Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Book Review: "The Final Girl Support Group" by Grady Hendrix

The latest book from horror master Grady Hendrix, The Final Girl Support Group, wasn't quite the horror novel I was expecting, and that’s totally okay with me!!

First things first: if you have any trigger, be it graphic violence, murder, sexual assault, mentions of animal cruelty, etc.—this book probably has it, so be aware of that if you choose to read it.

“None of us have to be defined by the worst thing that ever happened to her. Unfortunately, those things have a bad habit of coming back and trying to kill us again. After a while, you start to realize that your life isn’t the thing that happens between the monsters, your life is the monsters.”

They’re the final girls—the ones left standing after the murderer is taken down. For more than a decade a group of them have been meeting secretly to provide each other support. While these meetings have meant a lot through the years, they’ve become a nuisance to some, which dismays Lynnette, for whom the group is the only contact she has with the outside world.

But when one of their own is murdered and related events occur, Lynnette realizes the paranoia she has had for years about someone trying to kill them hasn’t been as crazy as the rest of them thought. It’s up to her to figure out who’s behind this lashing out at the final girls before none are left standing after the second go-round.

Hendrix pays homage to the horror movies of the 80s and 90s with some fun touches (each of the chapter titles is a spoof on a horror movie title). There are also some surprising notes of emotion sprinkled throughout.

The thing is, though, for a book about a support group, there wasn’t a lot of time where the whole group was together, and that would’ve been cool. There also was a lot more telling than showing—I equate that to superhero movies when the villain has an overlong monologue about why they’ve wanted to destroy the world for so long.

I read this with my friend Louis, who was worried it would be too gruesome for me (I’m delicate that way), but in the end I think I liked it more than he did. It was a good read but I wanted more.

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