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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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32 minutes ago, Stephanie23 said:

On the other I don't know why but show Amma isn't working for me.

I can't stand her, but I do think the actress is good. She's only 19 and just nails all the layers. She seems smart enough to mastermind the murders but immature enough to still want all of her mother's attention. I hadn't read the book when I saw the first two episodes and I hated her and hoped she'd die quickly. So well done creepy young actress. And the truth is the murders did seem too bloody for teen girls to pull off but teens kill other teens all the time. You kill the the people you know. It's just the posing of the bodies and the teeth that seem out of place.

Book Alan never has a moment to indicate he knows anything at all. I think that would have been hard to do on a show when we're watching. Plus that actor is way too good for such a throwaway roll. I know I've seen him in other things and he's really skilled. There's no way he would have taken a role and just be background like the book version. Plus he nails the banality of evil so well. 

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I'm annoyed that they wasted so much time in earlier episodes showing pointless bullshit and only just now kicked up the drama with only one episode left. I agree that they will probably reveal Amma as the killer of the two girls some other way other than having her with Camille in St. Louis and killing a new classmate. That's disappointing because you think that the mystery is solved and it's Adora, then in the epilogue more horror. I can already tell that the last episode is going to feel rushed.

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Agree there is a lot of ground left to cover in an hour based on what we’re conditioned to expect. I thought there was a deft build of dread and unease in episode 7 but I wonder if non book readers would experience it the same. I felt Alan was sort of pre-mourning Amma in a way, feeling as though she would die soon. Some ways the show is staying true to the books are a tad baffling. For example, why have Camille hurt her ankle if she was going to shirk her mother’s attempts at ‘caretaking,’ only to then behave like the ankle wasn’t hurt anyway? And the Adora baby biting episode was weirdly dropped in, leading you almost to believe it was Marion she was biting, tho I think Camille in that flashback would have been too old for it to be Marion. There was no context to understand that (as in the book) it was just an acquaintance’s baby. 

A poster up thread noted we’d already seen the dollhouse ivory floor in episode 2 as Amma scrubs it and they were correct; definitely not teeth, and a fairly accurate replica of Adora’s floor. This episode foreshadowed Camille making a gruesome dollhouse discovery (in her on the nose dream) and of course there was also Amma acting touchy as Camille reached for parts of it. What will it be if not teeth as the ivory floor? Maybe Marion’s room is full of teeth? Have we seen that room in the dollhouse? I can’t imagine Adora would commission a miniature sized IV stand, even as gruesome as she is. So Marion’s room can’t be actually accurate in the dollhouse.

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47 minutes ago, BingeyKohan said:

definitely not teeth, and a fairly accurate replica of Adora’s floor.

I don't think the dollhouse floor looks good but I would hate for them to change this aspect. I love that the teeth were just a practical necessity and not some sign of power. She just wanted some real ivory. Sometimes simple reasons are compelling after all the deep psychology.

The last episode will feel rushed. Big Little Lies did too. A shame because they had time.

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About the baby in this episode, I think posters rightly deducted it was Amma. It's actually an instance where I thought how my familiarity with the book was distracting me. I was just thinking how the viewers are supposed to guess it was some random, visiting baby that it was in the book. Doh. It's Adora's baby on the show. 

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I’m beginning to wonder if the finale feels too small to contain the full resolution because...it won’t. What if Amma gets away with it? Maybe Adora will be arrested for all 3 killings (as in the book) and Amma stays with Alan, only to be shown at the end privately playing with her stash of teeth.

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2 hours ago, BingeyKohan said:

Amma stays with Alan, only to be shown at the end privately playing with her stash of teeth.

That is a big plot hole in the book. Alan isn't charged with anything so shouldn't Amma stay with him? I like your ending better for a TV show.

It won't feel as healing for Camille. And Adams said one and done. 

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On 8/20/2018 at 9:28 PM, LilaFowler said:

I'm annoyed that they wasted so much time in earlier episodes showing pointless bullshit and only just now kicked up the drama with only one episode left. I agree that they will probably reveal Amma as the killer of the two girls some other way other than having her with Camille in St. Louis and killing a new classmate. That's disappointing because you think that the mystery is solved and it's Adora, then in the epilogue more horror. I can already tell that the last episode is going to feel rushed.

I read the book so long ago I dont remember that Amma killed someone?

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19 minutes ago, Lemons said:

I read the book so long ago I dont remember that Amma killed someone?

At the end of the book, you finally get the reveal that it was her, and her friends. She didn't have them in Chicago, when she killed a girl that Camille seemed to be favouring (in her eyes).

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I think the finale will have a time jump after the episode opening in Wind Gap, the events we saw in the preview for the next episode that seem to pick up exactly where Episode 7 left off. Spoiler tags since this is show-based speculation as much as it is based on book knowledge:

Spoiler

I've seen photos of Amy Adams from filming that must be from the finale because we haven't seen her in this look or locations. They seem to be depicting Camille having resumed her daily life in St Louis and/or attending some sort of trial or sentencing (perhaps Adora's). I've only seen Amy Adams in the photos, no other characters. But those shots, plus the (notoriously unreliable) IMDB cast listings for Episode 8 ("Milk") suggest perhaps the ending of the show is not so different than the ending of the book. Still a lot to cram in to an hour, assuming that Camille will still have some kind of poisoning episode back in her mother's house, in addition to the confrontational dinner scene and John interrogation scenes shown in the episode preview.

Though I'd also add as caveat - I couldn't figure if some of the shots in the preview for Episode 8 are actually repurposed scenes from previous episodes. Like the one of Camille in the bath with her mother next to her - have we seen that before? The one of what looks to be Camille collapsing on the ivory floor I think is new which is what makes me think she'll still be poisoned.

