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The Girls

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  62,308 Ratings  ·  8,418 Reviews
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 infamou ...more
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Random House
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(showing 1-30)
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Emily May

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
Jul 31, 2016 Justin rated it it was ok
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
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
Jun 15, 2016 Chelsea Humphrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Find all my reviews on the blog here:

Date Read: 06/14/16
Pub Date: 06/14/16

4.5 stars (rounded to 5 on GR)

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 so
Jul 16, 2016 Maxwell rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own-it, 2016, botm
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
Jul 20, 2016 Deanna rated it really liked it
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 average teen
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
Feb 29, 2016 Elyse rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
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..

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
Jun 08, 2016 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, arc-egalley
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
Sep 03, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
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
3 stars. Coming of age story mainly set in 1969 CA with a cult twist.

Evie is struggling to understand how she fits in with the world and is dealing with her parent's recent divorce and her mother's dating. Then, she gets in an argument with her best friend and has nobody to turn to or spend time with. Along comes Suzanne and a busload of her cult group and they drive off to the ranch (a la Charles Manson). I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone, so I will leave it at that.

Manson Family photo Manson2BGirls2B3D2BRatings-5_zpshqzlyvqu.jpg

What I liked:
* We
Sep 28, 2016 Jen rated it really liked it
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
Jun 21, 2016 Carol 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

Jun 14, 2016 Brandi marked it as dnf

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.
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
Aug 21, 2016 Kelli rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-fiction
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.
May 21, 2016 Melanie rated it really liked it
“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.
Jun 07, 2016 Esil rated it really liked it
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
Dan Schwent
Aug 05, 2016 Dan Schwent rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
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
Jul 16, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, thriller, 2016

"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
Dannii Elle
I received this book on a read to review basis from NetGalley. Thanks to the author, Emma Cline, and the publisher, Random House, for this opportunity.

This is historical fiction at its finest! This book aroused not just a keen sense of character and setting with its evocative imagery and poignant writing, but an entire era; an entire generation of people that are now almost lost to the world!

This is the story of the dark underworld of the 'swinging 60s', so revered in both memory and passed down
May 15, 2016 Jan 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
Ron Charles
May 31, 2016 Ron Charles rated it really liked it
The hubbub around “The Girls” threatens to trample what’s so deeply affecting about it.

The noise started in 2014 when an unknown 25-year-old writer named Emma Cline sold her debut novel about the Manson family murders for a reported $2 million as part of a three-book deal.

It’s not about the money, of course. Except that it is.

An advance that kooky along with a subject that sensational virtually guarantees at-home features (A garden shed in Brooklyn!), gentle Q&As (What’s on your nightstand?)
Jun 19, 2016 Perry rated it liked it
Woe Be, the Malevolent, Maleficent Malediction and Malefactors

This book was well-written, perfectly-structured, and the protagonist and her love interest were drawn out with brio.

To preface my thoughts on the novel as a guy, I first say that if a novel contains verisimilitude to the human condition, I do not have a problem if it negatively depicts a certain religion, race, gender or disability. It is art reflecting life so I hesitate to criticize painting good and evil into it or anyone or anyt
The Girls is a standalone literary/historical fiction novel written by Emma Cline. This is her debut and it is incredible. This book...I got it and it got me. The writing, the absolute spot on way she shows how it feels to be an adolescent girl - the exhausting intensity of it all, the incessant need for validation and to belong, the 1960's and it's reputation for extremes. It's so well-done.

This dark coming-of-age story is told in the past/present perspective of main character: Evie Boyd. She
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
Larry Hoffer
Mar 07, 2016 Larry Hoffer rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for making it available!

There are times in our lives when we feel a powerful need to belong, to be part of something we view as bigger and more important than us. We are desperate to feel a kinship, perhaps even a spark of attraction, and these feelings are what make us feel special, make us feel worthy.

Fourteen-year-old Evie knows that desire all
Peter Boyle
May 10, 2016 Peter Boyle rated it liked it
The Girls arrives on a wave of hype and publicity. 25-year-old Emma Cline was reportedly paid in in the region of $2 million for this debut novel and the blurb features generous praise from the likes of Lena Dunham and Jennifer Egan. So does it justify the fanfare?

The story is loosely based on the Manson murders. It's told in flashback by a weary and isolated middle-aged woman who hides herself away from the public gaze. Evie Boyd, a disaffected teen living in California in the summer of '69, be
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Emma Cline is from California. Her fiction has appeared in Tin House and The Paris Review, and she was the recipient of the 2014 Paris Review Plimpton Prize.
More about Emma Cline...

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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.” 157 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.” 119 likes
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