Book Review: My Favourite Manson Girl

My Favourite Manson Girl (also titled American Girls in USA)

Author: Alison Umminger

Published: 7th June 2016 by Atom

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: 5 out of 5

I really don’t know how to review this book but I do know that I loved it!

At times I was thinking “where is this story going” but it largely didn’t matter because the writing was just so good, I could probably keep reading another 300+ pages and not care if it went nowhere.

When I first saw this book, I didn’t check the blurb properly and thought it was totally about a Manson girl and I was already up for reading it (because I’m kinda sick and really like reading twisted stories about murderers, cults and whatnot – I’m almost definitely sure that I normal though so don’t panic). So I was reading and thinking hmm, I don’t think this chick is gonna turn into Manson girl here, it must be about something different. It was. And I wasn’t even a little bit disappointed.


I loved how Anna was so cynical even at 15 and I really saw myself in her. I loved that she was in LA which was exciting but at the same she didn’t get sucked into the shallowness of Hollywood; she knew she would never be beautiful enough (looks-wise) to compete and she didn’t try to. She had an acceptance of herself that’s pretty refreshing in this day and age.

My Favourite Manson Girl is really fresh and has a literary feel to the writing; it’s also kind of funny and captivating. There’s an exploration of darker themes as the book touches on violence, both physical and emotional. The author also delves in the relationships of the characters and I think this was the foundation of the whole book. The craziness of family and love and what life throws at you.

I don’t read many coming of age, girlhood type books and it didn’t really feel like I was reading one until I finished and tried to think about how to sum it up. This book seemed too smart, too mature, too wise even for me to consider it a coming of age story but I guess it was, I just didn’t realise it until the end.

Definitely a brilliant read for the summer even if it’s not the kind of light and airy read you’d take to the beach!

Disclaimer: I received a ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Professional Reader


4 thoughts on “Book Review: My Favourite Manson Girl

  1. This looks super interesting! I love contemporaries and this looks like it’d be right up my alley.
    Great review! I really like your formatting and how you explain what you’re thinking but keep it concise.


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