Edited by BingeyKohan
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Haven't read the book, just watched eps 6 and 7 and read through this whole thread and episode 7's thread. I apologize if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I wanted my theory confirmed and figured the book thread would do that.

I was sure that Amma was Camille's daughter, a product of that day in the woods with the football players. I figured Camille left Amma with Adora because she (Camille) felt guilty for killing Marion. Based on the scene where she gave Marian some drug and then Marian didn't wake up the next morning, I guessed that Camille assumed it was that that killed her. Plus seeing her roommate kill herself, not to mention her age, it made sense that she wouldn't feel responsible enough to raise Amma. The scene where Adora was holding the baby--I assumed it was baby Amma with a distraught Camille looking down at her mother and daughter and knowing she was going to leave. OH. And that with Camille's horrible high school friends talking about how only motherhood can provide true empathy, and even a throwaway question in an earlier episode where Camille is asked if she has any kids and Camille doesn't say yes or no, just changes the subject.

SO many hints, and it turns out that's not the case? At least in the book? That's more shocking to me than the dollhouse thing, honestly.

I'm glad Adora didn't murder the two girls (in the book at least), since that seemed too weird. (And too much grimy, hard labor effort for Adora to do on her own.) I thought the mention of the painted nails was a call back to Marian having lipstick on during the wake, and even thought that maybe that's what Jackie was trying to get Camille to remember. Also finding out that Adora was keeping fresh roses at the site where the second girl was found seemed to play into the Munchhausen's by Proxy thing, though in a way that was a little off. I figured Amma was the killer, but I guessed it was because Adora was spending time "mothering" the other two girls and Amma wanted to be sick and taken care of as much as Adora wanted to do it. I also assumed Adora knew or at least suspected, which is why she did the bike thing.

And while I'm here, who was Camille's father? I remember it was mentioned briefly on the show, but don't remember. 

Thanks for reading the brain dump; the last two episodes were intense. I hope the show someone acknowledges that it's been strongly hinting that Amma is Camille's daughter (maybe Amma always wondered it?), if it doesn't diverge from the book and end up going that way.

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Amma is Alan and Adora's daughter. I don't remember the rape as being so much of a factor in the book as it has been on the show. It doesn't surprise me that non-book readers are concluding that Amma might be Camille's daughter. Up until the last episode, that seemed to be more plausible than Munchhausen by proxy, which hasn't really been hinted at much. Once you realize that Adora killed her perfect Marian and needed another daughter, it makes more sense.

Amma killed the girls partly because she was jealous of the attention that Adora was giving them. She's obsessed with attention.

Adora seems to be the only person who knows who Camille's father is. If I remember correctly, they had met at a church camp or something and he was a friend of the family. Adora refuses to tell Camille who he is because she enjoys withholding that information from her. It also makes it impossible for Camille to form a (healthy) relationship with her other parent, and Adora needs to be the only parent in her kids' lives, even if she hates/kills/poisons them. In such a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business, it never seemed logical to me that no one would at least have Camille's father's name, or point her in the right direction.

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12 hours ago, rilkerain said:

And while I'm here, who was Camille's father? I remember it was mentioned briefly on the show, but don't remember.

 

11 hours ago, LilaFowler said:

Adora seems to be the only person who knows who Camille's father is. If I remember correctly, they had met at a church camp or something and he was a friend of the family.

Adora met Camille’s father at church camp. Her parents met him when he came to visit over Christmas. 

ETA: More detailed answer from a previous post:

On 8/6/2018 at 7:01 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

In the book, Adora got knocked up by some boy from church camp who came to visit Adora over Christmas when she was 17, but that's about the extent of what we learn about him in the book. Jackie says that he came by once but Adora sent him on his way.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Yikes. Other than Hannibal I hate post credit endings. Westworld does them too. Very annoying. 

I don't think the ending needs to be rushed if it all gets revealed at that crazy meal (with Gayla in the background). Amma breaks down and confesses. Which is sort of what she does in the book except she murdered a girl in the process. 

So unless the ending is John & Camille hopping into her car for St Louis it won't be shocking or satisfying. And yes I do mean teenage John. It won't last but I feel they could be good for a bit. Then he will move on. I guess it doesn't squick me out. He is old enough to join the army and vote. Let him make romantic mistakes. And Camille at the end of the book is tackling her drinking addiction. 

On 8/22/2018 at 7:08 PM, rilkerain said:

SO many hints, and it turns out that's not the case? At least in the book? That's more shocking to me than the dollhouse thing, honestly.

Since it is super clear in the books that Amma isn't hers, none of these hints struck me but you make a good case. I suspect the non-book readers will be annoyed at the ending. No big surprises other than it was a pack of evil girls.

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I started reading SO, and I've got to say that I find Gillian Flynn off-putting. There is just something a little too contrived about her and how she writes. I never read any of her other books. I started the Dark Places movie (crappy). And I finally watched Gone Girl.  Before this, I'd known her as the author of the essay on "the Cool Girl."   While that essay was on the nose, I dont know that she herself doesnt want to be seen as the  cool girl. 

It's the thing that was off-putting about her character Camille, too.  Unlike what's been said about her characters, I  don't look for a sympathetic person in book or film. It doesnt matter, if its written and acted well, and it speaks some truth. I feel that Flynn has gone out of her way with the disingenuous proclamations that it's time that women be seen as villains, and not goody-goody, inherently good characters.   That's pretty much crap, and she should know better because she was the head writer at the biggest entertainment reporting magazine, and knew full well the kinds of villains that were pumped out in films and books. (Ultimately, her Amy character was just another of them.)

In shitting on the "cool girls," Flynn herself puts herself above them. She loves telling anybody about how 'dark' and edgy she is. How is that different from goth kids looking for attention? I like some of those things she does too, and maybe worse, but so what? Im a complex person, like anyone else.

