The Girls - Emma Cline

The Girls

By Emma Cline

  • Release Date: 2016-06-14
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 1,479 Ratings


THE INSTANT BESTSELLER • An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Vogue, Glamour, People, The Huffington Post, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Time Out, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Slate

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.

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award • Shortlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize • The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • Emma Cline—One of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists

Praise for The Girls

“Spellbinding . . . a seductive and arresting coming-of-age story.”The New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinary . . . Debut novels like this are rare, indeed.”The Washington Post

“Hypnotic.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Gorgeous.”—Los Angeles Times

“Savage.”—The Guardian

“Astonishing.”—The Boston Globe

“Superbly written.”—James Wood, The New Yorker

“Intensely consuming.”—Richard Ford

“A spectacular achievement.”—Lucy Atkins, The Times

“Thrilling.”—Jennifer Egan

“Compelling and startling.”—The Economist


  • When you expect a certain character

    By dr.squeezie
    She took you through the raw thoughts and rocky emotions of a young girl: easily influenced, and the tunnel vision of your own ego. Just to end up in a fate that somehow never was your own.
  • Awesome

    By LynneRaeScroggins
    I absolutely LOVE this book. Nice chill read that gets you hooked.
  • One of my faves!

    By haleygartside
    I think this book is amazing. Super easy read, hard to put down, captivating, intriguing, disturbing, and just overall a great story.
  • So captivating

    By marika thunder
    Incredibly well written it just pulls you right in there. You can relate with the protagonist on so many levels. Beautifully descriptive and cathartic
  • So good

    By Maddyyyyyy
    Finished it in one plane ride. Super quick read.
  • Weirdly attractive

    By rokinrev
    “—but the familiarity of the Day was disturbed by the oath the girls cut across regular world. Sleek and thoughtless as sharks breaching the water” This book is disturbing. Take a teenager in the 60s with all the “angst” and trauma from a contentious divorce; add angry and lonely parents, and the loose, angry, flowing morality of California in that decade. Evie Boyd is attracted to a group of women clustered around a charismatic leader and splits her summer between her mother’s home- and new partner and Russell’s “ranch”. Neither is the best place for her to be, but both effect her. Told from older Evie’s point of view, Emma Cline pulls out all the stops:the good, the bad, the horror and the attraction of “different” that will inform the reader and pull them into a believable tale much as an observer to a train wreck. Triggers of sex and drugs. I simply could not stop reading this.
  • Not for me

    By Jesy g l
    Didn’t like the writing or the story. I don’t understand why it got so many positive reviews
  • Cult movement in 1969

    By Annmric8
    The Girls was about a cult movement run by a man named Russell in 1969. For about two years Russel began collecting followers preaching about love and political truths. Evie’s character was in thrall by Suzanne, a girl not much older than herself. She was envious of Suzanne, her ability to be unbothered by what others thought of her. Unlike Evie who was raised a good girl to be polite and well mannered. These girls were expressive and disorderly. Evie’s parents were divorced. Her mother busy dating allowing Evie freedom to spend her summer with her friend. Her relationship with her mother was strained. Evie wanted attention, recognition, love, and comfort, but her mother was too focused on dating. At fourteen, Evie was evolving from childhood into adulthood. During one summer before boarding school, she experimented with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Evie had issues with trying to find herself thereby relying on observing the behaviors of other girls. She adapted to their behaviors mimicking the things she felt she needed to. The Girls was character driven and written from Evie’s perspective. This was a coming of age story about Evie and several other girls. This was Evie’s recounting of events that took place before Russell was discovered. The pace was slow with Evie recounting the times she visited with Suzanne. It was a tiresome read of which I grew bored so I began skimming. One word continued to plague my mind while Evie was recounting her childhood which was latchkey kids. All too often kids were left to their own demises. This story was a recapping of those households that failed to provide a safe haven of love. I must heed a warning about this book by mentioning that there were some scenes that included sex with minors as well as sexual molestation. The story was executed into four parts sharing Evie’s childhood summer. The past was marked by the year 1969, the only indication Evie was talking about the past. I kept waiting for some brilliant discovery instead I felt the ending was anti-climatic.
  • Impossible to put down

    By JoeyWar[S.E.M.]
    Great writer! Reads like non fiction. The pictures painted with words: sad, beautiful, and sometimes horrifying Captivating read!
  • Falls flat.

    By Nickipil
    I really wanted to like this book. I couldn't get into it like I usually do. It never became one of those books I couldn't put down, even near the climax. The author is descriptive and can set a scene, but fairly uninteresting scenes just go on and on, over and over. It doesn't take long to figure out that this story is fairly spot on for the story of Charles Manson and family. Knowing this, nothing is imaginative or surprising. Plot lines that could bring some excitement fall flat. Evie is boring and doesn't seem to have much of a real personality. I'm not convinced it added to the story to have her adult self represented at all. It would have been much more interesting from almost any other character's point of view.