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Lindsey

The Girls - A Book Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews, Reviews by Lindsey

The Girls – Book Review by Lindsey

Book Description:

An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong—this stunning first novel is perfect for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.
 
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.
 
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.

Review:

Summer of The Girls

Evie is a Californian teen fumbling her way through the summer of 1969. She grows bored with the monotony of boys, beauty treatments, and hanging with her dull best friend. Until, one day, she sees The Girls walk through the park – no cares, intriguing, and unapologetically head turning. Evie cannot stop thinking about the girls she saw. She sets out to befriend Suzanne, the dark, wild haired girl of the group. They give her a summer that will define the rest of her life.

I read the first chapter of The Girls and honestly did not know if I could finish this book. It is grisly. This book unsettled me in a way you cannot stop thinking of a bad dream you had. I would go ahead and warn anyone that might be sensitive to gory scenes to beware. Please don’t take this as I didn’t enjoy the summer hit. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Her writing is sometimes overly detailed, but overall beautiful with so much feeling.

The story is a renamed retelling of Charles Manson and his infamous girls. I have always been interested in aspects of their cult and notorious crimes. The story itself is unoriginal, but there’s twist. I am applauding the author’s insight into the mind of Evie, the unheroic protagonist of the tale. I remember the feelings Evie sorted through throughout the book as my own feelings from adolescence. I “got” Evie. I was Evie at one time. A revisit into my own times as a teen where I put myself in possibly bad or dangerous situations. Emma Cline puts words to thoughts and feelings we all have, but never say out loud. This was a fast summer read. It has been a few weeks since I have finished this book, and I still feel stuck in 1969. I highly suggest it if you need something gritty that might rub you the wrong way.

 

The Girls: A Novel Book Cover The Girls: A Novel
Emma Cline
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Thriller
Random House
June 14, 2016
Hardcover
355

Into The Water: A Novel - Book Review | juliekmccomas.com
Book Reviews, Reviews by Lindsey

Into the Water – Book Review

Book Description:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
 
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
 
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
 
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Into The Water: A Novel

Review:

Jules’ older sister, Nel, spent most of their childhood terrifying Jules with local lore of the infamous Drowning Pool. The Drowning Pool is where troubled women go to be taken by the water. While Nel’s obsession grew around the notorious town of Beckford, where they spent their summers, Jules could not escape fast enough. Unexpectedly, Nel is the next victim of the Drowning Pool and Jules is forced to go back to Beckford to care for Nel’s teen daughter, Lena. Together they unsurface the secrets in the water.

Cracking open this brand new book and seeing the line “For all the Troublemakers” was the hook for me. The best part about this book is the theme of troublesome women and the men behind them. I enjoy a good mystery whether it is predictable or not. Hawkins has a way throwing in every twist she can. Every chapter had me wanting to read a bit further. If you want a good summer mystery; this one, for me, was a fun ride with a “who done it” air. I’ve seen a lot of reviews already mention there are too many characters. I do agree, but it’s worth sticking it out. I found myself a few times going back to make sure I understood who a character was. If you can’t look past that, I would say don’t bother. The book leaves you with a few loose ends that I wish the author would have cleaned up, but I do believe they were intentional. Maybe she left a few free mysteries for us to ponder on once we’ve finished the book. I give it a 3.6 on Goodreads.

 

Into the Water: A Novel Book Cover Into the Water: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Women's Fiction, Literary, Suspense
Riverhead Books
May 2, 2017
Hardcover
400