Final Girls: A Novel
by Riley Sager
Hardcover- $15.54


“The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, ...

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  "Scream in a Book" by MrsSutton (see profile) 07/31/17

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. As I was reading it reminded me so much of Scream that I could almost picture the scenes in my head. 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.* (less)

  "It could have worked" by ebach (see profile) 08/30/17

It could have worked well. The last few chapters of FINAL GIRLS are a surprise. It’s structure, divulging the past little by little while characters in the present deal with the aftermath, each in her own way, has worked well in other novels.

So why doesn’t FINAL GIRLS deserve a high rating?

The first third of this novel is nothing but an introduction, first to Quincy’s hellish past, her run through the woods into the arms of a policeman, then to her seemingly normal present. It drags.

Then Tina/Sam enters the picture. Tina/Sam comes across as a suspicious person. Now FINAL GIRLS doesn’t drag as much. But Tina/Sam and Quincy do so much, while Jeff, Quincy’s live-in boyfriend, sleeps through it all. It is so unlikely.

The story progresses. Quincy learns more and more about Tina/Sam and the other final girls. It gets good. But the end is too neat and leaves me unhappy with its improbability.

I won FINAL GIRLS from

  "Stick with It" by rickimc (see profile) 01/30/18

Started off slow, but really picked up halfway through. I figured there was a twist, but it caught me off guard, and ended up being more satisfying that the one I imagined.

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