The Final Girl Support GroupThe Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Curiosity was the faceless monster that stuck a pitchfork through the cat.

i tore through this book so quickly that, although i had a good time reading it, it’s already starting to vanish outta my brain:

in the real world, slumber parties, homecoming dances, and summer camps are not typically plagued by single-minded spree-killers who are themselves eventually killed by plucky heroines, earning them “final girl” status. entering into the world of this book, you have to accept that the final girl scenario occurs with some regularity and slasher movies are more or less documentaries of these crimes.

but back in our world, a world where the book Final Girls already exists, do we neeeed another version of the same story—a murder mystery about someone systematically tracking down and killing these final girl survivors? i love grady hendrix enough to say YES without hesitation, but to be honest, i’m already mixing the two books up in my head. i guess it’s a good thing i haven’t yet read The Last Final Girl.

i thought that the idea of a support group for these survivors of horrific crimes was a promising concept, because we rarely get psychological closure from slasher films—to see the toll that must naturally follow once the shock and adrenaline wears off and the triumph of conquering one’s adversary fades beneath the reality of having watched friends die, having faced one’s own death and having taken a life—an altogether different shade of horror. i thought this book would have the same kind of vibe as seanan mcguire’s wayward children series, where individuals who’d gotten to live, briefly, in magical fantasy worlds became depressed and pissed off after returning to the drab real world, but it’s not really about the support group, although it is very much about living with a traumatic past, and how trauma can make someone paranoid and terrified of normal life, or a complete badass, or both of these things at once.

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then reliable handguns with a lot of stopping power are a final girl’s.

hendrix always delivers these stylish and high-concept horror stories, and i really appreciate his referential flourishes and his design sensibilities, from the ephemera meta-materials sprinkled throughout the novel to how he frames his acknowledgment pages.

this one seemed less inventive than some of his other books, but if i hadn’t already read Final Girls, i probably would have enjoyed it more. i’m rounding a 3.5 to a 4 for prior good deeds and i’m hoping his next one, whenever and whatever it is, blows my mind.


i was going to wait until spooktober to read this, but instead it was a five-hour distraction from this terrible heat and i’m okay with that.

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this feels gauche, but when i announced i was starting a blog, everyone assured me this is a thing that is done. i’m not on facebook, i’ve never had a cellphone or listened to a podcast; so many common experiences of modern life are foreign to me, but i’m certainly struggling financially, so if this is how the world works now, i’d be foolish to pass it up. any support will be received with equal parts gratitude and bewilderment.

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