Author: Grady Hendrix
In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?
This book had been extremely hyped up, which made me eager to pick it up. As a horror movie lover the plot sounded right up my alley, yet I did have my reservations about it. The plot centers around a group of the last girls standing. Each girl has faced some horrific event, but made it out alive. They all attend a support group, because nobody understands the struggle of being the one that survived, except others that have done the same.
This book did take a bit to get into, but I think that was a personal thing. Adult fiction isn’t something I generally read, so I was going into it with a young adult reader mindset. We follow Lynnette Tarkington, a final girl that survived a massacre as a teenager, essentially by playing dead. Because she didn’t fight to survive others don’t see her as a ‘true’ final girl. She was a decent character, with a lot of dimensions to her. You could tell that out of all the girls in the support group, she struggled most with reintegrating into society. I wouldn’t say that she was a protagonist that I enjoyed reading about, but I did understand her issues.
As for the other girls, they were a diverse bunch, and each had their own emotional scars from the fearful events they had to face. Some of them tried to put the past behind them, while others tried to do good. One used substances to cope with the nightmares. Throughout the story, it was evident that despite all the time they spent together, they weren’t very close to each other. I attribute this to girls not wanting to get close to people and having to risk losing them.
“Isn’t the point of therapy that one day you don’t need it anymore?”
There were many nods to classic horror movies that I know and love. However, it wasn’t as if the author took these events right out of the movies. And, though one could spot the movie similarities you could tell that they were used solely as inspiration. My favorite horror movies have actual plots, and not just killing for the sake of killing. This book balances mystery and horror well. The mystery was interesting, and had me changing my suspects throughout the story. When I thought I knew who the killer was, the author would add something that made me rethink my initial guess.
The book wasn’t necessarily slow, but it wasn’t fast paced either. It fell somewhere in between. However, the second half of the book picked up the pace significantly. The last half was probably the easiest to get through, too. In all honesty, I would most likely have DNF’ed this book if not for the hype surrounding it. But, I’m glad that I stuck with it, since the ending really shocked me. The author did a great job, with a twist ending that I never saw coming. I found the moral of the story to be about tragedy, and it’s effect on people. We cannot guarantee that bad things won’t happen, but when they do, we only have two choices. Live in fear that they will occur again, or try to move on and live life. The author did a fantastic job conveying such a heavy message.
I wouldn’t call this a favorite book, since I expected a lot more from it. Also, I can also say with fair certainty that I won’t reread it, but I am happy that I gave it a chance. It will be interesting to see what this author will release next. I might read another one of their books in the future. In the comments, tell me know if you agree with the hype surrounding the book. And, be sure to give this post a like so that I know you enjoy my reviews.
Until The Next Chapter,