Publisher: Penguin NZ
Release Date: June 27th 2016
Source: From the Publisher!
Purchase: Mighty Ape / Book Depository / Amazon
Read it in: 6 hours
California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life....
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, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.
Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
I think there are two types of opinions when it comes to THE GIRLS by Emma Cline: The people that loved it and the people that didn't. I can understand both sides. There are definitely good things about THE GIRLS...just for me there were to many cons about it to really become a really enjoyable read.
Do you like reading about cults and the psychology, brainwashing and horror that comes with it? Do you like strange writing that fits somewhere between the lines of elegant and clumsy? Do you like reading about unsettling topics and situations that while are examined, aren't really made a good example of? Then THE GIRLS by Emma Cline might be the book for you.
I have two struggles that ruined my enjoyment of this book and lets start with the first one: the main character, Evie. All of her actions just filled me with horror as I can't think of anything else except STUPID to describe some of her actions and decision making. The painful thing though is that Evie was intelligent. She KNEW that all the stuff that was going on was bad and that going along with it was a really terrible idea but she still continued to go along with everyone's bad decisions.
The second struggle for me was the truly DREADFUL ending. It might just be personal taste as I'm not a fan of open ending (closure! I want closure!) but THE GIRLS didn't actually appear to HAVE an ending to speak of. The book ends abruptly after a chapter when she's still a 9-year-old and when I turned the page expecting to see another chapter and just seeing a blank page, I was left with that horrible sinking feeling when you're convinced that CAN'T be the end of the book, the last 10 pages must've fallen out, or something! (I actually checked my copy's pages number to the one on Goodreads, so convinced was I that THE ENDING WAS MISSING AND TORN OUT.
But hey! THE GIRLS wasn't all bad. The writing although strange, really sucks you into the story. It was about cults and how they work and while cults freak me out, I am fascinated by how they "work". It was creepy, sad but incredibly gripping. Even if I didn't particularly love it, I have to admire it. It told a story that while had problems, made me stay up way past my bedtime reading it.
::Thank you Penguin NZ for the review copy!::
HAVE YOU READ THE GIRLS?? WORTH THE HYPE?? NOT WORTH IT?? OH! AND BEFORE YOU GO: WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK SET AROUND OR ABOUT A CULT?! I WOULD LOVE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS!!