Book review: The Girls by Emma Cline

PAY ATTENTION or nah…

I’ve decided to try a new way of reviewing books. I usually write a summary of the book, share my thoughts and the rate it. Moving forward, I am going to eliminate the summary portion which I write and just take the synopsis from the back of the book I find on goodreads.com. I’m doing this for the simple fact that I hate writing it and I don’t really think I am good at it. I sometimes add more than necessary or don’t say nothing all. So to keep it safe, short and sweet, this is the route I will take. Also, I should probably rate the book before I tell you why I rated the book the way I did and maybe find time to explain my own ratings. Which will be hard because sometimes I rate on how the book looks, the writing style, how I connected with certain characters etc… so it isn’t really a one size thing. So I’m going to try this format: blurb, rating, thoughts, awesome quote (if one applies

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The blurp

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

ratings: 3.5/5

My thoughts

Apparently this book, although fictional bears a very strong resemblance with the Manson murders that occurred in the late 1960’s. I thought this book was twisted in just unsettling ways. Not necessarily surprising or nothing I’ve heard before it just seem very dark and messed up. Also all the events happening in a span of 2-3 months didn’t seem realistic, it appears the author just rushed the story.

The dramatization of Evie’s teenage “feels” was quite unnecessary because its not uncommon for teenagers or any adults to feel the way she did. The need to fit in, feeling out of place, idolizing others, etc… I felt like the author spent too much of our time on it.

But I enjoyed reading the book. I think because I didn’t know anything about the Manson murders till I read the book; so instead of actually doing some research on the actual case, I was able to read a little bit about it and use this book to fill in the gaps. It was very interesting to me, cults and such. I often here about the “hippie” years in US history but I’ve never bothered to learn about it. This book opened my eyes about that time.

It always fascinates me how people can have such huge influence on the way people act and behave. Russell made them think that they were doing their own thinking but in actuality he was telling them what to think. The skill to do that is something to admire. But people that usually have that skill do not use it for good they mishandle it and use it to control others as Russell did. But I really loved that part about Russell, he was a “bad” person but clever.

I did wish I would have gotten to know Suzanne more. This is one of the books I wish every character had a voice so we can get into their heads. Little Evie and her teenage brain didn’t do well telling us about the other characters. Her point of view was clouded with teenage angst I didn’t particularly care for. It would have been a better book had readers gotten into Russel and Susan’s head, I was even curious about her mother.

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