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

Anxious people by Fredrik Backman – A book review

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is one of the most anticipated and well loved book of the year 2020. I have had some great and a few not so good experiences with Backman’s books. Read my book review of Anxious People to know how it fared on my scale!

About the book

Anxious people by Fredrik Backman Book review Cover

Book Name: Anxious People

Author: Fredrik Backman

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: The bank robber, Roger and Anna Lea, Zara, Linnart, Estelle, Ro and Julia, Jim and Jack.

Setting: Sweden

Plot Summary

When things go spectacularly wrong, a bank robber tries to escape by entering into an apartment across the street. In a moment of panic, the robber ends up taking everyone there as hostages.

And the hostages being the apartment viewers scheduled in by the realtors. Unfortunately for the bank robber turned hostage-taker, the eight people in the apartment end up being the worst hostages ever.

They are anxious puddles themselves, they do not fear the gun nor the robber, they fight among themselves and they even order pizza for dinner. They even are worse at helping the police capture the bank robber.

Did they succeed in catching the robber? Did these anxious people hold themselves together until the end? Read Anxious People by Fredrik Backman to know more.

Book review

I have read Backman’s few other books and I can safely say Anxious People is very different from them. Anxious People is not a story of a person, it is about people and their quirkiness and their insecurities. It is about them looking out for a connection.

Anxious People is filled with well written and warm characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading the book. As the author correctly says, the book is full of “idiots” and yet you will adore them.

I loved how the author maintained the mystery/puzzle element throughout and the writing style helped it work. For some the writing style might seem slightly odd to get into but you will grow to love it, as I did.

What worked for me

  • Anxious People was dark and hilarious and at the same time, it pulls the right strings of your heart.
  • If you like Ove from A man called Ove, you are gonna love Estelle. In fact you will love all these characters.
  • I loved Backman’s outlook into the human nature and struggle to fit in and be loved.

What may have been better

  • The writing style is kinda odd. So if you find it hard to get into, give it a chance. You might end up loving it.

Content warning:

Suicide, Attempted suicide, Suicidal thoughts, Depression, Hostage crisis

Bottom line

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is an endearing and hilarious book that will surely make you laugh out and even tear up at places. Another fabulous book by Backman!Man called Ove, A by Fredrik Backman

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

Virgin River by Robyn Carr – A book review

Virgin River by Robyn Carr is the book chosen for the month of Aug’20 by Maureen’s book club and it is the first book of the club too. The Netflix series adaptation is already out and I hear it is good. Let’s see how the book turned out for me, alright?

About the book

Virgin River cover

Book Name: Virgin River

Series: Virgin River #01

Author: Robyn Carr

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Jack Sheridan, Melinda Monroe, Preacher Joey, Mark, Doc Mullins, Joy, Connie

Setting: Virgin River, CaliforniaThe USA

The plot

Melinda Monroe devastated by the sudden death of her husband, uproots her entire life and career as nurse/midwife in LA and moves to Virgin River, California. When she first arrives, she has been duped by old Mrs McCrea about the town and doesn’t even have a decent place to sleep.

She understands that her move was a huge mistake and can’t wait to leave the town. But an abandoned baby, local women who definitely would love her expertise and a particular ex-marine turned bar owner change her mind.

Jack Sheridan is not one for long term commitments, well until he meets Mel. But how much is he willing to give up for a woman who is still in love with her late husband? Whose baby was it and the rest forms the story of Virgin River by Robyn Carr.

My initial thoughts

I have not seen the Netflix series but I have heard lot of good things about the author and have been meaning to pick one of hers soon.

I love books with a small town set up with zany people with their eccentricities, so Virgin River was a good choice for me. And I really liked the small town characters like the Doc and the friendship between Joy and Connie.

Jack was a great guy, who genuinely liked helping people and contributes to the town and they love him back.

I am not a huge fan of the love at first sight trope, so I had a hard time understanding why and how Jack started falling for Mel.

