Friday 11 August 2017

Book Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager.

Product details:
Publisher:  Ebury Press.
Paperback, 352 pages.
Release date: July 13th 2017.
Rating: 4  out of 5.
Ages: Adult
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Each girl survived an unthinkable horror. Now someone wants them dead...

They were the victims of separate massacres. Three strangers bound by similar traumas grouped together by the press.

When something terrible happens to Lisa, put-together Quincy and volatile Sam finally meet. Each one influences the other. Each one has dark secrets. And after the bloodstained fingers of the past reach into the present, each one will never be the same.

 If you’re a horror movie fan, then you’re already familiar with the concept of the “final girl.” Like Laurie Strode in Halloween and Sidney Prescott in Scream, the final girl is the sole survivor of a massacre that sees all her friends –and possibly her love interest- meet a gruesome end. She’s a slasher-flick survivor:  the only person to face the killer and live to tell the tale. Unfortunately for final girls, lightening often strikes twice, and when that killer resurfaces (often rising from the presumed-dead) to kill again, nobody is safe. Just ask Nancy Thompson. Oh wait, you can’t. Freddy Krueger killed her in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.  RIP Nancy. You fought Freddy Krueger and won.  Until you didn’t. 

Quincy Carpenter is a final girl. But you’d never know it to look at her. Ten years on from the cabin-in-the-woods bloodbath that saw a bunch of her college friends die at the hands of a knife-wielding maniac, Quincy has moved on with her life. The owner of a popular baking blog, Quincy lives comfortably on the Upper West Side with her lawyer boyfriend.  How does Quincy carry on as normal after everything that’s happened? Well, there’s Xanax. There’s also the fact that Quincy doesn’t actually remember anything about the worst night of her life. She remembers hanging out with her friends at the cabin, sure. She remembers the aftermath too, when she ran through the woods to safety. But everything that happened in between? Quincy’s got nothing.

Though she doesn’t remember what happened on that night of horror in the woods, Quincy at least knows that the maniac who killed all of her friends, is dead.  She saw him die with her very own eyes.  But when another final girl, Lisa Milner, dies of an apparent suicide, Quincy is spooked. Is there a “final girls” killer on the loose? Fellow final girl, Samantha Boyd, is convinced something is amiss.   After all, Lisa did everything in her power to survive the sorority bloodbath that gave her “final girl” status. So why take her own life? It just doesn’t make sense. There’s a reason for that, of course. It’s sequel time! And this one’s been ten years in the making.

One of the most buzzed about thrillers of 2017, with fans that include none other than Stephen King, Final Girls is a real edge-of-your-seat stuff, a true page-turner that’ll keep you reading late into the night, even though your home alone and almost too scared to read on.  Or maybe that’s just me. Final Girls is also a whole lot of fun; a whole lot of very sick and twisted fun. If you love a good slasher-flick, then you’ll love this.  It kept me guessing all the way through too.    I suspected everyone. Everyone.  I only figured out what was actually going on right before the final reveal. OK, maybe a couple of chapters before the reveal. I’m pretty disappointed with myself on that score.  I mean, I grew up on horror movies. I really should know better.

One thing I loved about Final Girls is that we get to take a step right back in time to Quincy’s night from hell ten years previously. The night she became a “final girl”.  Yeah, we get to see it all. And let me tell you it’s hard to forget. So why doesn’t Quincy remember anything about that night? And what does it mean for her survival now that the past she tried to forget has come back to haunt her? Will this final girl live to see another day? Or does her time end now?

In short: Final Girls is a whole lot of sick and twisted page-turning fun. Read it if you love a good horror flick. On that note, though I haven’t heard of any movie deal, I would love to see this one on the big screen!

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