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WesternSFA


The Final Girl Support Group
by Grady Hendrix
Berkley, $26.00, 352pp
Published: July 2021

In horror movies, the final girls are the ones left standing when the credits roll. They made it through the worst night of their lives…but what happens after?

From chain saws to summer camp slayers, The Final Girl Support Group pays tribute to and slyly subverts our most popular horror films-movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream.

Lynette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she's been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized-someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

Anyone who's a fan of horror movies will recognize the movies referenced and the characters utilized in this roller coaster ride of a book. I found this book brilliant, fun, and incredibly well-thought-out. While I haven't read any of Grady Hendrix' other novels, I can tell you that I adored this one.

One of the reasons I really enjoyed it is the level of detail and thought that went into each piece of the story, each character. If you know anything about horror movies, even slightly, you will pick up on his references. Each final girl is from some of the most popular horror flicks out there and that's what makes them engaging. You get a look at what might be once they grow up, what kind of real life trauma they would have endured but also it is a love letter to the genre of speculating on what would happen if the films had all been real. And it is clear to me, that even while slyly poking fun at the films, it also pays homage to each movie.

The main character, Lynette is far from perfect and yet, never gives up. Her actions are believable, her motivations easy to understand, and her pain can be empathized with. Most women have had occasion to look behind themselves on a dark street and many have endured similar trauma. While men might enjoy the horror tropes, this book will resonate most with women. And while those who've been traumatized might not want to read this, most women will connect with all the final girls and their travails.

The plot is intense and each twist and turn will keep you turning the page. While a fan of horror films will guess some of the surprises, there are a few that keep you on the edge of your seat and enough suspense to keep you guessing throughout the book. I love the way real world actions are woven with action and suspense. Like I said, I loved this book. If you love horror movies, I highly recommend checking out this new book on the Final Girls of all your horror films.

Rating: 5 out of 5 horror movies. ~~ Andrea Rittschof

For more titles by Grady Hendrix click here

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