What horror fan doesn’t have a favorite Final Girl? I’d have to say that I’m partial to Sidney Prescott from the Scream franchise – one of my favorite movie series out there and I’m dying for the fifth one to come out next year.
Thanks to Berkley Pub and Final Girl Wine for the free copy and bottles of wine to go with it!
THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP – Grady Hendrix (Releasing July 13th, 2021)
A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.
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?
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars
If you’re a horror lover and especially love slasher movies, then you are probably all too aware of the final girl and what she stands for. Big respect to them as I surely know I’d be one of the first to die if ever in this type of situation (unless I had a butterfly knife or some deadly chopsticks in my hair or whatever, but I digress). Hendrix is one of my fave horror authors… he brings a bit of campy fun to his stories which I absolutely adore. He does the same here… but it missed the mark for me a bit unfortunately.
Hendrix introduces us to final girls that we are familiar with… but flips the script a bit so that we know what he’s talking about without it being a straight steal from the books/movies. Personally, I found this a lot of fun but we never really get any type of dive into these characters outside of some transcripts/notes so we know which one they were.. make sense? And our protagonist is Lynnette, who lives a life of paranoia, is determined to try and save her final girl “sisters” as they get picked off one by one… again.
The premise of this is fantastic. The slasher/final girl lover in me loooove the references and had quite a bit of amusement in their particular stories. I do think it got a bit convoluted with all the red herrings bleeding everywhere and lack of actual suspense/terror that you may expect. Sadly, not my favorite Hendrix but not hateful either.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
It’s no secret that I’ve loved Grady Hendrix’s novels in the past and that I have yet to be disappointed, well that streak continues! THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP is such a fun read. The references alone are worth picking this up and seeing the similarities between our characters and their film counterparts was great. I think that avid horror fans will really enjoy all the nods to the classic horror Final Girls and the observations made about each series/franchise involved. It was fun guessing which one was similar to Friday the 13th, Scream, etc. I’d like to think I could make it to the end of a horror movie, but hopefully we’ll never find out.
Lynette is our narrator and one of our Final Girls – we usually only see the final girl triumph over the monster in the movie and walk away (with a few injuries) but we never see the aftermath. The media storm, the constant harassment from reporters and fans, movie franchises, books, and then the emotional scarring that goes with it. For over a decade, she meets with four other real life final girls and a therapist for a weekly support group. When one of them misses their meeting everyone fears the worst. Lynette goes back into survival mode and they must discover who is starting to target them again – will they survive or will there be one woman standing?
I loved the inclusion of different transcripts, newspaper clippings, movie reviews, diary entries, etc – this will always be a style of writing that makes me happy because it brings in some outside perspective. The only real drawback for me was that some parts got a little confusing and could have been shortened up, but those are small things. Hendrix has such a fun writing style for horror and they’re so addictive. While it’s not my absolute favorite of his books, it definitely top three! If you love horror and the popular final girls of the genre, then definitely give this one a read.