Monday, November 6, 2017

[Review] My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

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Publisher: Atom
Pages: 304
Source: Giveaway
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

My Rating
3.5/5 stars
My thoughts

Original (Flatiron)

I actually didn't know what I was getting into when I won this book in a giveaway (thank you @DateaBook!). A bit of time had passed and I figured that it was finally time that I should read it. All that I knew was that it should be a pretty good summer read, the cover is so aesthetically pleasing. :) My favourite is definitely the hipster-y photograph one shown above.

My Favourite Manson Girl follows 15-year-old Anna who 'borrows' some money from her new step-mother Lynette's wallet to buy the next plane ticket to LA. As she learns to navigate the enormous consequences of her decision to run away, she meets some of the people who revolve around her sister Delia's life as she tries to grasp fame. Like Delia's ex-boyfriend, Roger, who hires her to research the disturbing lives of the Manson girls to help imbue his latest flick with realism . . . 

UK Cover
This book surprised me, and I truly did like it, but it just missed the mark for me. I found this book profoundly interesting, and as the novel progressed I did start to feel a bit more of a connection to the main character, but there was still this emotional disconnect for me. I enjoyed the setting of LA, and I enjoyed following the development of her tremulous relationship with her sister. I would actually have loved to have delved more into Delia's life, her perspective, what she thought and felt, because I thought she was just so interesting and I just knew there was way more there, just waiting to be explored further. But maybe the fact that we don't really get insight into her true self is the point of it all - we are seeing everything through Anna's eyes - and I totally related to this sisterly relationship.

There is a bit of romance too! I liked the love interest from the start, but we didn't really get to know much about him? I liked the inherent goodness in him that we see, and he just seemed good for her. It was a slow burn, and it was sweet and cute and innocent and I liked that it never felt too intense. I would like to think that after the last page, in the future Anna would come back to LA in the future to pick up where she left off. :)

I did really enjoy My Favourite Manson Girl. I loved the focus of the narrative, I just kind of wish it was explored further and went a bit deeper than it did. There were gritty snippets, and I really liked reading about the Manson cases, however unnerving they were. This book really flew by, the pages just seemed to go by so quickly - and before I knew it, the story was over. I actually wouldn't mind a sequel, if only just so I could feel more of a sense of... resolution? I don't know, I just wanted more, but this book had all the makings of something really good. This is one of those cases where I liked it, and it had all the foundations there, but I couldn't quite love it.


First lines:
"My first Manson girl was Leslie Van Houten, the homecoming princess with the movie-star smile. She was on death row at nineteen for putting a knife into the already-dead body of some poor, random woman for the lamest reason that anyone gives for doing anything: all the other kids were doing it.
"The feeling was terrible, the kind I used to get at the end of summer camp, like I was losing the thing I was experiencing even while I was still in it, like life was beautiful and there and passing me by. I knew then that I was going to cry, and I didn't want to do it in front of Jeremy. I didn't want him to think that it was about his sister, and I didn't know how to explain what I was really feeling (257)
"Part of me was sad, the kind of sad you get at the end of a really beautiful and tragic book. Gatsby sad. My evening with Jeremy was one night and it was messy and perfect, and it was probably best just to leave it alone, to accept that anything that freakishly awesome should probably just be sealed in the amber of memory and left undisturbed. That was poor Jay Gatsby's mistake--he had one great night with Daisy and tried to turn it into a whole lifetime. Then again, how could he not? (282)

AUSTRALIA: A&R | Booktopia | Boomerang Books | Fishpond

INTERNATIONAL: Abe Books | Book Depository | KennysWordery

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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