Book Lovers · Book Reviews · Crime Books · Drama · Thrillers · Young Adult

Book Review: Family by Micol Ostow


Those that are familiar with the Manson Family Cult will be intrigued by this one.

Family is a YA drama/mild thriller following a young woman named Mel who comes from an abusive home filled with a mother who couldn’t care less, and a man who lives with them who is deemed her ‘uncle.’

Told in the beauty that is free-verse (one of my favorite writing styles), Mel’s journey from lost runaway to being a member of a new ‘loving’ family is both emotional and disturbing.

Source: Amazon

Heavily inspired by the real life events and experiences of psychopath Charles Manson and his band of ‘free loving hippies,’ Family did a wonderful job of creeping me out while reading.

Mel’s story ultimately asks the inevitable: “How far would you go to feel like you belonged?”

Turns out, Mel is willing to go quite a long mile in order to please her new ‘siblings’ but things quickly take a very sinister turn, and she must decide if she is genuinely willing to do anything and everything to keep her new family intact.

Really enjoyed this one. I’d suggest it if you’re wanting to start reading more free-verse novels. Ostow’s novel may be inspired by the Manson clan’s experiences, though Mel’s story is completely original and adds a fresh, intimate perspective into what life is like inside a cult. A cult that is full of people who claim they love you and want to protect you.

Rating 4/5.

If you’re wanting to learn more about the true backstory to Family, I’d recommend Helter Skelter by Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi.


Featured image via Today Show


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