Dan Schwent's Reviews > The Girls

The Girls by Emma Cline
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bookshelves: 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's fall from grace after falling in with a cult. Evie Boyd is only fourteen when she meets The Girls and winds up living at the ranch. Her fascination with Suzanne leads her down a grim path, a path with murder at its end.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with Charles Manson knows where the book is heading from the start and Evie, in the framing thread, hints at it pretty heavily. Knowing there's going to be a horrible crash doesn't make it any easier to turn away from an impending car crash.

Emma Cline writes with literary flourish, painting an interesting picture of a girl who wants to belong and wants to be loved. Watching her get ensnared in the spider's web was a little painful at times. In the end, she has the right choice chosen for her but never seems to get her life back on track after that.

I'm not really sure how to rate this book. While it's generally well written, it feels over-written at times for what it is. (view spoiler)

Overall, The Girls is a good read but I don't think it's going to set the world on fire. It's a solid three out of five stars. Of the 1,244 books put out this year with the world "Girl" in the title, it's definitely in the top 50.
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Reading Progress

July 31, 2016 – Shelved
July 31, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 3, 2016 – Started Reading
August 4, 2016 –
2.0%
August 5, 2016 –
24.0%
August 5, 2016 –
28.0%
August 5, 2016 –
30.0%
August 5, 2016 –
32.0%
August 5, 2016 –
37.0%
August 5, 2016 –
42.0%
August 5, 2016 –
44.0%
August 5, 2016 –
46.0%
August 5, 2016 –
50.0%
August 5, 2016 –
52.0%
August 5, 2016 –
52.0% "Of all the 628 books with Girl in the title published in the last couple years, this is one of the better ones."
August 5, 2016 –
55.0%
August 5, 2016 –
59.0%
August 5, 2016 –
61.0%
August 5, 2016 –
90.0%
August 5, 2016 –
94.0%
August 5, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016
August 5, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-books
August 5, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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Kelly (and the Book Boar) Lower your rating. It's more fun on the dark side ; )


message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Lower your rating. It's more fun on the dark side ; )"

I would have rated it higher if the whole thing wasn't a big tease.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Did you have a reader copy or the real deal? Apparently the actual book was like 100 more pages of nothing. The writing style was definitely the reason behind my rating. Tooooooooooo purple for my taste. If I want writing like that I'll read some angsty NA ; )


message 4: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent The real deal. At least it was on sale the day I grabbed it.

I didn't mind the writing that much, although some paragraphs really got on my nerves. My main gripe was how the ending went down.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Yeah, the ending really shit the bed. I had given up on enjoying it by that point, though, so it didn't sting quite so much.


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Yeah, the ending really shit the bed. I had given up on enjoying it by that point, though, so it didn't sting quite so much."

The ending was like being close to having an orgasm and having a cat jump on you.


message 7: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh Didn't this have the highest advance ever for a first novel from new writer? Every publishing house clamoring to sign it? I'm sure it's a perfectly good book and I'll probably read it at some point, but it seems like hype over delivery.


message 8: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Kurt wrote: "Didn't this have the highest advance ever for a first novel from new writer? Every publishing house clamoring to sign it? I'm sure it's a perfectly good book and I'll probably read it at some point..."

Your life will be still be complete if you never get around to reading it.


message 9: by Morgan (new) - added it

Morgan I keep hearing things about this book and not sure I'd like it or not.


message 10: by Dan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dan Schwent Morgan wrote: "I keep hearing things about this book and not sure I'd like it or not."

It probably depends on your tolerance for well-written books that ultimately don't really do much.


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