Review: American Girls by Alison Umminger


Title: American Girls
Author: Alison Umminger
Pub. Date: June 2016
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Rating: ⭐⭐


Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.

As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls―and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

The Review

I won’t deny the fact that I thought American Girls would be more related to Charles Manson or the Manson girls a little more than it actually is. That was the main reason that made me want to read it. With that said – I really wanted to like this book. However, I made it about 50% before I started skimming.

Somewhere along the lines, I know that this book had a purpose. I just didn’t have the patience enough to keep reading to find out what. I was even skipping chapters just to find that nothing has changed. I even read the last chapter, and that’s all I really needed. From what I did read, I think at some point there would’ve been a revelation – in a coming-of-age sort of way.

Anna had some growing up to do, and part of the reason she was in California with her sister was to “learn from her mistake” and not a vacation . . . however, it was everything but a learning experience. Unless researching the Manson girls was part of the whole learning experience. It wasn’t supposed to be like a vacation, but to a reader – it seemed like one.

One of Delia’s “boyfriends” (seriously, what was Roger?) sent Anna on a mission to research the Manson girls and this was something I was really interested in. To see how Charles Manson & the girls played a role in the book, but seriously – it felt like a fact dump! Facts that anyone that knows anything about Manson and the story of Helter Skelter knows already. I was sorely disappointed in that regard.

Maybe I had some hype built towards American Girls but truth be told . . . it was a complete letdown,  😦


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