Funny, sad, often surprising, and just damned authentic. I know I won't be the only one who didn't want Anna's glittery-dark Hollywood summer to end.
A brilliant novel . . . it has elements of a thriller and romance but it is also wittily and cynically written, accurately portraying the thoughts and feelings of a 15 year-old girl.
Debut author Umminger's humor is biting, yet it reveals richly complicated relationships among mothers, daughters, and sisters. Umminger crafts a Los Angeles both glittering and soulless, leading to Anna's realization that she may have more in common with the Manson girls than she thought, but it's the choices she makes that set her apart
In My Favorite Manson Girl, Alison Umminger gives us an unforgettable teen heroine - smart, observant, witty, and tough. Anna navigates family conflict, movie sets, and a seriously macabre research project with unsparing intelligence and humour skewering contemporary culture and adult hypocrisy in an edgy coming-of-age novel that will appeal to adult readers as well as teens. Anna's voice is as original as it is compelling - and ultimately it's moving, too, as we detect the vulnerability behind her bravado. Umminger's swift, razor-sharp prose makes this a fast-paced read, a lively and incisive treatment of teen-aged girlhood with seriously dark and provocative undertones.
Messy, honest, and unflinchingly real. I can't get this book out of my head. I don't want to get this book out of my head
Setting her tale against the glittery, gritty backdrop of modern-day Los Angeles, the author deftly weaves together multiple story strands to create a razor-sharp commentary on our culture, observed with keen wit from the perspective of one honest and complex American girl. An insightful, original take on the coming-of-age story, this novel plumbs the depths of American culture to arrive at a poignant emotional truth
The most imaginative novel I've read in years . . . It explores the everyday-ness of psychological violence and emotional affliction without normalizing the violence. It actually normalizes the love, humour and youthful curiosity needed to understand trauma. I can't think of a type of reader who will not thank themselves for going on the journey with Anna and Alison Umminger. It's an incredible book and it's so so important.
This is not a sensationalized look at a family of serial killers, but a mirror held up to a certain type of violence that effects women in America every day. Bittersweet and true, Anna's journey to self-discovery is one that should be widely read.