I've heard that this is the author's first novel, and that makes sense to me because it reads like a first novel. That is, it's too much. Too gritty, too dark, too predictable.
I do occasionally enjoy dark, gritty books (such as [b:Generation Loss|102880|Generation Loss|Elizabeth Hand|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1171487707s/102880.jpg|3354351] by Elizabeth Hand), but there's a point at which I lose patience with a novel's increasing depravity. In Sharp Objects, everyone and everything is so horrible it simply cannot be believed. By the end of the book (which I guessed early one), I was rolling my eyes.
Camille, the protagonist, wasn't my favorite character, either. I first I thought she was simply spoiled and whiny ("Boo hoo...I'm so rich and my mother doesn't love me..."), then I came to like - or at least tolerate - her when more of her history was revealed. But then I went back to loathing her. I'm sorry, but when someone insists on destroying herself and her relationships, I give up.
Most of the other characters were walking cliches. Mean girls who grew up into mean women. Fat, ugly girls who end up as miserable losers. Small towns that are petty and in which everyone leads a life of quiet desperation... Every cliche that ever existed ends up in this book.
Despite all of that, however, there are moments of genius. The setting (Missouri) was wonderfully rendered and very realistic. The book remained a page-turner (even though I guessed the ending early on). And the book was creepy. Really, really creepy.
I've heard better things about Flynn's other books, and I do plan on reading her later works.