There is nothing I love more than a book that lives up to the hype, and I have to say that in my opinion The Girls truly did live up to all of the hype. ordered this book as a part of my July Book of the Month shipment. If you have any part in the bookish world, you know that this book has been hyped as the book of the summer. I love reading books that get the literary world talking, but it also worries me when a book gets so over hyped that I will be ultimatley dissapointed.
The Girls follows Evie Boyd, a fourteen-year-old girl growing up in California in 1969 who falls into a Manson-like cult. Cline does a masterful job using Evie as a narrator. She switches between an older perspective and persepective during the actual events. I found Evie to be very relatable to myself in my adolscent years. Thankfully, I did not fall into any cults during my formative years but Evie is just looking to fit in.
Evie’s parents are divorced, her father has moved on with a younger woman and her mom is lonely and focused on her dating life more than her daughter. Evie has a falling out with her best friend and is set to be shipped off to boarding school in the fall. She sees a group of girls in the park with confidence and freedom that she longs for.
Evie just wants to be accepted, especially by Suzanne, the ring leader of the girls. She slips into a world of drugs, sex, and theft to belong to this group which is ultimatley a cult. The cult is led by Randall, a man that all of these girls worship, so Edie worships him too. As Evie gets more and more invloved, Randall grows agitated when things don’t go his way and pushes his follwers toward violence. This culminates in four gruesome murders performed by the cult, but excluding Evie.
Some complaints that I have heard about this book was that there wasn’t enough emphasis on the cult itself. And if you read this book looking for a narrative explaining cult mentality, then you will be dissapointed. To me this book is more about the complications and loneliness of adolescence which happens to include a cult. I found this book facisnating and relatable, I loved Cline’s voice and I cannot wait to read more of her work.