Published: June 2016
Age Category: Young Adult
Format: ARC copy from Atom given in exchange for an honest review
Before starting this review I would just like to mention that the American version is called American Girls. Also, just look at the covers- both are equally beautiful. I much prefer the UK edition though.
Anna has had a miserable year. Everything feels wrong with her life. And rather than stay and face the mess, she steals a credit card and books herself a seat on the first flight out of town to Los Angeles, to crash with her sister. But soon after she lands, cold reality soon dawns on her: Hollywood isn’t the escape she needs. She is trapped in a town full of lost souls and wannabes, with no friends, no cash and no return ticket.
When she’s offered a job researching the murderous Manson girls for a dubious film, she reluctantly accepts – she needs the money. But soon enough, among the fake smiles and glitter-fuelled parties, things turn from strange, to dark, to dangerous . . .
This is not going to be the summer Anna had in mind.
I’m not going to lie, it took me a little while to get into this book. I think it was most likely because I was having such a busy month and barely got time to read. That being said, ever time I picked the book up, it was so easy to get back into the story. The words flowed so nicely off the page that it wasn’t too hard to pick up where I left off.
So, as said in the synopsis, Anna steals her mother’s wife’s (step mother?) credit card and buys a ticket to Los Angeles where her sister lives. Anna’s mother (Cora) is furious with her and expects Anna to repay all of the money to Lynette (the mother’s wife) while also being able to pay for a plane ticket home.
I didn’t really like her mother at this point. I’m going to be honest, I felt like she talked down to Anna and didn’t really consider her feelings. It felt like her mother was in this bubble, surrounding herself with her new life- her wife and new son- that she didn’t really have or want time with Anna. Her mom seems very like the ‘do it now, regret it later’ type person and I don’t think that exactly a good quality to have as a mother or three. I feel if she were my mother we’d constantly be at war with each other.
Lynette on the other hand seemed to want to always rectify Cora’s mistakes. If Cora said something bad, Lynette made up for it by reasoning what she said. I also feel that maybe Lynette may also be one to talk to Cora about her mistakes and make her see sense and apologise.
I liked Anna as the protagonist although sometimes she seemed a little naïve and that annoyed me. Maybe it’s just to do with her upbringing but some of the things I really felt she should have known at fifteen years of age.
There were a lot of little witty remarks in the narration that I loved reading and tabbing in this book.
“For someone who did a lot of yoga and had a peace sign tramp stamp on her lower back, she sure could be a bitch.”
“Roger was like the Edgar Allen Poe of stupid people. He’d been making movies about women who were dead or dying, who didn’t have much to say, for as long as his stringy hair had been ponytailed into a cliché. “
I really loved these little remarks.
As morbid and scary as it is, I really enjoyed learning about Charles Manson and the Manson Family. I also learned a lot of new things. One of the creepy things is that actress Sharon Tate was murdered on my birthday. Never anything interesting happens on my birthday, then I read this book and get something so creepy and disgusting.
This whole book didn’t really have that much of a plot to me. It was something I’d never really read before. There was a lot of self discovery in this novel and what kinda freaked me out was that she was relating things of the Manson girls to herself and her family. If I were Anna, I’d be seriously freaked out. But, that’s just me.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and give it a 4/5 stars.
Also, if you would like to check out my new feature on the blog: Cate’s Cock-Up you can do so here. It features how I messed up relating to My Favourite Manson Girls.