  How is her writing not catering to a male audience, exactly? The men in SO are all victims of some sort. Duped, manipulated, bullied by women. I appreciate what she's done to show  a Nice Guy (Richard) onscreen, but the scales arent  exactly tipped anywhere near even in this little world, where all of the women are various shades of wicked.  Even the children who are victims, Ann & Natalie. They are described as "a cunt" by Camille, and both as viscioous biters, pokers out of eyes... thing so farfetched that when these descriptions are paired with John's lighthearted memories of Nat, etc, seem ridiculous.

When its that unbalanced, it certainly does look like she's sidling up to men, saying all the things some of the worst of them say about women, and then expecting to be seen as 'special,' not like 'those other bitches.' Because she's just telling the truth about women, maaan. 

She's just a cool girl who grew up to resent younger cool girls, imo.

She seems weirdly preoccupied with teenage boys, usually with dark hair.  And not just teenage boys, but their relationships with random older women (lets say around 30ish).  I thought that was a one-off in SO, but not so, as it shows up in Dark Places, too.  I also find that she sexualizes  the very youthfulness of the 18 year old John Keene in her book. Describing the 'downy' hairs on him, etc, in a uncomfortable way.  Uncomfortable not because she wants me to feel that way, because her writing is pretty flat and is so withholding that I find it doesnt carry out all of the themes it brings up. 

Uncomfortable because she seems to  be reveling in the teenage world in an unwholesome way.  Like  she's one of the unpopular kids who becomes a  teacher, so they can (have control over) be looked up to, finally, by the  popular kids in their classes/school. The fact that she lists VC Andrews books as a big influence (and how it can bee seen so much in SO) just tells me that she  gets off on the teen psychodrama incestual  crap that those books are. They are the shallowest of characters written into them, and everyone's a put upon  drama-victim in some sexually restrictive landscape of who knows what era. I remember flipping through my sister's books as a teenager myself and thinking what crappy writing and character/plot these consisted of. All the completely evil villains were older women, too, like Adora.

The character of Camille is sort of like Flynn walked into a VC Andrews book and is just begging the teenagers to like and accept her as cool, a lot of the time. Its no stretch that she has her sleep with one.   The incestuous play with Amma. Feeling complimented by a 13-17 year old boy.

And Flynn, rather than putting some woman villainy on display, paints all women and girls as either villainous or cruel or lame.  Leaving her one cool girl character as a victim. But one who looks cool being a victim.  One who's beautiful (the most beautiful woman  he's ever seen, says poor, duped Richard).  One who has such funny, witty comebacks (like telling Ashley to tell her former classmate, who's "got fat", 'Hi from (her). And to eat well and exercise'). One who's smug  rather than genuine in her dealings with Richard, for example. Or teenage-rebellious, by flipping off her stepdad, instead of speaking some truth to him, regardless of how he might take it.

As I was reading through it, Im noticing theres no real women in this book.  It's just a smorgasbord of every bad thing you can ascribe as being a traditionally 'feminine trait/vice' put onto these women characters. Gossipy bitches? Check. Aged jealous beauty queens? Check. Mean girl cheerleaders? Vicious little girls? Check, etc.

I got to the point where Camille is in Ann's house and sits down to interview the parents. Only she wishes the mother would just disappear. She just wants to talk to the father. She totally eviscerates this womans character  in her mind after seeing her for 1 min. Not even seeing her through a filter of sympathy. Just cant stand her in the most nasty way.

[Even better than that, she does the same thing to the kids  as she sees them , walking up to the house. The worst offender to Camille/Flynn is the little boy who she points out is bland and fat, and so a nothing destined to become even more of a nothing. Flynn gives this treatment to another little girl, too, upon a glance. She , we are told, is the fat middle child, who is 'destined for a life full of needy sex', etc. (So I guess if youre fat, she's an equal opportunity offender. Somehow that seems the opposite of progress.) ]

Its not that this is seen as Camille was being so mean, and I dont want women to be mean. Its that this is just another  Flynn characterization of women as unrelentingly  shitty. The father, we are shown, has some redemptive things about him.  Unlike the movie, he says he doesnt really mean he wished his daughter was killed rather than raped, etc. But the mother is a waste of space, just like all the other women.

Who arent teenagers. Even Amma's given an anti-heroic stance. 

Despite saying the right things, and depicting some of them, imo, Flynn seems like she shakes out in the end, to be fairly misogynist.

Edited by Buttless
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25 minutes ago, Buttless said:

As I was reading through it, Im noticing theres no real women in this book.  It's just a smorgasbord of every bad thing you can ascribe as being a traditionally 'feminine trait/vice.' Gossipy bitches? Check. Aged jealous beauty queens? Check. Mean girl cheerleaders? Check, etc...

I got to the point where Camille is in Ann's house and sits down to interview

Ooo, you did a deep dive! I have only read SO so I don't know her work. Glad to know the VC Andrews references were intentional. It also makes me happy the millennials were weaned on Harry Potter. That's an influence I can appreciate.

Sharper Objects feels like such a quick mood piece to me. I agree that Camille doesn't connect with people but she doesn't like women or men. Richard is a distraction at best in the novel. The nurse jumps out as a straight talking lady so there's one decent woman.

I guess the book is just quite thin. They are sketches of characters rather than a realistic, deep look at them. It didn't bother me. I don't think I would say the author is a misogynist. She ends on a hopeful note for Camille who getting help from her boss and his wife. They're quite kind people.

But is Flynn a trend setting author? She is having her 15 minutes right now. I don't think she is writing modern day classics like Donna Tarrt.

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23 minutes ago, jeansheridan said:

Ooo, you did a deep dive! I have only read SO so I don't know her work. Glad to know the VC Andrews references were intentional. It also makes me happy the millennials were weaned on Harry Potter. That's an influence I can appreciate.

