The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words A Blogger's Book Club

Happy Friday and last day of March everybody! It’s seriously so crazy to me how fast this month has flown by, although I really shouldn’t be considering how much stuff we had going on. Not only did we go to the Rodeo three times this year, but we also went out of town a couple of weekends and just had a lot of stuff going on. I’m hoping that April will be a little bit calmer for us! Anyways, because it’s the last Friday in March it also means that it’s time for the The Beyond Words: A Blogger’s Book Club linkup with Carolann and Christy to talk about this month’s book, The Girls by Emma Cline.

The Wandering Weekenders- Beyond Words- The Girls

To be perfectly honest, I really wasn’t looking forward to reading this book. I remember quite a few people’s negative reviews of this book, so it wasn’t one that I requested from Netgalley. So instead of buying this one, I got my mom to get it for me from the library, and I’m glad that I did that instead of buying it.

The whole premise of this book is that a young Evie sees a group of ratty girls that is gallivanting around her small town on the outskirts of San Francisco. She is immediately drawn to those girls and the cool lifestyle that they seem to lead, but especially to Suzanne who has an air and confidence to her that Evie can’t get enough of. Eventually Evie meets those girls and they introduce her to Russell who is the leader of the group that promotes love for everyone. Evie spends her days that summer at the ranch and is drawn in even more by Suzanne and the other girls.

While the idea of this book sounded really interesting to me, I felt like it was a little bit hard to get into, it took a while for Evie to actually get into the cult, and then once you finally found out what the girls had done to end the cult (it talks about the violent act in the preview for the book), it almost seems like it just ends. So the beginning felt like it took too long and then end just cut off.

I also found it a little bit unbelievable that Evie would choose to live in those horrible conditions at the ranch when she had such a nice life at home with her mom. Obviously, she had a lot of issues, especially considering the fact that her parents were getting divorced, she was leaving for boarding school, and she had fought with her best friend, but I just can’t imagine her being ok with living in filth, barely having anything to eat, and then also putting up with basically sexual assault while she was living at the ranch. All of these point to the fact that she was that young and impressionable, I just don’t buy it.

The last thing that I had a major issue with in this book was all of the flashbacks and the little bit of time that was spent on Evie in the present. I guess that the author was trying to show how she was still effected by the horrific events that took place all of those years ago and the how infamous the cult that she was a part of actually was to the area, but the supporting characters didn’t really add anything to the story line, at all. I also find it hard to believe that Evie wouldn’t have tried to get in contact with Suzanne at some point in time, even after everything that happened. If she was that in love with her, you would have thought she would have tried to see her in prison or something.

While I obviously had some negatives about the book, I still considered it a good and fast read. I started reading it on the plane to Vegas and finished it up pretty quickly after that. Once you actually picked up on all the different characters and the flashbacks and Evie actually got into the cult, I didn’t want to stop reading. It definitely transported you back into the time of the 1960s where the hippies and drugs and alcohol were definitely a staple in California and elsewhere across the United States.

This definitely wasn’t my favorite book that we’ve read for our little book club, but I still consider it a book that I enjoyed to read. The Girls is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re interested in that time period and like the idea of reading about a cult, you definitely should pick this book up. Just know that it takes a while to actually get into the cult. I rated this book a 3 out of 5 on Goodreads, and if the ending hadn’t been so short, it probably would have been a 4 out of 5.

Have you read The Girls? Is it a book that you’re going to pick up soon?

Don’t forget about this amazing giveaway that ends on Sunday, April 2nd! A group of us blogger babes have teamed up to gift one lucky person a $75 Sephora or Ulta gift card –winner’s choice and a few other products including a GlamGlow mask, BECCA Highlighter and more. Be sure to check back on the blog next week to see if you’re the winner!

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A Book Review of The Girls by Emma Cline for the Beyond Words: A Bloggers Book Club.

  • I was so excited for this book when it came out. There was so much hoopla about it and the premise sounded so interesting (I love creepy culty books!), but I really felt like it was so anticlimactic. I was so disappointed with this book and definitely wouldn’t recommend it. I’m glad you didn’t hate it though!

    • I remember there being a lot of excitement about this book too, and I almost requested it from Netgalley but when I started reading some of the reviews I decided to not request it. I totally agree with you that it felt kind of anticlimactic, and the ending was just too quick for me. Do you have any recommendations for some good creepy cult books? I liked the premise of The Girls even if it fell flat!

      • Of the top of my head, I can’t think of any other books about cults, but I’m sure I’ve read some. I’m currently reading Roanoke Girls and it seems a little cult-y, though I’m not exactly sure what’s happening yet. It’s very good so far if you want to check it out!

  • So glad you read the girls! I was pleasantly surprised even though I didn’t love the ending.

    • I was surprised that I ended up liking it as much as I did in order to give it a 3 star rating. Based on other reviews that I had read I definitely didn’t think that I was going to like it.

