Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book Review | Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls is a psychological thriller from Riley Sager.


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-fiancĂ©, 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.

Why did I read Final Girls?

Stephen King put Final Girls on my radar. I may not always like his recommendations, but I do pay attention to them.

“The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.”—Stephen King

I've been waffling for weeks about reading Final Girls. The hype has been so strong, but readers I trust haven't had a positive reaction to it. I decided I needed to read it for myself. I think my curiosity won out with this one.

The Strengths

I was able to read Final Girls in pretty much one sitting. It was an easy read which was exactly the kind of book I needed to pick up.

I had a lot of interest in the premise and the backstory of these "final girls". I wanted to know what happened to them, and I was anxious for some twists and turns (whether or not I actually got them).

I enjoyed Riley Sager (aka Todd Ritter's) writing. I will read more books by him in the future.

The Weaknesses

Too many implausible things happened in Final Girls. I feel like I can usually go with the flow in a lot of what I read, but I couldn't suspend my disbelief with this one. I'm just not buying it.

Most of the psychological thrillers I've read the last few years have had really unlikable characters. Final Girls is no exception to this trend.

At this point, I don't even want to see grape soda in the store. Seriously, how much grape soda did the main character have in her house? I would mention the Xanax, but I think a Xanax would come in handy after suffering through the repetition of Final Girls.

Would I recommend Final Girls to others?

Yes, I would recommend Final Girls to others. I have a love/hate relationship with psychological thrillers, and my reaction to Final Girls was keeping in line with my previous experiences. If you typically love them, though, I would say yes, pick this one up.

6/10: Good Read

Have you read Final Girls? What did you think? Are you a fan of psychological thrillers or do you run the other way when a book gets compared to Gone Girl?

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18 comments:

  1. All the implausible things that kept happening really bothered me about this one too. And seriously, grape soda, barf. lol Great review. :)

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    1. Ugh... seriously. I hope we get over the grape soda nausea someday.

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  2. I've never heard of this one. Let me just crawl out from under this rock and add it to my tbr list. Sometimes implausible is a deal breaker for me and sometimes it's not. This one sounds exciting enough for me to maybe overlook the implausibilites

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    1. Yeah, hopefully you can handle the implausible things better than I did. I would love to hear what you think. :)

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  3. I just finished reading this one (my review of it will come out next week) and I agree with you on so many points. I thought this novel was well-plotted and well-paced but there wasn't one character in it that I ended up truly liking. Quincy came closest, but some of her decisions and self-destructive behavior when she was with Sam completely frustrated me! So I liked this one...but not as much as I wanted to. If you want to read a good psych thriller try Carla Norton's The Edge of Normal. I actually liked that main character. :)

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    1. Thank you for the recommendation! I'm going to seek out The Edge of Normal immediately. :)

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  4. That darn grape soda! I STILL don't care to have any. We had lots of similar thoughts on this one. I just have bad experiences with over-hyped books. Glad you read it and gave it a chance and that it was the book you needed when you read it.

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    1. I may never want grape soda again! Barb, I give you a lot of credit for giving me appropriate expectations for this one. I think it really worked in my favor.

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  5. It's a shame this wasn't better, given the incredible hype I'd seen around it, but I'm glad it was still decent and you'd recommend it! A couple of the bloggers I follow weren't nearly as kind, lol!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I think it actually helped to wait a little while and have my expectations lowered. I wasn't set up to suffer any of the disappointment.

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  6. I've seen mixed reviews on this book on various blogs. Not on my personal radar though!

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    1. I can see why the reviews are so mixed. I'm glad I checked it out for myself, though.

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  7. Great review. I don't mind unlikeable characters, but the implausible really gets to me. I only like psychological thrillers when their spot on, so think I'll pass on The Final Girls.

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    1. Final Girls was kind of a one-two punch with unlikable characters and being implausible. I still managed to have a good experience, though, so it did have a few things going for it. I can't fault you for taking a pass.

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  8. Stephen King always gets me with his recommendations too. There was sooo much hype on this one that I almost bought into it but now I'm waiting for my overdrive turn to come up at the library.

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    1. Yeah, I can't help but take notice when he recommends a new book. Overdrive is definitely the way to go with this one!

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  9. I do like psychological thrillers and I must say this has a great premise, but, maybe not executed quite as well as it could have been which is a great shame.
    I'll probably skip this one, even with King's recommendation.
    Lynn :D

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    1. I don't blame you for taking a pass. I enjoyed it, but you can probably tell from the reviews whether or not you want to take a chance on it.

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