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.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an indelible portrait of girls, and of the women they become.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book, to be published June 14th, 2016, via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
I can’t see this review being more than 200 words. I just don’t have that much to say about it.
The truth is that I couldn’t stand any part of it. As soon as I picked got past the synopsis, I wanted nothing to do with the story or the writing or the characters. I tried to find something positive in it, but I DNFed before I could really gain any ground.
Nothing stood out particularly, and here’s the thing about the writing: it felt so fake. Maybe it’s because I didn’t live through the era, but the descriptions and the characterizations felt epically contrived. I didn’t get any of the emotion that the characters felt. On top of that, the writing was slow and thick, even in comparison to other adult novels. Even though I was looking forward to what this novel promised (peer pressure and cults and eerie barns and descent into obsession), I had no idea to make of what I found.
All in all, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, especially not for YA. 1 star.