  • Boo! Sorry to hear this one wasn’t that great. I’m kinda digging the cover so if I hadn’t read your review I might have read it just based on the cover but now I’ll definitely skip it. I hate when the endings suck, nothing ruins a book more for me. <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

    • Exactly! Sometimes I’m willing to overlook a crappy ending if the book was really good, but this one just didn’t do it for me. And I totally agree that the cover is so cool! It just screams 1960s!

  • I skipped over this one because I felt like it was too far outside of my comfort zone or like something I would like. It’s always good when a book you’re not loving is a quick read though, and not something that gets totally dragged out.

    • Exactly, I think that it would have been really bad if it had been slow, so I was glad that it was really quick. I normally like really creepy types of books so I was looking forward to that, but it didn’t really have too much of it.

  • Biana Perez

    Thanks so much for the honest review – i dont think it’s a book that i would gravitate towards, but after reading your review i think it’s safe to say I think I’ll pass!! Hope you have a great weekend! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • I’m glad that I could help out! While I thought that it was good, it just wasn’t my favorite and didn’t blow my socks off enough to recommend to others. Definitely one that you can skip right over!

  • Nadine

    I remember a lot of peoples negative reviews on this book when it first came out too so I took it off my list. I appreciate your thoughts on it though!

    • That’s why I was a little hesitant about reading this one, but one of the things that I like about book club is reading books outside of my comfort zone so I gave it a try. I was glad that I got it from the library though!

  • hmm I have mixed feelings on this one, I haven’t read it, but don’t really want to. Glad you enjoyed it a bit more than you expected, but that’s a bummer about the ending! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • I know! An ending can really make or break a book, and I think that maybe if the book had been a little bit stronger I would have rated it higher. And I don’t think that you’ll be missing much if you skip over this one!

  • Jen

    I’ve definitely heard mixed reviews about this book, I may still have to give it a try.

    • If you’re really interested in cult types of things you should give it a try. Carolann really loved it, so you might end up loving it too!

  • Thank you so much for your review of this book! I borrowed it from my mom and is next for me to read (probably this weekend). I actually had no idea what this was about but had heard so much hype around it when it first came out. I’m so fascinated by that time period, so hopefully it’s at least a decent read for that. Happy Friday, friend!

    • Have you started reading it yet? There really was a lot of hype about this book, and I just wish that it had followed through a little bit more. It was one of those books that passed the time just fine but definitely won’t be one of my favorites. I really enjoyed reading about the cult side of things though!

  • Great review and impressions of the book. Even with the negative reviews, it still sounds like an interesting story to get into. Not a fan on those cut off endings though but if it’s an easy read like you said then I’d give it a try.

    • It was definitely a pretty easy read. I was stuck on a plane with it and I got pretty far into it by the time that we landed and was looking forward to picking it up again. If you’re looking for a quick read you might consider picking up the audio book from the library so you can listen to it on your way into work one day.

  • I really liked your review!! I adored this book but I can see how some things were hard to get into or get over. Although I rated this book 5 stars, I wasn’t as into the present day chapters as I was the ones about the cult. The teenagers staying in that house with Evie were not really interesting and didn’t add much, but I can see how she wanted to show the effects of the cult years later. I also kept wondering how Evie was going to get away with everything while everyone else was in jail and I found that part a bit far-fetched. I’m glad you ended up liking it and I’m excited to read I Let You Go!

    • I didn’t understand how she got away with everything too! I feel like the other girls would have told on her, even if Suzanne didn’t because they had their little relationship going. And I guess that I can see how the current year chapters did show how she was effected years later, but the teenagers definitely didn’t add anything in my opinion. And I hope that you love I Let You Go! It definitely took me a while to get into it, but it was so good!

  • I’m oddly fascinated by cults and groups like that, so the premise of the book would definitely catch my eye. It always disappoints me when the final act in a book doesn’t live up to the beginning and middle–it’s such a let down after you’ve spent the time getting that far!

    • I think that sometimes I’m willing to overlook a not so great ending if the rest of the book was that good, but I don’t think that this book had that great of a beginning and middle to make up for it. It was a really quick read though and I did enjoy it while I was reading it, it just wasn’t my favorite. Cults really interest me too! I’d like to read another book that was similar!

  • I think I recognize the book cover, but I haven’t seen this one, so I’m glad you reviewed it for us!!

    • It definitely wasn’t my favorite, but it passed the time just fine. The book cover really was interesting and fit the book well!

  • It does sound oddly interesting, but I know by now to trust your judgement on a book. Glad you didn’t end up buying it and just rented it :)!

    • Me too! I actually had my mom get it for me from the library and I’m so glad that I ended up renting it. It definitely wasn’t my favorite book, but it passed the time just fine.

  • It does sound interesting admittedly. But I’ll take your word for it and maybe read it if I happen to find it lying around somewhere! Like when you’re on a holiday and there is nothing else to do but read but youré out of books and you find some random ones at the communal library. hehe

    • Haha exactly! I always wonder about those communal library books, like how good can they actually be if they were left here. I always try to read between the lines about why they didn’t get taken home with their original owners. But anyways, yes The Girls unfortunately wasn’t my favorite, but it’s an ok read to pick up from the library. It just had so much potential, which is why I think that I was the most disappointed.