Evie Boyd was 14 when she joined a cult, even though they didn't call themselves that. They were more like a group of teenage girls surrounding one main guy and a few other male hangers-on. There are few things in this world that can be as cold and selfish as a young girl on the cusp of womanhood.
I listened to this on audio because the premise interested me and it was available. I've always been fascinated with cults and how people get caught up in them. In this case, Evie was young, her parents had just gotten divorced and she was at loose ends for the summer. (Idle hands and all that.) To me, she came off as a spoiled brat looking for attention, but I did come to feel a little sorry for her as the story progressed.
Even though I did enjoy this book, looking back on it-the "cult" members didn't have much depth to them. I can tell you how they looked and what they did, but why they were like they were? I have no clue. I think the charisma that generally pulls people into cults, (think Koresh or Manson), was missing here. I would have liked to know more about them and how they got together.
Cady McClain, the narrator, was excellent and reminded me of the audios of Megan Abbott's books, which I loved.
Overall, I enjoyed The Girls more than I thought I would and I would recommend it to people who, like me, are fascinated by cults and what draws people to them.
Thanks to my awesome library for the audio book loan!
Turns out that a lot of things I thought I knew about Bonnie and Clyde were not true. They were not a tall and handsome couple like Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. They were also not very smart-both of them spent some in jail and for Clyde that was some hard time. I guess that old adage is right: crime does not pay.
I started to list here all the things I learned from this book, but then I realized that would be spoiling things for everyone else. I decided I'm just going to stick to the main points:
As I said above, they were not smart criminals. They were repeatedly jailed, chased, shot at, etc... They were often injured in these gunfights with police and when I say injured, I mean badly hurt. They were great at stealing cars though, and Clyde liked the Ford V-8's so much he wrote Henry Ford a fan letter about them.
They loved their families and made arrangements to see them often: which just illustrates how clueless and unprepared the law was for fugitives like these. They didn't stake out the houses of Clyde or Bonnie's mothers or their other relatives, until near the very end. If only they had done that, many lives could have been saved.
Clyde and Bonnie loved lavishing their relatives with money and gifts, (when they could), and they both liked to dress nicely. That was about the only luxury they could enjoy, because they were almost always on the run, never able to relax or enjoy themselves. Most of their robberies netted them so little in the way of booty, they were hardly worth the trouble.
Lastly, they truly did love each other. When Bonnie's leg was badly injured, (due to a car chase and subsequent wreck where battery acid leaked all over her), Clyde forever after carried her wherever she needed to go. Bonnie's poetry and writing all showed that she knew they would both come to a bad end, but she loved him and wanted to be with him, even in death. So, I guess that one part of the Hollywood myth is true.
I listened to the audio version of this book. It was detailed, but not too much, and the narrator even added a little humor when the time was right. I learned a lot.
These must be the most inept criminals I've ever read about in my life. They're constantly getting caught, jailed, breaking out and doing it all over again.
The last time they got into a car chase/gun fight, their car was wrecked. The battery was damaged and all the acid leaked out of it- right onto Bonnie's bare leg-from hip to ankle. At some points, it was said, the bone could actually be seen.
Haven is a coming of age story, set in a small town in Massachusetts. Narrated beautifully by Matt Godfrey, and set in a such a perfect place, how could the story itself not be fabulous? Truth is though, it's just okay.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and as I said the narration was excellent. However, I didn't find that this book added anything original to the genre. 80's horror nostalgia is a big thing now and that may have soured my opinion a little. I recently saw the movie of Stephen King's "It" and I just don't think it's possible to compare the two without having Haven come up short. I'm also not sure that it's possible to NOT compare the two- which may be my whole problem.
There are some differences, but at its heart, this is a very similar story. We have our plucky kids going up against a mysterious monster, while they're getting bullied at every turn, and Denny's mom is in just about the same state as were Bill Denbrough's parents from IT. There's even a chance that the monster will return in the future. Sound familiar? The only thing that's really different is the origin of this creature and I won't spoil that here.
This is an engaging "coming of age"/"evil in a small town story", it's just that I didn't find the writing or the story itself to be outstanding. Good? Yes, definitely! And who knows? You may enjoy it a lot more than I did. So, if this sounds interesting to you, I say give it a shot.
*I received this audiobook free from the narrator, in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*