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The Girls

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  129,873 Ratings  ·  14,375 Reviews
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Ru
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by Chatto & Windus (first published June 14th 2016)
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Chiara Angelicola I'm loving it. It's a great representation of the young female psyche navigating insecurities, rebellion, and curiosities through adolescence.
Kel Wern In the beginning of the story, she hears someone in the house and assumes she's about to be murdered violently. At the end, she sees the strange man…moreIn the beginning of the story, she hears someone in the house and assumes she's about to be murdered violently. At the end, she sees the strange man on the beach, she assumes she's about to be violently murdered. The first time she ever felt loved and accepted, it was in the company of violent sociopaths. She's never come to terms with what that must mean about her.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm turning a corner here, Goodreaders. The old me would rate this book two stars and spend some time telling you how awful the book is and all the reasons I couldn't stand it, etc.

But, that's the old me.

I'm turning a corner. Turning over a new leaf. Doing a 180. Whatever.

At least for this review.

People I know, love, and respect really, really like this book. I completely get it, too. I absolutely understand how you could read this book and think it's amazing and get all caught up in the sto
Emily May
Jan 15, 2016 marked it as dnf

I very rarely put aside books after reading just a prologue and one chapter, but I cannot make myself suffer through any more of this. My stomach was coiling with dread each time I even thought about pushing through another 300+ pages of this overwritten prose.
I ate in the blunt way I had as a child—a glut of spaghetti, mossed with cheese. The nothing jump of soda in my throat.

I tended to the in-between spaces of other people’s existences, working as a live-in aide. Cultivating a genteel inv
Holy moly, I LOVED this one! My first 5-star book this year!

I'm a sucker for a female narrator talking about what she had to have, what she didn't get, what she really meant, what she should have done. I like all that talking in the head. I make it sound sort of light and funny but there is nothing light or funny about 14-year-old Evie. She seems to be living a typically boring life when she sees a girl in the park…and an obsession begins. Her ordinary life hits the extraordinary, and pow, right
Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I’m going to admit that this book was way deeper and more intellectual than I initially expected it to be. For some reason I was thinking this would be a thriller or mystery of sorts, and I guess it was in some aspects, but it was so much more than that and I’m really glad I was wrong about this one. I had a difficult time believing this was a debut novel as it was so well written; I can see why Random House has pegged this as one of their top books of Summer 2016. I’ll address it right off the ...more
Two stars might be a little harsh? Should I give it three? I don't know, I'm on the fence, maybe I'm just feeling burned by all the hype surrounding this book. Its $2 million dollar price tag built the hype, and I really did look forward to reading it. I was so excited to get approved on Netgalley. It just did nothing for me, for two reasons:

1. It's really overwritten. There are a few turns of phrase, but Cline really overdoes it. She uses the verb cadge four separate times to describe someone t
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I’m sure everyone knows The Girls is about (despite disclaimers) the Manson murders. Personally I think this would have been a better novel (though probably a less commercially successful one) had she invented her own cult because Cline always seemed to me, understandably, out of her depth when dealing with the inner springs of the Manson cult. It was an odd choice to base this novel so closely on the Manson cult and yet at the same time coyly change names and a few insignificant details. Muc ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:


Tons of my friends received an ARC of The Girls and my feed has been filled for months with updates/reviews detailing all of the awesome they were all experiencing . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Thanks for the warm welcome, John McClane, but I have a feeling you (along with everyone else) will soon be changing your tune.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, whe
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, botm, 2016
The Girls is definitely the "it" book of the summer. Everyone's talking about it. Rumor has it the debut author got a $2 million advance. It's edgy and risqué and unapologetic.

Maybe the hype killed it for other people. And maybe their dislike of it saved me from going in with high expectations. Because I ended up really enjoying this one.

The writing is superb. There's no doubt that Emma Cline can set a scene really well. And the narration has a self-reflective quality to it that I really enjoy
3.5 Stars!!

I really enjoyed this book by Emma Cline. I wasn't sure when I picked it up what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This is my second try at reviewing this after accidentally deleting everything I had typed. I almost always type in a document. Then I can save if I have to go do something else or accidentally hit the backspace button (which I'm constantly doing). Oh well, it happens. Now let's try this again....

It's the start of summer in Northern California and Evie Boyd, an a
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spine-tingling and Mind-Blowing

This was one of those books, that for whatever reason, kept getting pushed to the bottom of Mount TBR. Finally, when choosing those precious few that I would take with me on vacation, this one made the cut. Let me tell you.. I am SO glad that I did.