On the other hand, I loved the way the Ms Carr had handled Mel’s grief and trauma over her loss, and how she overcomes them. I am glad that Mel and Mark had a happy backstory and that had a huge impact on her relationship with Jack.

What worked for me

  • I liked the small town scene and I wish I had met more people. But I guess that should be happening in the other books in the series.
  • It is always a pleasure reading about men who genuinely want to help others and be good to the society. Undoubtedly, I liked Jack, despite having issues with the “insta love” trope.
  • To be honest there are not many conflicts in the plot and it is a book that is straight sweet romance.

What may have been better

  • The graphic teen age sex scene between a 14 and 16 year old was completely unnecessary to the story and should turn off anyone who reads.
  • Motherhood, pregnancy and men “loving” pregnant women form a huge part in Virgin River. While I understand that Mel is a midwife and thus it makes sense, consider this as a warning if it were something you would avoid reading.

Bottom line

If you are looking for a small town romance that has a very few conflicts and is quite fun to read, Virgin River by Robyn Carr should be your pick. Maybe check the Netflix adaptation which I heard was better.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

Sittaford Mystery, The: A book review

Do you read mystery thrillers? If you do, you will understand my frustrations about being able to guess the culprit in the first few chapters. But when you are reading a book by Christie, you don’t have to fear. So how did The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie fare on my scale?

About the book

Sittaford Mystery Cover

Book Name: The Sittaford Mystery

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Mystery,

Characters: Major Burnaby, the Willets, Captain Joe Trevelyan, Emily Trefusis, James Pearsons, Inspector Narracott

Setting: England, The UK

The plot

Major Burnaby visits his new neighbors, the Willets and finds himself participating in an Ouija board game (“tableturning”). The seemingly harmless game ends with the “spirits” announcing that Captain Trevelyan, his long time friend and landlord, is dead.

Burnaby gets restless and takes it upon himself to make sure the Captain is well, trudging through the thick snow. But as it turns out to be, the Captain is really dead and his nephew is arrested.

Emily Trefusis, the fiancée of the nephew takes it upon herself to acquit him and find the real culprit. Was it just coincidence that the séance pronounced the death? If so, who killed the Captain forms the rest of the story in The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie.

My initial thoughts

I am not even surprised anymore that I failed to solve an Agatha Christie’s murder mystery. While I had two or three lines of suspicions, I was not even close to the actual murderer. I bow down before the Queen of mystery, once again.

The set up of secluded Sittaford was a good choice and gave the perfect eeriness required for this whodunnit. And you all know how much I love small town/village set ups.

Emily Trefusis and Inspector Narracott worked well for me, and their styles never clashed with each other. No negativity, but I liked him more than some of Christie’s regulars themselves.

I loved the ensemble of colorful characters – puzzle loving Major Burnaby, the Willets who have made a bizarre decision to spend their winter in an isolated place in Dartmouth, absolutely unlikeable heirs of the Captain and the weak, naïve accused James Pearson and of course Emily Trefusis herself!

Emily was a welcome change. She spoke her mind, put on a bit of act and was earnest in freeing her fiancé, and had a great sense of humor. And Charles Enderby played the perfect sidekick. Well, how many times do we get the female to do the heavy lifting and the male being the humble sidekick!

What worked for me

  • I really liked Inspector Narracott and his working style as much as I enjoyed Emily’s.
  • I loved the snowy and secluded Sittaford background, perfect for my small town loving self.
  • The tableturning or Ouija board game was nice add in too. I confess it misled me a bit more than it should have.

What may have been better

  • I wish we heard more about the Captain Joe Trevelyan, the misogynistic, money loving victim. Literally that is all we hear about him.
  • I didn’t want to read the men fighting over Emily. I want mystery, murder, and mayhem and no romance please.

Bottom line

The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie is a perfect mystery thriller for the lovers of the whodunnit genre. If you like an ensemble mystery this one is for you and again you can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie.

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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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