I was expecting the very worst of this novel - one of those tacky, angst-ridden, unrequited love, popularity contest-type YA novels - and am pleased to say my presumptions were proved very wrong!
'American Girls' is a fantastic, coming-of-age novel set in a very modern context. Anna is fed up with her life at home, runs away to her sister in LA and learns a lot about life, growing up and taking responsibility for your own decisions and own life-path. The story belongs to Anna, but also to all the other young women in the world, who find themselves at the cross-roads of life and decision making. Winding into Anna's story is the historical research she does for an arty film director about the 'Manson Girls' - the group of young women who were influenced by the notorious Charles Manson to murder innocent in 1969. She sees parallels between her life and theirs (but don't worry - there is no drive to murder and bloodshed from our main character.)
A thoroughly enjoyable, well-paced and fast moving debut novel about being lost and finding redemption. American Girls is definitely one of the 5-star reads for 2016.
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