Sharper Objects feels like such a quick mood piece to me. I agree that Camille doesn't connect with people but she doesn't like women or men. Richard is a distraction at best in the novel. The nurse jumps out as a straight talking lady so there's one decent woman.

I guess the book is just quite thin. They are sketches of characters rather than a realistic, deep look at them. It didn't bother me. I don't think I would say the author is a misogynist. She ends on a hopeful note for Camille who getting help from her boss and his wife. They're quite kind people.

But is Flynn a trend setting author? She is having her 15 minutes right now. I don't think she is writing modern day classics like Donna Tarrt.

Its just something i noticed reading through SO, and it strikes me as ...fake, I guess.  Im well aware as us just about nearly everyone that women have the capacity to be villainous irl. If this book had a more experienced hand, maybe it wouldnt  come off as a fairytale, and speak to some of the truths we already know, irl. I dunno. Maybe she wanted it to be this way, but she couldnt quite pull it off.

It is a very thin book, but I dont think Ill pick up another of her books.

 

I do like the show though. Mainly for the atmosphere and acting. The mother killing by MBP has been done to death before this. And of course you couldnt pick a more gendered affliction for a woman villain.

Plot holes are not anything Flynn seems to care about much. But some of the writing is awful. Most of what John says sounds like bad crime fiction, not what an 18 year old would say. That stupid trite metaphor that excheerleader Becca is given to say. About how they were "all shiny on the outside..."  And cherry pits arent dark, theyre lightcolored. That passage just reeks of someone trying to write something profound there and they couldnt jibe the metaphor of shiny to dark inside, but insisted on using a nonsensical  metaphor because they had written the cherry theme through the rest of the episode.

 

I do love Amma wailing the implausible line, "I can never be as good as someone dead!", though, because the delivery was so fun. That southern belle martyr act.

Flynn's been gathering steam since Gone Girl, the movie for sure (2014), and is paling around with the stars, getting projects galore. The mediocre always seem to rise to the top.

Edited by Buttless
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41 minutes ago, Buttless said:

The mediocre always seem to rise to the top.

I will admit sometimes I find mediocre work more fun to discuss. Really clever writers can be hard to dissect like George Saunders or Zadie Smith.

Also less than great novels can make for a good film. Hannibal was an okay book. The television show was way more ambitious. Big Little Lies was a better show versus book too. And I think Sharper Objects the show mostly improves and expands on the novel. I do miss Camille 's more overt sarcasm from the book, but Adams has an innate charm book Camille lacks. I really think Adams has wrung every nuance she could from this script. Other than maybe not knowing how to fake a twisted ankle! 

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The book had the fingerprints of a first-time author all over it, I thought. I wanted to go through with a red pen and mark out all the times she used constructions like ‘I pictured’ or ‘I flashed on’ or ‘I imagined’ - shortcuts for inserting visuals in the reader’s mind. That’s one thing the show has really elevated and turned into craft: taking the ‘I flashed on...’ conceit and turning it into a strength through editing. Camille really does ‘flash on’ or ‘picture’ things. That’s almost all she does!

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The memory flashes drove me nuts at the beginning of the series but they make sense now we have context. I wonder if the series would have been more successful having all eps dropped like Netflix. Critics got to see it that way. The book worked because I read it in two days.

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@Buttless Thank you! I was thinking the same thing recently. I liked Gone Girl, and haven't read Dark Places (saw the movie). I just wondered why most of the women are awful. 

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12 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

The memory flashes drove me nuts at the beginning of the series but they make sense now we have context. I wonder if the series would have been more successful having all eps dropped like Netflix. Critics got to see it that way. The book worked because I read it in two days.

Even this, is no new thing to film. And the way it was done most of the time, I felt, was a cop out. The editing done almost subliminally quickly, some so much so that you cant make out whos in them or where they are, etc  The words throughout the show to, were made to show up on only the highest calibre of television sets, too, i guess because even going back to the mentioned one, they are not visible for me.  I think to a large degree what was done here is called a gimmick. And it wont hold up well.

14 hours ago, BingeyKohan said:

The book had the fingerprints of a first-time author all over it, I thought. I wanted to go through with a red pen and mark out all the times she used constructions like ‘I pictured’ or ‘I flashed on’ or ‘I imagined’ - shortcuts for inserting visuals in the reader’s mind. That’s one thing the show has really elevated and turned into craft: taking the ‘I flashed on...’ conceit and turning it into a strength through editing. Camille really does ‘flash on’ or ‘picture’ things. That’s almost all she does!

Yeah, i saw that , too, though I read it out of order. 

I think she hides a real contempt for women behind the guise of feminism.  As if saying youre a feminist makes you immune from any criticism. Nah, 'bruh;' doesnt work that way. She's not a measured equal opportunity hater. Now that, i could get behind!

6 hours ago, Anela said:

@Buttless Thank you! I was thinking the same thing recently. I liked Gone Girl, and haven't read Dark Places (saw the movie). I just wondered why most of the women are awful. 

It's not very measured between genders, is it? You can name off some things here and there, where her male characters are 'bad.' But they dont carry the weight of it, by any means, and end up looking like victims, imo. Ive watched snippets of her, and she really doesnt dissuade that image, much, despite the mouthing of feminist ideals.  And she's got some serious issues with fat people.  I remember now, at the beginning of Dark Places, the most obnoxious character pops up in it and she's an older fat lady, and her main character (Charlize Theron) is almost immediately calling her a "fat bitch," etc. 

It's not that she's writing unlikeliness women, in this respect. It's like she writing truly unlikable characters. If the main character was male. he's still be as repulsive.  And masculine. Im not saying women dont call other women fat bitches, they do. But its not usually done in such a masculine way as that character. I think shes writing women as unlikable by writing them in part, as men. I noticed this also in the movie Gone Girl, when we first meet the Ben Affleck characters sister, when she tells him that for his 5 year anniversary, to 'fuck his wife raw' or whatever, and then "slap her with your dick and say, 'There's your wood!'"  I dont know any women who talk to their brothers that way, do you? 

