[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below it’s probably ad-blocker settings]
“Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet. Quincy’s memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.”
[Good lord. Another one of those ‘let’s tell the entire story in a synopsis’ but I couldn’t crop it down anymore without making it seem not enough? Weird.]
I’ll admit that I don’t know if I liked this book so much because it was genuinely good [which it was] or because I’m still salty about how much I disliked Swamplandia.
It’s also possible it’s because the subject matter of this book is right up my alley.
Despite that this book is categorized as partially ‘horror’ I’d definitely say it’s mostly psychological thriller with some pinches of gore.
The concept of Final Girls is partially what I like about horror movies, even the over the top slasher-y ones. It’s what makes a lot of female leads in horror considered ‘strong female characters’ because they are actually just that. They’re survivors who see and go through some serious shit and survive.
Anyway, so like the synopsis explains, there was a trio of final girls of differing massacres, but FG #1 has died mysteriously, and then #2 shows up at #3’s house out of the blue and is generally kind of shady and turns FG #3’s life upside down.
Because this is very much of a ‘who dun it’ kind of book in some ways, as well as a thriller with a lot of story twists, there’s not a lot I can go into without potentially spoiling anything.
Otherwise, I thought that it was written well, but simply, so that it was easy to get through in just a few days of reading a few hours at a time. I was legitimately psyched out a few times and didn’t want to stop reading before getting past/over particularly intense scenes. The author did a pretty good job about sucking me into the story and not wanting to let me go.
One major qualm I had though, was the way most of the female characters in the book were described on a pretty regular basis. I went into the book not wanting to look up if the author was a man or woman because I know, even subconsciously, it can alter how you feel when reading. However, as the character descriptions of the women continued, I began to be suspicious that this was a man writing the book. While they didn’t get to the level of ‘and her breasts jiggled in the glowing sunbeams while she ran her hands over her most plump of buttocks’ that is meme-d and laughed at on a regular basis, the author seemed to feel the need to explain every outfit change of every female character, even when it had nothing to do with a scene or mattered. It’s one thing to do a look-over of their body and outfit when it directly applies to the scene, but this was happening with every scene and outfit change. It was almost immediately distracting from the story and after about halfway through the book I went and looked up the author because of it.
If you’re into the sort of ‘final girl/single massacre survivor’ style of horror movie, or are into psychological thrillers, I’d definitely suggest it.
I give Final Girls 4/5 Stab Wounds
“The Forest had claws and teeth. All those rocks and thorns and branches bit Quincy as she ran screaming through the woods. But she didn’t stop. To stop was to die.”