Title: The Girls
Author: Emma Cline
Publisher: Random House
Time taken to read: 1 week, 2 days
Goodreads synopsis: 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.
I found this book just chillin’ around when I was in treatment, so I just picked it up, read the first page, and then figured, why not continue? This book has been so heavily advertised by Random House, and it’s a debut, which always interests me, so I thought I’d give it a go.
The Girls has a lot of enticing language in the synopsis and the foreshadowing. I heard a lot about this “unthinkable violence,” and I was really hyped for it. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to that hype. I really wanted some gore. I wanted blood. I wanted scandals. I wanted psychos. And I didn’t get that until the very end, so that was extremely disappointing. This is much more of a coming-of-age story than it is a psychological thriller.
I’m really unsure about how I feel about the language in this book. It’s unique, that’s for sure. It’s incredibly poetic, though I’m not the world’s biggest poetry fan. Sometimes the lines were interesting and made me look at something simple in a way I had never looked at it before. Other times, it felt like the author was just throwing words together in ways that made no sense but that she hoped people would just pretend to understand for fear of looking uncultured and stupid.
Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book. It was different from what I expected, and different from most other things I’ve read. It just wasn’t as good as it’s made out to be by the publisher. But of course, hyping books up is their job. Just don’t expect something amazing from this, in my opinion. I don’t regret reading it, but I could have done without it.