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.
Final Girls by Riley Segar
Published by Dutton on July 11th 2017
Anyone who knows me has been, more than a dozen times, dragged into horror movie marathons; except for the Mister who vehemently refuses to indulge my fascination with gore.
I’ve loved the trope of “Final Girl” in slasher movies, although I didn’t know then that that was what they were called. I rooted for the last survivor to come out twisted; from the sweet, shy girl we’re introduced to, our Final Girl leaves the game bloody and worse than the monster that had killed her friends. So when I received an ecopy of Final Girls, like any true horror/thriller fan, I waited for the perfect rainy day to delve into that lovely sensation of goosebumps and chills only a truly intense scare can give you.
For the most part of the novel we follow Sam and Quincy’s relationship, both of whom are the “Final Girls” of massacres. Nearly three-fourth of the novel focuses on this. In one corner we have Quincy, the baking blogger with a swanky apartment and a boyfriend who adores her, and in other is the contrasting Sam with her dark clothes and reckless nature whose very nature is the adrenaline rush that creates a crack in Quincy’s perfect life. It’s like Sam is a shadow of what had happened to Quincy at Pine Cottage.
I enjoyed reading Quincy’s deconstruction, and her lapses of rage. Sam was quite the cunning character and I thoroughly enjoyed her! There was so much conflict and complexity to Sam; one the surface, one sees her as this messed up, crazy woman with no moral compass, but by the end of the book, I’m left wanting more of her.
The timeline of the novel switches between the events of Pine Cottage, and Quincy’s current life. I know the flashbacks to Pine Cottage was to put its readers in more anticipation, but I found it dreadfully boring. Like, why isn’t anyone getting killed yet?
Then towards the end everything picked up but not in a way I expected. Or liked. To be honest, it was the ending that ruined the book for me. The reveal felt like a last minute thought; thrown in and hastily mixed. Nope, nope, nope; this reader wasn’t impressed at all. Not even the motive felt viable enough for what was done. And Quincy, well, her character development was zilch. It was quite disappointing, really, since I had had high expectations for this book.
I want to thank NetGalley, and Dutton Publishing for providing me with an e-copy of this book.
All opinions are of my own.
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