Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Publish Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller
My Rating: 4/5
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 Final Girl, 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 is a moniker used to label survivors of horror movie style attacks. While in college, Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with some friends. During their trip, the group was attacked and everyone was killed, except for Quincy. Being the lone survivor of the massacre made Quincy a Final Girl. There are only two other Final Girls, Lisa and Sam. Fast forward ten years… Quincy learns that Lisa, the first Final Girl, has died. Lisa’s death hits Quincy hard. Even though they had never met, the Final Girls have something in common that no one else can understand. Soon, Sam shows up on Quincy’s doorstep. As Sam inserts herself into Quincy’s life, she also pressures Quincy to remember the night of the attack. Quincy starts to realize that something is not right with her memories, Sam’s behavior, and Lisa’s death.
The story is told from Quincy’s point of view in the present day, but also contains flashbacks to the night she and her friends were attacked. Quincy had a very difficult time coping with the massacre, and between self-medicating and her desire to forget, she has managed to suppress her memories of the attack. A big part of the story deals with Lisa accepting her Final Girl status and remembering what happened.
A fun and exciting thriller. Unreliable characters. Twisty plot. Good for fans of psychological thrillers who enjoy the final girl trope. Entertaining and suspenseful.