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If I were a non-book reader I'd be really angry right now. And I'm actually quite angry they went for the horror ending and not the healing ending (jerks). That was a crap way to end a murder mystery. At least the book made a nod towards explaining the logistics of the murders. What jerks. Seriously. This was absolutely the worst way they could have gone. I saw there were 20 minutes after the hospital scene and thought wow, they can really can wrap this up. Or that they would skip St. Louis and just out Amma at home and then have 5-10 minutes to explain the murders. But no. Assholes. Sorry. But I think I'm done with Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn and this particular director.

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On 8/22/2018 at 12:14 PM, Anela said:

At the end of the book, you finally get the reveal that it was her, and her friends. She didn't have them in Chicago, when she killed a girl that Camille seemed to be favouring (in her eyes).

I didn't read the book and am wondering if it explains what happens to Amma next.  Is she institutionalized? Arrested?

Never mind.  This link explains it.

Edited by Jextella

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I just noticed too that the police on the show are vastly less competent than in the book. Richard solves the poisoning case really. On the show her damn editor has to save the day (and I'm glad he does because he really is lovely). Richard and the Sheriff prove to be useless. So frustrating. 

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Welp. I posted this in the series thread, but I'm not sure if it will get removed or not:

Quote

Disappointing, to say the least. I had read the book ages ago so the series still felt generally new even though I knew whodunit. I realized a couple of episodes back that they were running out of real estate, so to speak, and that so much was going to be crammed into the finale and it wouldn't be satisfying. I am almost disgusted that Amma and her friends being revealed as the killers was left to end credits flashbacks. What shitty writing this was from the beginning of the series right up to the end. The pacing was way off, so much time was wasted on watching Amy Adams drive around, drink and stare forlornly into space. Ugh.

Flynn didn't adapt this for HBO herself, right? The series writing credits on imdb are a bunch of other people. This work was massacred, IMO. It should have been very basic, straightforward storytelling and hard to screw up, but no, somehow they managed to do it. It takes some kind of stupid to leave the big reveal, that teenage Amma was the killer and using teeth in her dollhouse, to the end credits. I'm still flabbergasted that half a dozen people sat around the writers' table and agreed to do this.

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3 hours ago, Buttless said:

 

It's not that she's writing unlikeliness women, in this respect. It's like she writing truly unlikable characters. If the main character was male. he's still be as repulsive.  And masculine. Im not saying women dont call other women fat bitches, they do. But its not usually done in such a masculine way as that character. I think shes writing women as unlikable by writing them in part, as men. I noticed this also in the movie Gone Girl, when we first meet the Ben Affleck characters sister, when she tells him that for his 5 year anniversary, to 'fuck his wife raw' or whatever, and then "slap her with your dick and say, 'There's your wood!'"  I dont know any women who talk to their brothers that way, do you? 

No, I don't. 

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3 hours ago, Buttless said:

Even this, is no new thing to film. And the way it was done most of the time, I felt, was a cop out. The editing done almost subliminally quickly, some so much so that you cant make out whos in them or where they are, etc  The words throughout the show to, were made to show up on only the highest calibre of television sets, too, i guess because even going back to the mentioned one, they are not visible for me.  I think to a large degree what was done here is called a gimmick. And it wont hold up well.

Yeah, i saw that , too, though I read it out of order. 

I think she hides a real contempt for women behind the guise of feminism.  As if saying youre a feminist makes you immune from any criticism. Nah, 'bruh;' doesnt work that way. She's not a measured equal opportunity hater. Now that, i could get behind!

It's not very measured between genders, is it? You can name off some things here and there, where her male characters are 'bad.' But they dont carry the weight of it, by any means, and end up looking like victims, imo. Ive watched snippets of her, and she really doesnt dissuade that image, much, despite the mouthing of feminist ideals.  And she's got some serious issues with fat people.  I remember now, at the beginning of Dark Places, the most obnoxious character pops up in it and she's an older fat lady, and her main character (Charlize Theron) is almost immediately calling her a "fat bitch," etc. 

It's not that she's writing unlikeliness women, in this respect. It's like she writing truly unlikable characters. If the main character was male. he's still be as repulsive.  And masculine. Im not saying women dont call other women fat bitches, they do. But its not usually done in such a masculine way as that character. I think shes writing women as unlikable by writing them in part, as men. I noticed this also in the movie Gone Girl, when we first meet the Ben Affleck characters sister, when she tells him that for his 5 year anniversary, to 'fuck his wife raw' or whatever, and then "slap her with your dick and say, 'There's your wood!'"  I dont know any women who talk to their brothers that way, do you? 

Maybe she's a ghost writer. Does she have a brother?  ;-D

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Hello, book people.  Did the book have Natalie being killed in Ashley's house?  I don't understand the connection to Ashley.  Also, did Adora KNOW that Amma was doing this?  Or maybe kind of know and pretended otherwise?

On 8/26/2018 at 12:01 AM, Buttless said:

I started reading SO, and I've got to say that I find Gillian Flynn off-putting. There is just something a little too contrived about her and how she writes. I never read any of her other books. I started the Dark Places movie (crappy). And I finally watched Gone Girl.  Before this, I'd known her as the author of the essay on "the Cool Girl."   While that essay was on the nose, I dont know that she herself doesnt want to be seen as the  cool girl.

Despite saying the right things, and depicting some of them, imo, Flynn seems like she shakes out in the end, to be fairly misogynist.

 

I really liked your whole post. I've never read up on anything about Gillian Flynn, so that was all very interesting about what sounds like her own arrested development.   I'm just quoting this one piece, because I had to force myself to finish reading Gone Girl because I hated the characters so much.  Nick and Amy were both thoroughly terrible, but Amy, of course, was completely insane.  They were both worse in the book than the movie.  I only finished it because I really could not figure out how it would end.  My dream ending was that Amy would return so that Nick could kill her for real even if it meant going to jail, because it would be worth it!   Then he would get the death penalty, and they would both be dead.  The End.  lol  I still like my ending better.

