It’s been a good few months since my last recent reads post! I thought that I would do another one with a few less books in it this time as these both deserve more of a focus. I actually received these for my birthday which was such a lovely surprise. Both of these are from Amazon. It may seem sad but one of my favourite things to do is search for books, look though the suggested books and read reviews. I’ve actually spent around £30 on books recently so expect more of these posts in the future! All the books that I buy are second hand as I just this is much better and cheaper.
The Girls – Emma Cline
This was the first book which I read out of the two as it was the one that I had heard more about. I’m actually quite glad that I got the above cover as although these don’t really matter too much, I preferred it to the blue one. I like to display books so I’d much rather do that with covers that I like.
This is apparently the UK’s best selling hardback debut novel of 2016 and was selected as a book of the year by the Observer, Evening Standard AND The Times. I think that it also did the rounds on youtube and on blogs a bit so you’ve probably seen this before.
“California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life….”
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
At first I thought that this book was a little hard to get into, it’s told through flashbacks, so one chapter will be Evie as a teenager and another will be Evie as a grown up. This was actually a good way of setting out the book and keeps you reading as obviously you want to find out what happens. Apparently this is based on the Charles Manson Murders as well (google it) however I didn’t really get that and still don’t in a way, like I can see how and why but I still think that this books stands by itself and doesn’t need people to say that.
The only thing which I found weird, was that all these things happened to Evie when she was 15, like this was a very weird thing to get caught up in and yet she still goes on and leads a perfectly normal life? like obviously it effected her but also didn’t seem to matter?
This books really draws you in, the narration is so expressive and almost lyrical in a way. I would recommend reading this, it doesn’t take very long to get through, can be a bit slow at the start but gets good at the end.
Girls on Fire – Robin Wasserman
This is not a story of bad things happening to bad girls. I say this because I know you, Dex, and I know how you think. I’m going to tell you a story, and this time, it will be the truth.
Hannah Dexter is a nobody, ridiculed and isolated at school by golden girl Nikki Drummond. But in their junior year of high school, Nikki’s boyfriend walks into the woods and shoots himself. In the wake of the suicide, Hannah befriends new girl Lacey and soon the pair are inseparable, bonded by their shared hatred of Nikki.
Lacey transforms good girl Hannah into Dex who is up for any challenge Lacey throws at her. The two girls bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live and think they are invulnerable.
But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it’s a secret that will change everything . . .
I read this book shortly after finishing The Girls. It was actually quite hard to put it down as it’s the kind of story that stays with you and makes you want to finish it, to find out absolutely everything. It didn’t take me long to read this. There is a similarity with The Girls, as again, this book is also split into chapters but this time from two different people and not from just one persons perspective. Hannah/Dex tells the story as it’s happening however Lacey, it seems almost like tells it afterwards, like she’s talking to Dex or it’s in a letter, this actually works well and breaks up the story a bit, she seems to give a lot more insight into things, like the why and how and this gives a lot of depth to her character.
The blurb above leads you into thinking that Hannah befriends Lacey but it’s actually the other way round AND Hannah doesn’t get much say in the matter. I liked how Hannah is this self conscious little person and at some instances gets more and more confident but this also doesn’t seem to lead anywhere.
The problem that I had with this book is that Lacey is not a nice person. At all. Yet Hannah is so taken in with her it almost gets annoying. The ending is also very strange and if I’m honest I was a little disappointed, it took so much to get there however was a bit of a let down and then it was just over. I would spoil anything but I would have preferred a different ending even if the one that did happen was so well thought out. I would have preferred it if instead of choosing Lacey (in a way), Hannah grew up a little and took some control over everything. This would have completely changed the pace and story, yet was also needed I think. It is incredibly well written and also the type of book that you want other people to read so you can discuss the ending.
What are some of your recent reads? Will you be giving either of these books a go?