere is an exquisitely written family drama with a bit of suspense. Read the book before you watch the series. 

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