Gillian Flynn seems to quite full of herself, considering there are plenty of stories with non-goody goody women in them.  I like complex characters, but hers are just awful in every way.  I was rooting for Camille by the end of Sharp Objects, at least.  I doubt I will ever read it because I'm sure I won't like it.

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20 minutes ago, peach said:

I really liked your whole post. I've never read up on anything about Gillian Flynn, so that was all very interesting about what sounds like her own arrested development.   I'm just quoting this one piece, because I had to force myself to finish reading Gone Girl because I hated the characters so much.  Nick and Amy were both thoroughly terrible, but Amy, of course, was completely insane.  They were both worse in the book than the movie.  I only finished it because I really could not figure out how it would end.  My dream ending was that Amy would return so that Nick could kill her for real even if it meant going to jail, because it would be worth it!   Then he would get the death penalty, and they would both be dead.  The End.  lol  I still like my ending better.
 

haha! I liked the book, but I loathed the ending. It

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5 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

If I were a non-book reader I'd be really angry right now. And I'm actually quite angry they went for the horror ending and not the healing ending (jerks). That was a crap way to end a murder mystery. At least the book made a nod towards explaining the logistics of the murders. What jerks. Seriously. This was absolutely the worst way they could have gone. I saw there were 20 minutes after the hospital scene and thought wow, they can really can wrap this up. Or that they would skip St. Louis and just out Amma at home and then have 5-10 minutes to explain the murders. But no. Assholes. Sorry. But I think I'm done with Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn and this particular director.

I’m not even angry, just kind of exhausted and rolled my eyes at the ‘shocking’ ending. This is far from a perfect book and I do think there were places where the show improved on the source material, but this is where they went in the completely wrong direction. I just remembered that somewhere upthread I hoped they’d expand what was already an abrupt ending in the book and can only laugh at myself.

1 hour ago, peach said:

Hello, book people.  Did the book have Natalie being killed in Ashley's house?  I don't understand the connection to Ashley.  Also, did Adora KNOW that Amma was doing this?  Or maybe kind of know and pretended otherwise?

I think it was implied that she did, and my view was that she was protecting her kid on the one hand, and that it was a sort of quid pro quo with Amma. Amma lets Adora slowly poison her, Adora doesn’t raise a fuss about Amma going around killing and mutilating people.

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3 hours ago, peach said:

I really liked your whole post. I've never read up on anything about Gillian Flynn, so that was all very interesting about what sounds like her own arrested development.   I'm just quoting this one piece, because I had to force myself to finish reading Gone Girl because I hated the characters so much.  Nick and Amy were both thoroughly terrible, but Amy, of course, was completely insane.  They were both worse in the book than the movie.  I only finished it because I really could not figure out how it would end.  My dream ending was that Amy would return so that Nick could kill her for real even if it meant going to jail, because it would be worth it!   Then he would get the death penalty, and they would both be dead.  The End.  lol  I still like my ending better.

Gillian Flynn seems to quite full of herself, considering there are plenty of stories with non-goody goody women in them.  I like complex characters, but hers are just awful in every way.  I was rooting for Camille by the end of Sharp Objects, at least.  I doubt I will ever read it because I'm sure I won't like it.

They made a chump out of all of us for rooting for Camille.

It's a quick take on Flynn, and I was concerned I was being too judgmental. Until I did a tally of all the things that didnt quite seem kosher, again. And yep, she's a hack, and possibly an unpleasant person, when you get down to it.

I feel the same about Marti Noxon.  Never watched her previous work as in Buffy, but did watch some of Dietland, and saw both women talk about their respective  projects ,solo and together, and am the opposite of impressed.

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I personally think only the Calhoun Day ep balanced all the elements and characters and tone perfectly. All the lead characters were operating at their best. 

I think HBO wanted another Big Little Lies. A show about female agency. And I guess this fits too. But Flynn at best modernized VC Andrews (oh crap....Andrews has a murderous child too in the last book! A boy). Except Camille is rescued by a father figure. I mean I guess she chooses to be poisoned. Is that agency? 

But we never are allowed to understand Amma's thinking. We never meet the dead girls before they die. Marion gets some lines but other than seemingly loving her sister what is she thinking? 

No we get flashcuts of their murders. We get slasher horror instead of insight.  TV audiences don't get to know Anne took a chunk out of Amma's arm. That Anne had teeth and fight. We are told and never shown.

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I suspect this isn't even thing in the book but is Camille's paternity a thread? As I think it weirdly became in the show with all the insinuation about Adora/Vickery, while also never naming her father explicitly? I feel like it was just another mystery to allude to that didn't actually matter,used to pad out the 8 hours because it's a character study you dummies.

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8 hours ago, Buttless said:

They made a chump out of all of us for rooting for Camille.

I honestly never really cared about Camille.  I just wanted to know who did it.  But I did want her to escape the house and not die to leave her mother unpunished and blithely continuing to poison people, in tasteful cardigans.  I was worried it might end with inconvenient Camille gone, and the town returning to its trance under Queen Bee Adora, which would be a horror ending of its own.  And I felt some satisfaction to see her taking control of her own life and acting like an adult.  I think the overwrought end of her essay was ridiculous, and frankly, if those were her true feelings, and she wrote them down where Amma herself could read them, I'd think people would be thinking about taking Amma away from her.  So I guess I'll just do a Walking Dead handwave on that.

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I too call shenanigans on important content being interspersed in the end credits. Granted, it was more of a fleshing out of Amma being the girls' killer than providing anything new, but it struck me as a very passive-aggressive way to treat your audience. (Most people click away once the end credits start, and the last scene seemed to provide enough of a "shocking" "conclusion.")

