Book Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

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Title: The Girls
Author: Emma Cline
Release Date: June 14th 2016
Publisher: Random House
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★1/2
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Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

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My Review: 




The Girls is a book that was much hyped prior to its release and it's cover (I also loved the ARC version) completely intrigued me. I'm such a sucker for good cover designs! 

The premise of the novel is a fictionalized telling of Charles Manson and his infamous cult and the murders they committed in the 60s. I liked this book overall, but I found it lacking in some areas. 

What's good about it:

Atmosphere: This book sets up a great atmosphere, to the slow energy and freedom of summer and it's a perfect read for the summer months, especially in late July and August, when summer's winding down to an end. The writing flowed really well and it transports you a new place. 

Story: This is a coming of age story of a young girl growing up in the 60s, and a lot of her growing pains is timeless. 

Discovering your sexuality, being sexualized, and learning how to navigate the world around you was well written and brought me back to when I was Evie's age. The last part about the anger of girls and how easy it is to tap into that anger is one of my favorite parts of The Girls.

What's bad about it:

Prose: There's a lot of metaphors and adjectives, especially towards the beginning and it settles throughout the novel but there are definitely some parts where it tries too hard to be literary and deep.

Plot: There's not much of a plot to this novel. Cline could have gone deeper in her story and explored darker themes and aspects to Evie and her environment. 


Final Thoughts:

The Girls is a good story about the pains of young girls growing up but it's more about Evie and her infatuation and obsession with one of the girls, Suzanne, than the actual Manson cult which it's based on. 

It's an angsty, existential, coming of age story. I recommend it to everyone, especially young girls still trying to figure themselves out. If you're looking for more of a focus on the actual cult it's based on, you might not like this one. 

The Girls is available here









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