Thursday, April 28, 2016

"The Girls:A Novel" by Emma Cline

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.
This book is told through the eyes of Evie in both past and present day. I usually like alternating timelines, but this one seemed disjointed. It seemed to take away from the overall feel, way too choppy. While it was interesting to see what Evie's future held, it didn't bring any significant part to the meat of the story. 

The synopsis made the book seem like it would be a compelling read about a girl who joins a Manson-like cult. Very intriguing and sounded like an amazing read, but I think that's the reason I was a bit disappointed. This is more of a coming-of-age story. A curious teen with a bit of rebellion in her. The pace is slow in the beginning. I honestly wasn't sure if I would continue reading because for the first 
25% I was simply reading about her day to day life as a horny, rebellious, angry teen. The summary didn't seem to be everything it said the book would be.

Misleading summary aside, the writing itself is beautiful and imaginative. Very easy to read and get swept up in the novel. I enjoyed reading, but overall it seemed to be missing the "wow factor". It was entertaining, at times, but I felt that specific parts should have been explored more. I have mixed feeling on how to rate this book. I hated Evie by the end and just couldn't feel any empathy for her when it was all said and done. 

There has been a lot of buzz about this book. While it was interesting and a wonderful story, it was just not what I was expecting. Had I known beforehand it wasn't full of the "behind the cult" workings mixed with the crime aspect I probably would have held off reading it until my TBR list was less busy. Not my typical genre, but a solid 3.5 stars.

"The Girls" by Emma Cline is due to be released on June 14, 2016. Thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK, Vintage Publishing for allowing me the eARC to read and post my honest review.
Happy Reading! 

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