I'll defend Gillian Flynn as a writer, though. I've read all her books (Gone Girl and Dark Places more than once) and find them very well constructed. As in, you can go back through them and see where she has seeded in all the crucial components of the story, the characters, and the conclusion. And though it's easy to forget now, there are few moments in reading as memorable at the time as Amy Dunne's "I'm so much happier now that I'm dead." (Because Gone Girl was so polarizing, it also made for a great discussion in one of my book groups. My hardback copy is marked up with internal cross-references like it's some kind of freaking textbook ?)

(Off topic, how could 6-feet-tall Charlize Theron have been cast as Libby "so short, often mistaken for a child" Day in Dark Places?!)

Marti Noxon is not a name I normally associate with stuff I enjoy watching, though, so shame on me for thinking this might be the One Different Thing.

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2 hours ago, blixie said:

I suspect this isn't even thing in the book but is Camille's paternity a thread? As I think it weirdly became in the show with all the insinuation about Adora/Vickery, while also never naming her father explicitly? I feel like it was just another mystery to allude to that didn't actually matter,used to pad out the 8 hours because it's a character study you dummies.

No, it’s just an unnamed kid from church camp. Camille finds out, probably from Jackie, that he showed up when Adora was pregnant, but she sent him packing. She got together with Alan shortly after and Camille knew only him as anything like a father figure, though not really. There’s a bit about her trying to call him Dad once when she was little, but he flinched at it.

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Marti Noxon is a creator who I want to like, but her work rarely connects with me long term. She has good ideas, but they fall apart quickly, and I tend to find her attempts at feminism to be rather...questionable. 

I think that Flynn is a bit too into her "troubled female protagonist with crappy upbringing" stuff, and her mysteries tend to fizzle out in the end, BUT I still tend to enjoy her work. She creates interesting atmosphere, raises some decently interesting questions about gender and relationships, and I enjoy the ride in every book she writes. So I cant fully write her off, even if I dont think her books fully land. 

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

So I cant fully write her off, even if I dont think her books fully land. 

I would agree. I enjoyed reading Sharper Objects. I guess my issue is with trying to make it something bigger than a modern, grittier VC Andrews. Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing Flynn re-work My Sweet Audrina for television (my favorite VC Andrews book as a tween).  It's when authors try to inflate their importance and cultural impact that drives me nuts. I don't like it when men do it either. Stephen King never does. Dave Eggars is the worst. It's okay to be smart about your work. You don't need to dumb yourself down in an interview. If you are smart, you're smart. But she's not Flannery O'Connor. Not yet at any rate. Maybe she will be someday.

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On 8/26/2018 at 9:17 PM, jeansheridan said:

If I were a non-book reader I'd be really angry right now. And I'm actually quite angry they went for the horror ending and not the healing ending (jerks). That was a crap way to end a murder mystery. At least the book made a nod towards explaining the logistics of the murders. What jerks. Seriously. This was absolutely the worst way they could have gone. I saw there were 20 minutes after the hospital scene and thought wow, they can really can wrap this up. Or that they would skip St. Louis and just out Amma at home and then have 5-10 minutes to explain the murders. But no. Assholes. Sorry. But I think I'm done with Marti Noxon and Gillian Flynn and this particular director.

More than anything, it was the shift in tone, for me, that pissed me off so badly. It almost completely blew up any sympathy I had for Camille.  We watch this shit knowing its fiction, for 8 hours, and they think theyre being clever and "badass." by shitting on what the viewer invested, and the benefit of the doubt in the trust they put in these makers , every damned week, to salvage their work and make it something worthy of anyone's time. Nope!

Movies in the 70s and some early 80s ended this way a lot (jump to black, or freeze frame), if you look back at the shitty tv  series (movie of the week etc) they had back then, or some of the films, and it was always a shitty, lazy move on the filmmakers' part. It was usually employed in crappy throwaway films.

On 8/26/2018 at 11:46 PM, ferjy said:

Maybe she's a ghost writer. Does she have a brother?  ;-D

I think she wishes she had a brother, if you know what i mean. She seems kind of preoccupied with incestuous line crossing  between siblings. Those twins in GG. John &  Natalie in SO. Camille & Amma in SO.   

But what do you expect from  someone who thinks VC Andrews is great writing. It has to ba another reason she loves that crap, because it sure is not the writing.

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12 minutes ago, Buttless said:

More than anything, it was the shift in tone, for me, that pissed me off so badly. It almost completely blew up any sympathy I had for Camille.  We watch this shit knowing its fiction, for 8 hours, and they think theyre being clever and "badass." by shitting on what the viewer invested, and the benefit of the doubt in the trust they put in these makers , every damned week, to salvage their work and make it something worthy of anyone's time. Nope!

Movies in the 70s and some early 80s ended this way a lot (jump to black, or freeze frame), if you look back at the shitty tv  series (movie of the week etc) they had back then, or some of the films, and it was always a shitty, lazy move on the filmmakers' part. It was usually employed in crappy throwaway films.

Our movies of the week were awesome!?

8 minutes ago, Buttless said:

I think she wishes she had a brother, if you know what i mean. She seems kind of preoccupied with incestuous line crossing  between siblings. Those twins in GG. John &  Natalie in SO. Camille & Amma in SO.   

But what do you expect from  someone who thinks VC Andrews is great writing. It has to ba another reason she loves that crap, because it sure is not the writing.

I also loved VC Andrews growing up, and certainly not because I was preoccupied with incest, nor did I ever consider it "great writing." 

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12 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Marti Noxon is a creator who I want to like, but her work rarely connects with me long term. She has good ideas, but they fall apart quickly, and I tend to find her attempts at feminism to be rather...questionable. 

