Photo: Courtesy of publisher

8 of 10
The Girls
368 pages; Random House
Evie is like most 14-year-old females: slightly awkward, beginning to be sexually curious, and constantly measuring herself against other girls. But it's California in the summer of 1969, and the other girls are members of a Manson-like cult that Evie does not have the sense of self to resist. A mesmerizing debut from an author on intimate terms with the blood, sweat, and tears of American adolescence.