Final Girls Book Review *Riley Sager*

Jul 10, 2017 by

Final Girls Book Review *Riley Sager*

 

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.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her 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.

 

Final Girls by Riley Sager is the must read book of 2017. I was blown away as I read, constantly on the edge of my seat, biting my nails because this is the ultimate horror/thriller that will give you the chills. You do not want to read this book alone or in an empty house later at night. You’ll definitely won’t want to go camping or spend a relaxing weekend at a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Riley Sager ups the terror tenfold in a way I can’t compare to other thrillers of this magnitude. The horror aspect isn’t supernatural, but it does feel like that at times, especially during the flashbacks. This has a great horror atmosphere on par with Friday the 13th, Evil Dead, Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The twists and turns will you keep you guessing until the very end. The main protagonist is unreliable at times, much like the ones in Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, but Riley doesn’t stereotype her protagonist or copy her traits we’ve seen in both these prior blockbuster novels. Final Girls is on a level all it’s own that will be one of the most talked about books of the summer.

Quincy is a food blogger who lives with her district attorney boyfriend in New York City. Ten years ago Quincy survived a horrible massacre by a deranged killer who murdered her friends from college, including her best friend and boyfriend. She was dubbed as one of  the Final Girls, a trio of young women who were the only survivors of serial killers. Quincy has recovered from her trauma, but barely. She doesn’t speak to her mother, and she is always looking over her shoulder. She hides in plain sight, but is cautious because of the press and paparazzi who would love her to give them a tell all about herself. She is also friends with Coop. the police officer who found her that night, and ended up shooting to death the man who brutally killed her friends. They have kept in touch, but Coop keeps her at a distant for some reason. But then one day he ends up in NYC suddenly because he wants to warn her. The first Final Girl Lisa, has killed herself by slitting her wrists in her bathtub. And then out of the blue, the second Final Girl shows up to speak to Quincy. She’s Sam who survived from a serial killer at a motel she worked at.

Quincy is suspicious of Sam because she has trouble trusting people in general, but as she gets to know Sam, they bond. Quincy even invites Sam to stay with her and her boyfriend for a few days. But as Sam asks Quincy about that night of horror, which Quincy can’t remember, she begins to have flashbacks of that weekend, leading up to the night everyone she cared for was murdered. As her memories return, Quincy is finding out things she doesn’t want to acknowledge, including an anger and rage she has kept hidden below the surface that’s ready to bubble over.

The best parts of Final Girls are Quincy’s flashbacks when she and her friends were carefree and enjoying their weekend at the cabin in the woods. As Quincy’s memory slow returns of that weekend, the terror and tension increases in a way that you’ll be holding your breath. The last 50 pages will make your heart race and cause major breathing problems because you’re taken on a rollercoaster of a ride as Quincy figures out everything. When all is revealed, it’s a major shock; and what a shock it is.

The only issue I had, which is very small, are the ways Sam forced Quincy to confront her past and the fear and rage she had inside of her. Their actions that takes place in Central Park to battle their demons was a little out of left field and felt fake, as if to set up a certain path for Quincy, a possible red herring to keep readers guessing. But if you can get past this plot device, Final Girls delivers the goods. This is one book that deserves all the praise.

MUST READ BOOK OF 2017!  (Dutton)

Final Grade: A

 

A few other Final Girls review:
Clues & Reviews
Kirkus Reviews
The Real Book Spy Review

 

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