The Girls - Emma Cline | Book Review

9:31 AM
Pages: 355 pages, Paperback
Publication date: June 14, 2016

Publisher: Random House 
How I got the copy: Received a copy from the publisher (Penguin Random House Canada)
Rating: 3/5 Stars


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 infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.


There was so much hype and there are so many high rating for this book that I expected to love it but that wasn't the case. I'm very interested in mystery and murder and I expected this to be that. 

I will admit I didn't read the synopsis of The Girls, and I rarely read the synopsis to any book, but I think I should have for this book because it was nothing like I expected. I knew this book had something to do with the Charles Manson murders, communes and that it was set some time in the '60's. 

This book shouldn't have taken me so long to read but there was something about how vague the most exciting parts of this book were that kept me from reading more than a couple of pages at a time. I expected more of an insider view of what was going on at the commune but Evie happened to stumble upon "the girls" and she was never really apart of the group. She didn't know what was going on half the time and Evie never really understands how serious the situations she gets herself into are.

This book flashes from the present to past but it's mostly set in the past. I love books set in different eras. Mostly between the 60-90's but there was no real distinction that made me really feel like I was reading a story set in the 60's. For all I know, it could have been set in present day if there wasn't a section divider stating otherwise.

Yes, I had to push through The Girls but I started to enjoy the last quarter of the book much more. It's where the most "exciting" parts of the book are and I think if the entire book was more like the last quarter of the book, I would have liked it more. But in saying that, I enjoyed The Girls as a YA coming of age instead of what I expected it to be, a YA suspense murder.

If you're interested or intrigued by this book I would suggest picking it up. Maybe let me know how you enjoyed it or what you loved most about the book.


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