Book Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

3 out of 5


“Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed.”

This story follows Evie’s point of view – it jumps back and forth between her adult self and teen self. It is about her journey into joining a cult as a teen and then her recounting her experiences as an adult. A well-to-do Evie with a broken family and not a strong enough friendship group gets lost when she gets attracted to a group of girls (mainly Suzanne). Her imagination, desperation, the need to belong and accepted is what drives her. The strong pull, fascination of the unknown and the excitement of the cult and its leader made them thrive.


This was said to be one of the best books of 2016 – so naturally, I was very hyped up about it and almost bought it. Glad I found it in my library though. It is the fictionalisation of the very-real Manson murders. Sure I knew the basics of Charles Manson and his story but not enough to form many connections. A book title is very important to me, I feel. With ‘The Girls’, you could either see it as Evie & Suzanne or Evie seeing The (group of) other Girls with Russell, the leader. I found that quite a clever thing to do.

book-review-the-girls-by-emma-cline-2It was quite explicit when it came to the sex bits. I failed to really see the connection. We could have definitely seen more character development and family dynamics revelation. It was rather strange that the print was large and loads of space on the top and bottom – saving all that would have helped make the book lighter.

It was well-written but I didn’t get it. Maybe I had to understand the whole Manson story to get it but that should not be a requirement. Evie is the main character, maybe more about the other girls and Russell might have helped the story a little. The importance of attention, guidance and support for adolescences were highlighted. Even when Evie was narrating the story when she’s an adult, the teenagers around her were straying. The fatal attraction to the wrong and sinful was the key to this. I felt that the last chapter or two were really the best. The fear of always living in a fear was it.

Read this book yet?

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