Final Girls Book
Writer: Riley Sager
A review by Stephanie Cooke
If you’ve ever seen a horror movie, you’re likely familiar with what a “final girl” is, even if you haven’t heard the term before. A “final girl” is the last woman alive within a horror film, usually of the slasher genre. She’s typically the one that’s left to confront the villain/killer at the end of the movie. Ellen Ripley from Alien, Laurie Strode from Halloween, Alice from Friday the 13th, and Sidney Prescott from Scream would be examples of “final girls”.
Take that theory and let’s bring it to the book Final Girls by Riley Sager. In Sager’s story, we’re introduced to Quincy Carpenter who is a real life final girl. Quinn, as she’s called, and two women who came before her were victims of tragic and violent massacres, leaving only them behind. Due to the circumstances surrounding their situations, the media dubbed them final girls and showering attention on them that none of them were interested in receiving.
Flash forward to 10 years after Quinn’s brush with death. She has a very small support group that contains the only other people who understand exactly what she’s going through: the other “final girls”. Quinn’s life gets turned upside down again when the original “final girl” turns up dead in her home. Quinn must come to terms with this loss and what it means for her before it’s too late.
Going into the story and having not really read the synopsis provided by the publisher, I assumed that the book was a slasher horror story that played out something like Scream. Given what I told you about the book already, this was obviously not the case. What you do get is the story of a woman in denial of her PTSD, having gone through an ordeal that pretty much no one can relate to, which again, is something that they touch on quite a bit.
Final Girls is a fast-paced and compelling page-turner. I started it and was finished a day or so later, even factoring in the fact that I had to work and do other things in between the times when I could sit down and read.
While it’s not technically YA, it felt like a nice and easy read along the lines of something you would get in the YA world, which isn’t meant as disrespect (I love YA!). Some “adult” novels just get bogged down by trying to use serious tones and really uptight storytelling methods that feel a bit stiff when you’re trying to consume a book, if that makes sense, but Final Girls is focused on telling the story and laying out what’s going on in Quinn’s mind from start to finish.
Not only do we get the present day story of what’s happening but we get bits and pieces of the mystery of Pine Cottage, where the massacre of Quinn’s friends occurred. I say “mystery” due to the fact that Quinn has a severe trauma induced amnesia revolving around the events that transpired there so as we uncover more of the present day story, we get more and more of the story leading up to everything as well.
Final Girls has a lot of twists and turns that I thoroughly enjoyed and while some of them are a bit predictable in nature, I didn’t feel like any of them took me out of the book while I was reading it. Like I said, I was pretty consumed by the book while I was reading it.
Read it! Final Girls is an exhilarating ride from start to finish and does a great job of presenting the characters, story, and the mysteries. If you like books like The Widow or Girl on the Train, I think that Final Girls will definitely be up your alley.
Final Girls will be available in stores on July 11, 2017.