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Hello, readers! Today is the first review in my Thriller Thursday series! I read a great deal of mystery/thriller books, so I thought this would be a fun series to start! The most recent thriller I read is Final Girls by Riley Sager. I had a free audiobook of this title from the Volumes app that I had completely forgotten about. So let’s jump right in to the review!
Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.79
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Page Count: 342 pages
Published: July 11, 2017
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet. Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
I love a good slasher movie (Scream and Halloween are my favorite scary movies), so I knew Final Girls was going to be a four or five star read for me. The book is told in two different timelines: the present day and the events of Pine Cottage.
The main character, Quincy, does not remember what happened at Pine Cottage, and she prefers to keep it that way. Throughout the novel, the reader is given small snippets of the weekend at Pine Cottage. I thought that was a very nice touch, considering I expected the book to open with the Pine Cottage events and then jump to present day.
I found Quincy to be a likable main character. She is obviously a mess-you don’t just move on from surviving a serial killer. I would not say she is as strong of a final girl as Sidney Prescott or Laurie Strode, but I think Quincy’s character is a more accurate representation of a true final girl.
Quincy runs a baking blog and takes a daily Xanax-and-grape-soda combination. I could definitely see a final girl wanting to work from home and avoid social interactions.
The ending did not blow me away, but I will admit I did not see it coming. I honestly thought I had it figured out halfway through the book, but I was wrong about almost everything! This rarely happens to me when reading a mystery/thriller. I think I would have guessed the ending if I had read the physical book instead of listening to the audiobook.
Since I did listen to Final Girls on audiobook, I will add some thoughts about the narrator.
There are actually two narrators-one for the present day chapters and one for the Pine Cottage chapters. That was really helpful for distinguishing the story for me. I loved the narrator for the Pine Cottage chapters. Her voice added a dark, ominous edge to the story that was perfect for this type of book. Both narrators were enjoyable and added the right amount of drama and flair.
I gave Final Girls four stars because I feel like there was an extra 50 pages of redundant writing. I was also hoping for a little more action since it is a thriller, but I still definitely recommend this book. I can’t think of anything I’ve read to compare it to.
If you are worried about the book being “too scary,” fear not, because I did not find it to be scary at all.This was a debut novel for Riley Sager. His new book, The Last Time I Lied, was released on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 and I will definitely be reading it.
Related: Book Review | The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
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