Thursday, 6 July 2017

Isabella's Reading Corner: Final Girls

Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Publication Date: July 11th 2017
Publisher: Dutton/Penguin Random House

Something horrible happened to Quincy Carpenter at Pine Cottage. What she experienced there was so terrifying, much of her memory of that time has been wiped out. Along with Lisa Milner and Samantha Boyd, she becomes what the media dub a 'Final Girl'. All three were the sole survivors of separate serial killer massacres. Now Lisa is dead, apparently having committed suicide. Will the Final Girls have to pay a price for being the last girl standing?

Quincy maintains an ongoing friendship of sorts with Coop, the cop who saved her life. They have an interesting relationship. He is very protective of her, but there is also a lot of mystery surrounding him. Although he continues to look out for her, he keeps his distance physically and emotionally. 

Shortly after her ordeal, Quincy suffers from anorexia. She acts destructively, but can't remember anything after the incidents occur. Now she appears to have a fairly enjoyable life with the help of prescription drugs. She runs a successful blog and lives in a lovely apartment on the Upper West Side with her public defender sensitive boyfriend, Jeff. However, there is a lot going on beneath the idyllic surface. From early on it's apparent that Quincy is still deeply troubled. She responds in unusual and somewhat disturbing ways to ordinary situations.

The story flashes back to when Quincy first approaches Pine Cottage. The scene is made all the more terrifying because it's already clear it's not going to end well for the five friends accompanying her.

After Lisa's suicide, Quincy is visited by Sam, the other Final Girl and allows her into her life and home. From there things start to get really interesting and suspenseful, with Quincy's repressed memory becoming an important theme in what happens next.

I thought Final Girls was great fun with lots of thrills. It had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't read it fast enough. There was a depth to the characters and story that made it stand out for me. I loved all the surprises the author revealed throughout the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast-paced psycho-killer novels and slasher films. 

Thank you to Dutton & Penguin Publishing Group for the eBook copy to review.

From the publisher:
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-fiancĂ©, 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.

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on Final Girls here.

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