Written by Kylie Warkentin
The Grownup only had me reaching for the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer after I finished reading, which is a big step up from most of Gillian Flynn’s works. The Grownup tells the tale of a sex-working palm reader and mousy divorced mother with a slightly-off child. There was nothing too grisly in the story, and nothing that made me want to throw my book into the face of the nearest man. Nice!
If you felt gross reading Gone Girl, you sympathized too much with Nick Dunne. If you (like me) felt only a little gross after reading, you might have identified too much with Amy, and may or may not have several forms of memorabilia to commemorate that fact. Cool girl is hot. Cool girl is game. Cool girl only wants to exfoliate her body after reading this, not take a long bath.
This is a controversial placement, but Sharp Objects only made me want to take a quick shower after reading. I definitely felt gross: it’s a story about a reporter—who (trigger warning) carves words into her skin—returning to her hometown to investigate the murders of two preteen girls. But it was not super gross. If anything, it just made me really, really sad.
Dark Places follows Libby Day, the only survivor (save the brother she accused) from the night her family was massacred, as she—by revisiting the night of her family’s death—stumbles to the attention of another killer. Arguably the goriest work of Flynn’s extremely disturbing repertoire, Dark Places did not leave me with a happy feeling, but it did definitely make me want to take a quick dip into a pool of bleach.