The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls was truly the Summer Buzz Book, so I was pretty stoked when it was my book club's August pick. The main indicator in how much I love a book is how quickly I gulp it up, and this one went pretty high on the charts- a whopping 36 hours from start to finish- so it earned stamp of approval. Its witty + quick, covers a different perspective from a fascinating crime, and was relatable enough to keep me speeding through it. 

From 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, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

“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 always on you.” 
― Emma ClineThe Girls

I luhvvvvved this book and it articulated so many main points so perfectly; California living, teenage friendships, unrequited lovers too young, so on. I felt like I was reading Don Drapers daughter's journal of sorts- so many times I imagined the sets of Mad Men in the scenes, the characters moving through the Bay Area as if their families were at home in NYC (or LA!) on set for show about the men of advertising.

Growing up in California, the Manson Murders and stories have lived on through conversations of wonder and fascination (HI TRUE CRIME WEIRDNESS)!, so the perspective of the females of the cult instead of the Charles-like character was so smart and felt new. Add this to the top of your to-read lists, it's pretty great!