★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
By Grady Hendrix
Grady Hendrix, a Scariest Things favorite, has tackled many horror tropes in his novels: a gateway to hell, possession and exorcism, selling your soul for rock and roll and vampires. In his latest book he takes on perhaps the most well-known trope of the genre- the Final Girl.
The Final Girl Support Group examines the effect of being traumatized again and again as vicious killers become celebrities and terrible crimes are celebrated by Hollywood and true crime fans.
It’s the story of Lynette Tarkington who after surviving a massacre has been attending a therapist led support group with other final girls. When one of them doesn’t show up to group and later ends up dead it becomes clear, at least to Lynette, that a new killer it targeting final girls. Secrets are revealed, friendships are betrayed, plots are twisted…
I adore Grady Hendrix but this book and I did not connect (it’s not you, it’s me, right?). The big problem was that I didn’t care about the characters at all. In fact, I had a really hard time remembering who was who!
As a way to force the reader to examine their own culpability in the glorification of the macabre, only the bare minimum about each final girl was provided. Since the crimes they survived are modeled on classic slasher films like Silent Night, Deadly Night and A Nightmare on Elm Street, any horror fan will already know the inspiration for the killers but still nothing about the girl. I never felt like I really “met” any of the characters except Lynette so it became very hard to care about them. That, combined with the breakneck speed at which the action was moving and I just could not keep up.
Since I admire Hendrix so much you should buy this book and make up your own mind. Give him your money so he can keep on writing amazing novels that hopefully I’ll connect with more than this one- I’m still a huge Hendrix fan. It has already been optioned and is in development for a series which may work better for me, who knows!