Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Random House Publishing
Rating: 5 stars
ARC, own, library: own (hardcover edition)
Words are most likely going to fail me with this review but I will try my damnedest to bring you guys a great review and convince you all to read this. I loved every single minute of this book and I now want to read all the cult books. I even want to go watch cult documentaries, which is something that I can’t always stomach.
This book is just absolutely beautiful. It’s beautiful in the way it’s written. It’s beautiful in how the story is told. Yes, it’s dark and yes, it’s so very graphic. But I couldn’t help but love it and love everything surrounding it.
I’m not sure how to classify the plot or describe it in a way that will do it justice. It was very character driven. It surrounded the character, Evie. But also it was leading up to this big event. The story was told through past chapters and present chapters, which was unique and I enjoyed it a lot. Evie is telling the story of how she became part of a cult without realizing it was actually a cult. I found that I enjoyed the cult part better than her present life. The cult life was more interesting and had more going on then her present adult life. There was more substance there. The adult Evie was just sad and lost, not knowing what to do or where to go next.
Evie was the main character, as you might have gathered. I enjoyed her a lot as whole but I really loved teenage Evie. She was complex and flawed. She made horrible decisions and a lot of the time I wanted to shake some sense into her. She was a typical teenager (in the past chapters). I also gathered that Evie was bi. I don’t believe it was actually stated that she was bisexual but it was very much obvious to me that she was. She was very much in love even borderline obsessed with a girl from the cult, Suzanne. But she was also into several guys. It was beyond refreshing to see teenagers explore their sexuality.
Praises aside, this book is graphic as hell. I’m talking super graphic and not for the faint of heart. I’m just going to list out all the trigger warnings. Beware, it’s a long list: weight shaming, parental neglect and abandonment, inappropriate student/teacher relationship mentioned, underage drinking, abuse (parental), drug use, sexual assault on a minor (repeated), and use of the word r*tard.
Overall, this was a fantastic book. It is very closely based on the Manson murders and the cult, at least that is the vibe I got from it. I don’t know how accurate it is or if the book was actually even based on it. Regardless of that, this book is definitely one you should not sleep on despite it being a few years old. If you can get past all the trigger warnings, I have no doubt many of you would enjoy this.