Final Girls attempts to turn the horror trope of the “final girl” – the blood-stained heroine who makes it out alive at the end of a slasher-horror flick – on it’s head, with great success.
Our heroine, Quincy, is one of three “final girls” but is trying desperately to move on with her life. Between her baking blog and her fiance, she’s making a good start. The police officer who saved her life contacts her to let her know that the first “final girl”, Lisa, has been found dead in her home of a suicide. The other final girl, Sam, shows up at her apartment out of the blue, and the news hits that Lisa’s death might not have been at her own hands.
For anyone who is a fan of the slasher horror genre, this book is a treat. It reminded me so much of Scream that I could almost picture the scenes in my head, playing out like a movie, as I read. This book is not a wink-and-nudge commentary on the genre, though. It takes itself very seriously and, as a result, does a better job translating into a proper suspense-thriller than it might have had it attempted any level of camp. Watching Quincy’s perfect facade crumble under the strain of Lisa’s death and Sam’s arrival was cringe-worthy, and I found myself shouting at her to just go back to baking! The flashbacks Sager used to fill us in on exactly what happened the night of the massacre Quincy survived were well executed and were a nice way to show, rather than tell, the reader about that night. Sager successfully juggles several red herrings that lead up to a twist that, I’m happy to report, I didn’t see coming in the least. (Others have said they did correctly predict the ending, so perhaps I should have as well. I was just having so much fun I clearly wasn’t paying close attention!)
This book is pure entertainment and a ton of fun. It’s entirely suitable, though, for someone who stays away from horror but might want to dip their toes into something that will leave them up late at night with the lights on. 🙂 (Does that classify a horror-lite?)
* Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton for an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*