I think that Flynn is a bit too into her "troubled female protagonist with crappy upbringing" stuff, and her mysteries tend to fizzle out in the end, BUT I still tend to enjoy her work. She creates interesting atmosphere, raises some decently interesting questions about gender and relationships, and I enjoy the ride in every book she writes. So I cant fully write her off, even if I dont think her books fully land. 

I think there may be a reason why these two made it to the top, and i would be shocked, based on what Ive seen of them, if they made it there without shitting on a LOT of other women. Now at the top, when the culture is changing, they are smart enough to change up their tune, maybe.

18 minutes ago, DangerousMinds said:

Our movies of the week were awesome!?

I also loved VC Andrews growing up, and certainly not because I was preoccupied with incest, nor did I ever consider it "great writing." 

Oh; you got me. Why did you like the VC Andrews books then? Im not being a butthead. Im truly curious because i loathed them.

10 hours ago, jeansheridan said:

I would agree. I enjoyed reading Sharper Objects. I guess my issue is with trying to make it something bigger than a modern, grittier VC Andrews. Actually, I wouldn't mind seeing Flynn re-work My Sweet Audrina for television (my favorite VC Andrews book as a tween).  It's when authors try to inflate their importance and cultural impact that drives me nuts. I don't like it when men do it either. Stephen King never does. Dave Eggars is the worst. It's okay to be smart about your work. You don't need to dumb yourself down in an interview. If you are smart, you're smart. But she's not Flannery O'Connor. Not yet at any rate. Maybe she will be someday.

I like dumb books. I have nothing against dumbed down entertainment. I just have a bug up my ass about VC Andrews in particular. YMMV

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1 minute ago, Buttless said:

I think there may be a reason why these two made it to the top, and i would be shocked, based on what Ive seen of them, if they made it there without shitting on a LOT of other women. Now at the top, when the culture is changing, they are smart enough to change up their tune, maybe.

Oh; you got me. Why did you like the VC Andrews books then? Im not being a butthead. Im truly curious because i loathed them.

The books were just engrossing and entertaining (albeit in a trashy way). 

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16 minutes ago, DangerousMinds said:

The books were just engrossing and entertaining (albeit in a trashy way). 

Fair enough. I think i read a lot of ghost stories , then. Even though I never believed in ghosts. Teenagers ;p

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The book certainly isn't some amazing work of American literature that students will be reading in class for generations, but it was enjoyable enough and also written in a way that is accessible to people who aren't necessarily voracious readers like many of us are. I thought the show improved on a some things and did a great job of expanding the "feel" of the atmosphere of the town.  I really didn't have too many complaints....until the end of the last episode.

I know what happened because I read the book. Had I not read the book, I'd have been confused as heck. They could have added like ten more minutes and "showed" watchers what we (and Camille!) learned in the book about Amma and the murders. Ugh. I thought it was pretty well done until the very end. 

Side note, since we're discussing Flynn's work: I unabashedly love Gone Girl the film (grew up watching Hitchcock movies and rooting for those Hitchcock Blondes; I've been finding myself strangely attracted to Affleck since he's entered middle age;  Affleck pretty much is Nick Dunne; and the direction is so well-done that it turned what could have easily been a Lifetime movie into a great film). I read the novel after watching the film and while I like the film better, I found the novel to be good (perhaps because I knew what was going to happen). The great thing about Gone Girl is that Nick and Amy are both terrible people, yet I found myself rooting for and against each of them throughout the book.  I also follow true crime and got a giggle out of the clear references to Nancy Grace & the true crime "world." It is written in a really accessible, readable way. I do concede sometimes Flynn's writing does come off as gruff (I think a lot of her writing *reads* as if she's a male writer, which is kind of strange when reading what's she written for female protagonists, if that makes sense...like a male writer's "tone" rather than what we are used to for a woman writer) and some of her characters are flippant or off-putting, but I still found the book (and Sharp Objects) to be enjoyable enough, quick reads.  I thought GG the film was wonderful and I really like what they did with SO objects the series...until the ending of the last episodes. Sigh. 

Edited by MyPeopleAreNordic
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17 hours ago, Buttless said:

just have a bug up my ass about VC Andrews in particular. YMMV

Given every VC Andrews novel other than the original three and My Sweet Audrina were written by a man allegedly using her outlines, I can see why. I read them as a tween and they had sex and evil parents. That's why. And the evil was believable. Cutting off Cathy's hair, poison, Cathy getting her feet stomped on, Cathy surviving domestic abuse, and finally always having a loyal lover waiting. They're awful really but teens love drama.

My Sweet Audrina is flat out sick. In every way. But the situation is so extreme I always kept making Audrina tougher in my mind. More triumphant.

 

I loved Gone Girl the film. Affleck was perfect and Rosamund Pike made a great cool blonde. I think I started the book but never finished. 

I didn't find the writing in SO to be especially masculine or harsh. Camille as narrator is fairly dry and observational. I liked it for a short novel. But if I want a popular fiction feminist I will go to Gabrielle Zevin or even Lisa See.  They tell female centered stories all the time.

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34 minutes ago, jeansheridan said:

Given every VC Andrews novel other than the original three and My Sweet Audrina were written by a man allegedly using her outlines, I can see why. I read them as a tween and they had sex and evil parents. That's why. And the evil was believable. Cutting off Cathy's hair, poison, Cathy getting her feet stomped on, Cathy surviving domestic abuse, and finally always having a loyal lover waiting. They're awful really but teens love drama.

My Sweet Audrina is flat out sick. In every way. But the situation is so extreme I always kept making Audrina tougher in my mind. More triumphant.

I didn't know that. My grandmother over here, had a shelf full of those books. I read the first series over Thanksgiving - I was mostly planted in a chair, reading (I was fifteen at the time, and had already seen Flowers in the Attic). I tried the next series, and stopped reading, because it was the same sort of thing. 

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