Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Holy God.  I haven't done a book review since October 2020.  What the actual hell.  Well, life has definitely gotten in the way - two granddaughters under two have been life changing in the best of ways.
But I haven't stopped reading!  I'm actually reading more than ever.  I've also started reading some thriller and horror this year, and I'm enjoying scaring myself.  

The Final Girls Support Group by Grady Hendrix

What They Say - 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.

What I Say.... Okay, this one was good.  At first, I found Lynnette to be an unreliable narrator, and thought that was going to be the story, me wondering what was real and what wasn't.  Lynnette is beyond cautious and beyond paranoid, but with good reason.  She had a close encounter with a serial killer twenty two years ago, and now feels the world is crawling with monsters just waiting for you to let your guard down.  

Lynnette's one weekly outing is a Final Girls support group is run by a psychologist who wrote a book about the girls, and continues to work with them for free.  But these are not emotionally healthy girls, no matter how much therapy they've had.  They don't even like each other all that much, and they are all in different phases of healing, as well as different walks of life.  Suddenly, one of them stops showing up at group, and Lynnette is instantly convinced she's been found by her serial killer.  Not everyone agrees, and the group starts to splinter even faster.  

But when it turns out that she was murdered, the group starts to tailspin even faster. No spoilers here, but you are reading about some seriously emotionally unhealthy people, some of whom don't even want to be tied to each other anymore.

I honestly wasn't rooting for any of the characters - Lynnette was just too broken to even be likable.  She talked to a cactus like it was her best friend and lived in a cage, but then she went into the woods to an absolute freak show of two human beings purposefully.  

The closure was great - it all wrapped up really well and I was actually surprised at the killer.   Sometimes you can tell where it's going and finishing the book becomes a chore, but I would say the last chapters were the best in the whole book.  I give it 3 stars.

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