31 October 2016

Review - The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls by Emma Cline
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: June 14, 2016
Book Format: ARC
# of Pages: 355
Synopsis: 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.

My Review:  
 I received an ARC copy of The Girls by Emma Cline from work and this is my honest review.

The Girls tells the story of a teenage girl named Evie in 1969 who gets herself involved with a cult of girls all following one man. Evie has many problems at home, her parents have divorced and since then her mother has changed a lot. They start to butt heads which causes Evie to adventure on her own.

Before Cline’s book I had never read anything else based on this time period. I had never been drawn to it before, but I have always been interested in serial killers and cults. So with the mention of this novel being loosely based on the Manson cult, I knew it was going to be a book for me.

Going back and forth between past Elise at about 14 years old and to present 40 year old Elise was interesting to read. Both of these time periods gave readers a look into how the past had changed Elise as a person. As a young girl she followed a lot. She met Suzanne, and almost immediately Elise became immersed into their cult.

Cline is so descriptive with her writing, it was fun to picture the place where Russell and his girls were living throughout the book. I obviously didn’t grow up in the late 60’s early 70’s but I have seen enough pictures, and movies to get a sense of what farms would look like.

I know the whole point of the novel is that it is based around the girl apart of Manson’s cult who was not apart of the murders and did not get involved. But I found myself disappointed at the end of the novel. Most of the book Evie became one of the cult members, she was fully involved with them so by the end when she was all of the sudden talking about what was going on, or what happened from a far. I do understand why that happened but I guess I just wanted her to be completely with them until the last page.

I could not stop turning pages while reading. I had to know what was going on with Evie and the girls, I found myself increasingly intrigued by the scenes Evie had with the men. I don’t read those kinds of things often, but the description and Evie’s reaction had me thinking I was a fly on the wall and that is the kind of feeling I like to have while reading. I enjoy feeling like everything I’m reading is happening right next to me.

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