The Final Girls by Riley Sager Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
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.
The Final Girls by Riley Sager Book Review
A lot of my fellow book lovers LOVE this book & I think that’s great. This review is not meant to take anything away from anyone’s reading experiences.
A Reluctant Party Goer
To say I’m late to the party called The Final Girls is a huge understatement. This book came out last summer & I even bought a copy when it was on sale at Target. Then, I saw this article. In case you’re still reading & you don’t want to click on the link, it outlines several authors using pseudonyms, all of whom are men using gender neutral names. A line in the article about this being “good for business” had me feeling particularly icky.
I know authors have used pseudonyms for centuries & will continue to do so moving forward. It isn’t about that for me. My takeaway from the above article & this one is that publishing houses may be deceptive when they market a particular type of thriller to women. I’m not about that life. It just doesn’t sit well with me.
Back to The Book
Despite my hesitancy to read The Final Girls, I honestly tried to go into it with a clean slate. I chose the audio version & listened to it as I drove around & went for my evening walks. I’ll put this out there, the narration isn’t my favorite in this audio. I pressed on & finished the story.
The general idea is great. The story centers around Quincy, who is a lone survivor in a horrific attack. One of the first scenes describes her wearing a red dress that was previously white. That’s a graphic image that I expected & is warranted in what is marketed as a slasher type of novel. As the story went on, I found myself rooting for her less & less. I wanted her to be a bad-ass survivor ready to kick ass & take names. Sadly, she’s the only fellow baker I’ve “met” & didn’t really like.
I am Kind of Into This book. I felt lukewarm about how the story developed. Maybe I just had a sour outlook from the start? Cue Scott Weiland singing Sour Girl. I really tried to keep an open mind I wanted to LOVE this story. I mean, hell. A.J. Finn is named in both the articles mentioned above & I rave about The Woman in the Window. I’m so glad a lot of my book friends love The Final Girls, but the bottom line is, it wasn’t for me & that’s okay.
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Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer.
Now a full-time author, Riley’s first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, was a national bestseller that has been published in 25 languages. His latest book, THE LAST TIME I LIED, was published in July.
A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.