By now, I am sure all of you here on GR know what the plot of this book is.. so I am going to skip that.
Emma Cline focuses on character development, character development, and guess what? Yes, you guessed it! Character
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Seductive from the start...mesmerizing writing and storytelling!!!!

At 14, Evie's parents have recently divorced. Her father has a new girlfriend, and her mother is dating a variety of men. Early into the story, she remembers a cocktail party her parents had thrown, ( the year before they split). The guests were her father's friends mostly. Her mother wasn't very social and hovered around the buffet table trying desperately to seek approval for the food she had prepared
Evie felt embarrassed that
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Took me right back to 1969. Evie was 14, I was 11, and I had a lot of the same stuff going on at home as she did. Her home life, and I think her loss of her best friend sent her searching for the feelings of inclusiveness, etc. that she found with this clan in the in the park and then onto the ranch. This was based loosely on The Manson clan. Evie tells her story from 1969 and from today as an adult. Another great debut novel..
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Whaaaaaat happened?! Everybody loves this book. EV-ERY-BO-DY...except me, apparently. I waited a little over a week to write this review and I can add forgettable to the list of adjectives I would use to describe this. Though quite well-written, the story really lost momentum and felt unoriginal. I was bored and pretty grossed out. 2 stars.
1969 California-

It was the end of the sixties, or the summer before the end, and that's what it seemed like, an endless, formless summer.

 photo bec51b9c-a2dc-4255-8905-c703e6eb7028_zpslypmyt1i.jpg

14-year-old Evie is bored and disillusioned with her life. She has recently had a falling out with her only friend Connie, and her parents have decided to part ways. As luck would have it her grandmother left behind money from her Hollywood starlet days...and Evie's loopy, hippy, mother is able to live well because of it...but shy, lost, Evie- wants more...she

I wanted to love this story.


But after trying mulitple times, I think I need to put it down. The premise of this one was very intriguing, unfortunately, while I can appreciate the writing style, it simply isn't working for me. Overly poetic and wordy, I just can't anymore.
Everyone was healthy, tan, and heavy with decoration, and if you weren't, that was a thing too-you could be some moon creature, chiffon over lamp shades, on a kitchari cleanse that stained all your dishes with turmeric.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

A middle-aged Evie Boyd flashes back on her young tumultuous life in the late 1960's as this story commences. She recalls how easy it seemed for her, a lonely, naive and vulnerable 14 year old to leave her divorced parents behind (off and on) and join up with the amorphous group on "the ranch". Not knowing to be wary of these misguided people and so hungry for affection and attention, Evie quickly becomes obsessed with the dark-haired Suzanne, a new way of life, and begins to worship bo

Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept visualizing this book as a remake of sorts, an Indie film set in the 80's. Evie is a heroine that's hard to pigeonhole. She is driven but naive and vulnerable. We have all been there so we understand her motives.

I thought that the book was very heavy with social commentary, but what caught my attention is the vocab of the writer. Emma Cline is economical, but flowery in her imagery. I enjoyed reading this book a lot.

But there are flaws. I disagree with many fans of the book about the paci
Emma Giordano
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars! I'm working on notes for a video review right now because I LOVED this book!

May add some of my thoughts here later.
Joe Valdez
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
My "Girls Girls Girls" jag continues with The Girls, the 2016 debut novel by Emma Cline. This is a book where not much seems to happen on the surface. There isn't a lot of story in this tale of Evie Boyd, a Northern California woman whose unexpected interaction with a teenage couple compels her to recall the summer of 1969, which she spent embedded with a cult later responsible for the most notorious mass murder of the 20th century. It takes place in a parallel universe that never heard of Charl ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Damn, this is a great book. (I'm using several quotes from the book just because this Emma Cline can write her ass off.)

Evie Boyd, is fourteen years old in the sixties. Her parents recently divorced and her dad is living in a small apartment with a much younger woman and her mom is trying out finding herself and trying out for a new husband.
So Evie disagrees with her best friend and is just lost. Until she meets Suzanne. Suzanne is cool and otherworldly, she talks about the farm that she and ot
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Be prepared to be disturbed.
It's 1969 - a cultural revolution is taking place involving drugs, sex, free love and rock n roll.
It's also a dark period when a charismatic Charles Manson lures in young girls who are desperately seeking attention and wanting to feel part of something, as warped as it may be, into a brainwashed world of deceit, poverty, sex, drugs and murder.
Evie, now in her 50's, is reflecting back on the days when she was 14 and became part of the cult whose horrific crimes left a
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A very solid 4 stars. The Girls is loosely based on the Charles Manson cult group and murders in the US in 1969. The story is told from Evie's perspective in two timelines -- at age 14 when she collided with the group and in her later adult years as she thinks back on that part of her life. Emma Cline -- a debut novelist -- does a great job getting into Evie's head -- depicting what could possibly attract a 14 year old to such a squalid and miserable group. Although she comes from a relatively w ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I don’t know which is more amazing, Emma Cline’s understanding of human beings or her mastery of language.”—Mark Haddon, New York Times bestselling author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I don't want to be here...
But this is so well written...
But I really don't want to be here.
But this is so incredibly well written.

