This book had a lot of hype from the get-go, and a reported $2M dollar book deal for the first-time author (crayyyyyyy), so my expectations were high. Luckily they were met and exceeded, I finished this book within 12 hours, I honestly could not put it down.
The novel is set in the ’60s on the distant fringes of Hollywood, the main character has a famous grandmother – and I believe the author was a child actress so perhaps that’s where he insight comes from. Our protagonist is a bored suburban teenager with an absent father and absent-minded mother, so when she one day sees a group of girls unlike any she’s come across before she is entranced and desperate to get to know them.
The girls in question actually belong to a cult, modelled on Charles Manson’s notorious ‘Family’ and you’ll recognise some of the minor stories as being taken directly from Manson and his followers.
The cult soon sucks our young lead in and sex and drugs soon follow – with disastrous effects in the end. I won’t give away too much because i do not want to ruin this incredible book for you but it’s like a cross between the films Almost Famous and Thirteen. Incidentally I do hope this gets made into a movie, preferably directed by Sofia Coppella. Reading this transported me to a hazy, bleached-out 60s summer in California so effectively that I was wearing my hair long and parted down the middle and wearing cheesecloth dresses by the next day. The language and imagery used is really sophisticated for such a young writer and i was so impressed.
Make this the next book on your summer reading list.