ARC | Book Review #82 – The Girls, by Emma Cline

Hello hello!

I think it’s safe to say that I’m back to blogging! Expect to see me pop in a lot more from now on, since I’m pretty much done with school.

Anyway, let’s get it on with this review. Which is about The Girls, by Emma Cline, out today!

Disclaimer: book contains descriptions of sexual assault

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I heard about this book from one of booksandquills’ videos. She said it reminded her of The Virgin Suicides in some ways, and since I’m obsessed with real serial killers stories and this book is basically a kind of re-telling of the Manson family crimes, I immediately wanted this. It seemed tailor made for me. Luckily, the book was available to request on Net Galley and I was approved.

This book tells the story of Evie Boyd, a middle aged woman in present time, as she reminiscences and recalls the summer of 1969, where she met a slightly older girl and was so taken by her, that she basically fell into the middle of the cult Suzanne was apart of.

A quick internet search will enlighten you on Charles Manson, his cult and how he basically convinced three girls and a boy to murder at least seven people in horrific ways. But that isn’t necessary to enjoy this book, quite the contrary. If you know all the events of  those crimes, maybe the plot itself will be boring to you since the events are pretty much the same. What is different is this unbelievable attraction Evie feels for Suzanne and how that powers every decision and act the younger girl does.

The first few pages of this book were the most beautiful thing I’ve read in a while. I realised that I love the very specific kind of writing where this novel belongs. The sentences are really long and flourished. Everything is described with a big sense of a beautiful nostalgia. It’s really hard to describe but evident when you read books like this (see also, The Virgin Suicides). This creates a very particularly heavy atmosphere in the books, but it’s impossible to not be completely emerged in it. Although, this is definitely not a style for everyone. It can be really tedious to some. But, personally, I love it.

The story is jumps from present time to 1969, making this work a mix between YA and Adult. There’s lots of things I couldn’t stop relating to teen Evie, like how she just wanted for someone to pay her attention, to acknowledge her. The obsession she had on the only person that seemed to do that for her. How she could followed Suzanne to the end of the world. How insecure and confuse about the way society expects girls to be, even in present day. And then there’s those scenes of the murders and of sexual abuse Evie and the other girls of the cult endure, the details turning the book in such a raw thing. Reading this was an experienced I loved but one that’s not particularly “fun”.

The only down I have for this book is the lack of original plot. Yes, the main focus is a character (and her obsession) that’s the only one not inspired by someone from the real Manson family but I felt like using everything from the real life crimes was a bit lazy. But the story is so much more than that, and I loved it for it. Besides, what an amazing debut from the author!!

This book is flooded with beautiful quotes and here is one that seems to be the more popular online so far:

I waited to be told what was good about me. […] All that time I had spent readying myself, the articles that taught me life was really just a waiting room until someone noticed you- the boys had spent that time becoming themselves.

I can’t recommend this book more. Just go read it. Now!!!

See you guys very soon,

Cat.

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12 thoughts on “ARC | Book Review #82 – The Girls, by Emma Cline

  1. I read this last month. The book had some beautiful quotes in it and language but I really didn’t like the lack of original plot. The details and the traumas they suffer are really raw but the book seemed to be more of an experience than a page turner to me. I think I went into it expecting some gripping twist at the end or something. Damn you Gillian Flynn!

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