This was roughly the ongoing internal dialogue taking place in my head while reading "The Girls".

I have always found certain subject matters difficult to handle.
Dan Schwent
When Evie Boyd's parents get divorced, she falls in with a bad group of girls, all following a would-be musician named Russel. Evie finds herself drawn to their lifestyle of living free and doing drugs, and particularly finds herself drawn to Suzanne. Will Evie come to her senses before she goes down a road she can never come back from?

The Girls is a story inspired by the infamous murder of Sharon Tate by followers of Charles Manson. Instead of a gore-strewn crime book, it's more about one girl'
Wayne Barrett

"Connie studied me with cold wonder, like I'd betrayed her, and maybe I had. I'd done what we were not supposed to do. Illuminated a slice of private weakness, exposed the twitchy rabbit heart."

When I first saw a review for this book I thought it was about The Charles Manson Family. It is not, but in essence, it is almost exactly the same story. Only names have been altered and events slightly altered as well. Still, it piqued my interest enough that I wanted to read it because of a story my mom
Whitney Atkinson
DNF at 72%.

I don't think I've ever given up on a book so far into it. And it definitely isn't because I hate the book, it's just that I'm so bored and I don't see myself giving it anything other than 3 stars, regardless of if I finish it.

The writing is gorgeous. The main character is interesting. But there's really nothing else in this book to drive it forward for me. I'm just not a fan of the hippy/cult vibe, and I went into this book skeptical about its time period and setting hoping that it
I am a little torn on this one - there was some good stuff and some not so good stuff. I was not blown away by the book, but I am not sad I read it.

My favorite part was the characters. Something about them was interesting in a can't-take-my-eyes-away-from-this-train-wreck sort of way. As the book progressed I kept waiting for them to make more and more unfortunate decisions and it was entertaining.

My biggest criticism was the forced feeling to the exposition. It felt like the author was given t
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I started this book and found myself putting it aside for other reads pretty frequently. I think if it had just been a library book I would have returned it without finishing but I paid money for this! So I went ahead and finished.

This is one of the hyped books of summer, and was my June pick for the Book of the Month subscription service that I decided to do for three months (and won't probably be renewing). I found it to be more of a light summer beach read. But even in that context I have com
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een verhaal waarin je wordt het troosteloze, o zo moedeloze leven van de 14-jarige Evie...
Het verhaal speelt zich af in de VS in stuiptrekkingen van de Flower Power...vrije seks, zoektocht naar het eigen individu...
Tijdens een picknick in het park leidt Evie's blik telkens weer naar een groepje meisjes...en één meisje in het bijzonder...die 'anders' zijn...dit heeft een ongelooflijke aantrekkingskracht op Evie. Vanaf het moment dat ze met Susanne en de ander
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damn! This book is truly in a class of it's own-grabbed me right from the start and didn't let go until the last page was devoured.

Emma Cline did something that few authors can do: She completely transported me to a time and place that I thought I knew about, but obviously didn't have a clue...

Just read some of the descriptive ways Cline was able to paint her pictures, get you to feel what the era was like back then.

-'There it was again, their wonder at Russell, their certainty. I was jealous of
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Horror Aficionados : Feb. 2018 Group Read #2- The Girls 31 277 Feb 21, 2018 07:13AM  
There shouldn't be a movie 10 124 Feb 17, 2018 05:20AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Girls by Emma Cline - Restarting February 2nd 2018 21 59 Feb 14, 2018 02:53PM  
Mama’s Not So Gui...: The Girls Discussion 1 13 Jan 29, 2018 07:50AM  
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Emma Cline is an American writer and novelist, originally from California. She published her first novel, "The Girls", in 2016, to positive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the John Leonard Award from the National Book Critics Circle and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize.
Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Tin House, Granta and The Paris Review.
In 2017 Cline was name

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“That was part of being a girl--you were resigned to whatever feedback you'd get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn't react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they'd backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.” 288 likes
“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.” 219 likes
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