The Girls by Emma Cline (Review)

28943267I received this free from the publishers via Netgalley

‘That was part of being a girl – you were resigned to whatever feedback you’d get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn’t react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they’d backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was already on you.’

Under the California sun in the year 1969, Evie Boyd is tired of being invisible and she is desperate of being noticed. So when she meets Suzanne – an older enthralling girl – she can’t help but be drawn into her life with the girls. With dirty dresses, uncombed hair, and seemingly full of freedom and free from expectations. However, at the centre of the girls is Russel.

The Girls had a lot of potential and the premise was interesting. However, the execution fell very short. The writing felt very unusual and heavy – too many metaphors. It appeared almost like the author was trying too hard. The writing style may work for some, but it made reading this hard. There were some instances that the writing was decent, with some good quotes – the above is an example of a quote I liked.

The plot itself felt very messy and lacking much substance. There was little depth into the cult leader. He didn’t feel as though he had a very engrossing personality that would encourage the girls to do what they did. Little examination as to what made these girls tick, and why they made the choices they did, and why they saw Russel how they did. This is probably my main criticism of The Girls. But alongside that was that there was little development or depth to Evie, or the secondary characters. There was a great potential to explore Evie’s relationship with the cult more, and especially with Suzanne and the other girls. But I feel like this relationship wasn’t developed as much as it could have been. The narrative itself fell flat and Evie herself was hard to relate too and she wasn’t a very compelling character.

Overall, not one I would personally recommend.

RATING: ★★☆☆☆

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