Monday, June 5, 2017

The Girls

I don't often review adult fiction, but since this was one of the big books of last summer (and my roommate gave it to me before selling some of her books) I thought I'd give it a try. Sometimes I have a bit of a weird interest in the macabre, and I thought it would be interesting to see what would drive people to kill in the name of a cult.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
At the end of the 1960s, Evie Boyd is still figuring out who she is. Her parents are divorced and her mother is more interested in her new boyfriend than in raising her daughter. It's then that Evie sees a group of girls in a park who are carefree and everything she wishes she could be. Soon, she is in the thrall of Suzanne, who takes Evie to meet Russell, the leader of a group out on a farm. Evie starts spending all her time there, loving the atmosphere, not noticing how its souring.

It's very hard for me to write this review because I hate giving books bad ratings. Let's just say that if I'd read the Goodreads reviews before cracking this book open, I wouldn't have. The prose is so purple it broke my brain, and the story doesn't delve into what would make it interesting--the psychological ramifications of having been part of a cult, as well as what would drive people to commit horrific murders in the name of another person. Instead, it focuses on sex. Almost every page has references to sex in some way or another. Now, I have no issue with sex in books. Absolutely none. Back when I was an editor, I edited romance and erotica, and I've been known to open a Nora Roberts book on a plane ride. But the sex/sex acts/sexuality in this book was so omnipresent and superfluous that I found myself rolling my eyes whenever anything happened. Additionally, Evie doesn't even end up being part of the eventual murders. No, she's dropped off on the side of the road right before anything happens, which felt like a cop out, a way to not have to explain how someone innocent could be driven to murder. And I even could have gotten on board with that if the scenes in the present were not mind numbingly dull. They reveal almost nothing about the character, and nothing really happens in them. Overall, I would not recommend reading this book. And I'm really sorry about that because I feel like this could have been a great book.

Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
Up Next: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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