Sharp Objects is probably my favourite book of 2013 so far. Gillian Flynn really emerged as a must-read author with the release of Gone Girl, but upon the recommendation of Katie I decided to start with Flynn's debut novel and it's a really good read.I was expecting a fairly standard thriller, but through Camille Preaker's story a very disturbing story comes to light within a small town which is one of those nightmarish places where everyone seems to know everyone else. Camille suffers from a variety of mental issues, largely seriously self-harm and alcoholism, largely linked to her pretty horrendous upbringing. Being inside Camille's head was really interesting and I really cared for her, even when she made bad decisions. The characterisation is great; Adora, Camille's mother and the reason for her unstable mental state, is a pretty vile human in her interactions with her daughter but styles herself as something of a Queen Bee within the community. Another key character is Amma, Camille's much younger half-sister, who appears to be a very immature 13-year-old within the home, but within the town and her school she is cruel and creepily very sexually active which I will admit made me feel rather uncomfortable. Throughout the novel, the emphasis tends to be one the women within the community; whilst there are some important male characters (the father of one of the dead girls, the brother of the other dead girl, the police officers and Camille's editor); and even some hints of romance for Camille-but Flynn places more emphasis on Camille growing outside of romance.The plot moves quickly and really builds tension as Camille begins to recognise what happened to her as she grew up. Whilst perhaps the plot goes a little off-kilter and extreme towards the end of the novel, I did really enjoy this novel. It was really fascinating, and I cannot wait to read Gone Girl.