Monday, September 13, 2021

Grady Hendrix: Final Girls Support Group

Grady Hendrix shows that you can never but nightmarish past behind you:

In Horror movies there is always that one girl that fought back and defeated the monster(s) that killed all their family and friends. They emerge alive, bloody and victorious, but what happens to those women when the sirens fade and the danger is no longer there? They join The Final Girl Support Group. A therapy group where all the women there are Final Girls and they attempt to get their lives together and "get past" the worst events in their lives. These women have been meeting for years, but Group is starting to deteriorate and when one of their members misses a meeting, only Lynnette fears the worst and believes that someone is out to get The Final Girls and make sure this time they do not win. But the thing about Final Girls is they all have an uncanny will to survive and fight to the bitter end.

I really liked the premise/idea of this book and the homage it plays to the final girls of the horror movies of the 80s and early 90s. You can tell from each of the women's survival stories what horror movies that Hendrix is paying homage to. Hendrix does raise the question what would happen if those movies were real in some form and there was a sole woman survivor each of these massacres. You would 100% agree that they would need some sort of support and therapy in order to return to some semblance of normalcy, though as you read the book that is not achievable by all the members. I like that Hendrix did not have all the members of the group coping the same, Lynette is constantly paranoid and only truly feels safe in her home, Heather is a drug addict and Marylin hosts lavish parties trying to save circus animals and so on. They are all different and cope with hat happened to them in different ways.

I think the most horrifying parts within this book are when what happens to the women and what made them Final Girls are told. We get the most detail about Lynette as she is the main character of this story but the other stories are just as horrifying as you as the reader fill in the extra details. I know after reading Lynette's story it gave me one more excuse not to allow my husband (who is a hunter) to display elk or deer heads on our walls. What happened to her family is just horrible. 

The mystery/ cat and mouse game was well done and you will questions a few times throughout the book who could be after the Final Girls or whether it is one of women from the Support Group. I was able to figure it out but this was nearing the end of the book, so Hendrix did keep me guessing for most of the book.

Honestly, I'm not 100% sure if I liked Lynnette as a character, but I feel like Hendrix did a great job in developing her, her paranoia, her scatter thoughts and ultimately trying to do what is best for Group, even though she does not start out that way. I think what I disliked about her as a character, was trying to follow her thought process through. I totally understand why she is written this way but it just made it hard to like her.

This is the second book I have read by Hendrix and I personally liked it more than The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. I just found this store more engaging in the end and did not need Vampires to make it scary, humans were enough. If you want to read a book that sounds and reads like a horror movie then check this one out.

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