Grady Hendrix does a really good job of writing about trauma and couching it in terrifying, thriller-esque worlds. The Final Girl Support Group is no exception. Like My Best Friends’ Exorcism, The Final Girl Support Group takes a closer look at the slasher franchise and the messages about violence against women that they convey. It’s also delightfully weird and funny.
Strong Women Rule the Day
The story is told from the perspective of Lynnette, one of the “final” girls, or women who have lived through the real life events of a mass murder. She’s tough and paranoid and completely lovable. Not only does she have conversations with her plant “fine,” but she seriously knows how to kick butt. I also thought that because we see the narrative from Lynnette’s point of view, we are constantly questioning what she believes to be true. Is there really someone after them? Is this all a conspiracy? In this case, knowing less and second – guessing at every turn made the story way more suspenseful.
Verisimilitude at its Finest
Hendrix is the master of verisimilitude–that is, he creates excerpts from newspapers and journal articles that look like they could be real, but they’re not. It’s a great way to add to the richness of the world. But what it also does in this case is that it gets the reader thinking about the deeper issues behind slasher flicks. It’s a powerful way to make you think about heavy issues, while also getting to know the characters.
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Okay, so some of the twists were not that twisty. I saw a few things coming my way. But did I still enjoy this book? Absolutely. The characters are deeply flawed, but also lovable. There are so many tense moments that at times, I really wanted to hide under the bed with a flashlight. Hendrix does such a good job of making the slashers in this meta slasher story seem like real monsters. It’s a clever, tight story that (as always) makes me want to read more. If you’re into thrillers, pick up a copy of The Final Girl Support Group.