The Girls - Emma Cline | Book Review

I am going to get right into this review and say it: I loved this book. I first came across Emma Cline's debut novel whilst watching one of my favourite BookTuber's videos. Sanne at booksatndquills had recommended this new novel amongst a few other books that I ended up buying.
It had me intrigued from the get go. Cults. Murder. Based on a real life case. I just HAD to read it.

There is something about the idea of a cult that fascinates me so much. I guess it's the way that one person can control a group of others so intensely that, in turn, they could make members of that group do whatever they want. Even if that is partaking in heinous crimes. Taking inspiration from the Charles Manson "Family" and subsequent murders, The Girls is an emotional and unputdownable piece of literature.

We follow Evie, a 14 year old girl from California. An only child living with her flighty mum, she is at that awkward stage between teen-age and adulthood. One day she becomes transfixed with a group of girls at the park. In particular the blonde haired Suzanne. They look so free, careless, happy with life. Everything that Evie is not. She soon becomes involved in something bigger than she could have ever imagined. 
Invited into a mysterious, and on the outside, harmless group of misfits, Evie has the most transformative summer of her life. From exploring her sexuality, to coming to the realisation that her parents are in fact just human beings with faults. Her life will never be the same.

Evie is a likeable, if not naive character. Compared to those around her it's hard not to feel sorry for her ignorance. The whole time whilst reading all I wanted to do was to shake her and scream "what are you doing? Can't you see that these people are dangerous?" I enjoyed the switch between the present and the past and Emma Cline's skill is so unique that you both feel enamoured and disgusted by the Manson-esque character Russell at the same time.  

At times this book is uncomfortable to read, not particularly gruesome, but Cline's subtle use of words really pulls you into every movement her characters make. I have been having a bit of a reading slump recently, and this book certainly has perked my enthusiasm right back up again.  

I also LOVE the end covers of the hard back copy. The heart actually has meaning in the book. So keep an eye out if you do end up reading it.

Have you read The Girls yet? What did you think? I am also looking for any other books, fiction or non-fiction that deal with cults or cult-like themes. Would love your recommendations.



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