Move over Big Little Lies – the next great literary thriller-turned-TV-HBO-series is Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects! Starring Amy Adams, opens a new window and Patricia Clarkson, opens a new window, Sharp Objects will take viewers on a twisty and gruesome ride. You might have been introduced to Flynn through the book and movie Gone Girl. Sharp Objects has similar elements – the requisite unreliable narrator coupled with murder and psychological mayhem.
The Sharp Objects miniseries premiered on July 8 and will run for eight episodes on HBO, opens a new window. If you prefer to read the book first, you can check it out in a variety of formats from San Mateo County Libraries.
And if you’re craving even more twisty plots, complicated female relationships, and untrustworthy narrators, check out these five new Sharp Objects read-alikes:
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Perfect, brilliant Ellie Mack was days away from summer vacation and an exciting future with her high school sweetheart – and then she was gone. The narrator switches between Ellie’s distraught mother, Laurel, and Ellie herself. In the present, Laurel is trying to put her life back together ten years after Ellie’s disappearance. Things seem to be on the up when she meets a man named Floyd and his hauntingly familiar daughter, Poppy. In the past, Ellie describes her life leading up to her sudden disappearance. What happened to Ellie? And why does Laurel have a strange feeling about this man who suddenly appeared in her life?
Tangerine by Christina Mangan
Alice feels isolated and alone in Tangier with her new husband who seems more interested in disparaging her than acclimating her into their new home. When her estranged best friend from college, Lucy, shows up on her doorstep, Alice finds relief in her company. But soon the reasons they became estranged start to surface and then Alice’s husband disappears. Set in the 1950s, this book has all the elements of a good film noir – and yes, the film rights have already been purchased.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
This is another novel about estranged best friends except it takes place in modern times and is framed around scientific ambition. Kit and Diane first met in high school chemistry class. Kit, an average student, was inspired by Diane’s brilliance and the two became unlikely friends. But Diane shares a life-changing secret that destroys everything between them. The two link up again years later, but this time they’re pursuing the same job – and this is not a friendly competition.
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Riley Sager likes a good horror movie trope. Sager’s last novel, Final Girls, was framed around the concept of the last girl to be killed by a serial slasher. The Last Time I Lied, however, is all about a creepy sleepaway camp. Emma’s bunkmates snuck out of their cabin at Camp Nightingale in the dead of night and were never seen again. Fifteen years later, Emma is working her pain out through art. Her massive canvases with dark trees catch the eye of a wealthy socialite, who also happens to be the owner of Camp Nightingale. The owner invites Emma to return to Camp Nightingale as a painting instructor, but Emma is also on the hunt for the truth of what happened to her bunkmates. But camp isn’t exactly fun and games – and the truth might be dangerous.
Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt
Alice and Kat couldn’t be more different. Kat is a trustfund gallery-owning socialite while Alice is an unemployed math professor turned stay-at-home mom. By chance, they meet at an airport during a layover and become fast friends over martinis. When Kat’s philandering alcoholic husband, Howard, falls off their mansion’s balcony in a presumed suicide, detectives knock on Alice’s door. She has no idea why they’d question her over Howard’s death – or does she?
Are you watching Sharp Objects? How does it compare to the book? Let us know what you think so far in the comments.