Cover Image: My Heart Is a Chainsaw

My Heart Is a Chainsaw

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Member Reviews

This book is a bit slow in the beginning, but once it gets going, it’s a wild ride. The more I think about it, the more I am obsessed with it. It touches on tough subject matter like being indigenous in an environment that doesn’t care, poverty, neglect, and class. But it is definitely an homage to horror and gore. If you enjoy slasher films, you’ll love this. The middle section just felt unnecessarily long and I personally would have preferred a tighter story.
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Jade is too broken for what she does in this novel.  She lives with her father and occasionally sees her mother.  Jade tries to die but isn’t successful.  The community ignores her.  Jade is a lover of horror films especially the slasher movies.  She knows that evil is coming to her town.  As Jade encounters real life horror, she tries to change the experiences into her horro movies she loves.  Even though Jade is an expert in slasher/horror movies, when she tells the friend and police to help solve the murders, they don’t believe her.  Jade eventually ends up feeling isolated and alone.

The author has written a novel that makes me see how Jade’s fixation on revenge.  It appears to me that she thinks violence is fantasy —at least in her world.  Jade isn’t killing anyone but who is?  It’s a novel of intrigue, mystery and that violence is really senseless.
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I got an ARC of this book.

I really wanted to like this book. I loved the last one by Jones, but this one was so different. 

The main difference is this one was incredibly slow. The opening was great. I was really into it, but then enter Jane. She is insufferable. She is constantly talking about slashers to the point that she has no personality. Her personality is literally “weird kid obsessed with slasher movies”. She doesn’t even like all horror, it is just slashers. The book seems to take place in the 90’s or early 2000’s. She is focused on 70s and 80s slashers, which are also terribly boring. I am a big fan of Texas Chainsaw as a series, but the original was not the greatest movie out there. Then near the end, there are multiple references to Saw, which was 2004. This made me unsure about a lot of details. Finding VHS is not exactly an easy thing to do. There was a reference to finding one at a gas station, which just ruins the timeline. 

None of the characters were fleshed out, which fits the slasher genre, but makes for a boring book. No one is really anyone. They are all just roles. There are no surprises. There is nothing to make this book exciting. There is a reason I only made it 15% in a month before giving up and getting the audiobook. The narrator was rough at first for me, but she grew on me. So overall, the audiobook is really the way to go with this book. 

If you are not a fan of slashers, then this book will be a slog to get through. Not only is it constant references to movies that are slashers, but it is a slasher horror in itself. If you don’t like slashers, skip this one. Overall, this was not a book I enjoyed and I am annoyed by this. I was so excited for it.
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This is a great read for horror lovers, just in time for Halloween! There are a lot of details about classic horror movies, so this novel is best for those who are true fans and will appreciate all the references. Some of it was a little confusing, and it's definitely a slow burn. But overall I really enjoyed it (especially the second half) and found the premise to be unique. Trigger warning: lots of gore. I have been making an effort to read more BIPOC authors, and will definitely read more Stephen Graham Jones books after this.
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Jesus Christ, this is an amazing book. It works as an astute analysis of the slasher genre, an amazing character study of a prickly teen heroine, commentary on abuse, trauma, and poverty, a massively satisfying gore-fest (at least toward the end), AND it ends with a truly emotional punch that had me sobbing. How can it do all of this? I'm not sure, but of course Stephen Graham Jones pulled it off. I have to own this book. (Review based on an ARC from Netgalley.)
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MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW by Stephen Graham Jones is an homage to the horror genre, horror films, and obsessed fans everywhere. This is a book that sneaks up on you, as the more it simmers, the more you love it. And don’t go into it with the expectation that it’s like his previous novels, as this one stands on its own. Yes, it’s chalked full of horror tropes and film references, but it also does a great job showcasing how horror can help it’s fans cope with real life trauma.

Jade Daniels has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things horror and uses her obsession to cope with her alcoholic father, among other life difficulties. She believes the town of Proofrock is about to experience its own horror movie. Plus, she’s fixated on Letha, who she believes is the town’s well-put-together final girl. I 💯 percent recommend MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW, so what are you waiting for?!
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Such a great novel! At parts while rereading the pacing did slow down considerably.  However, as it slowed down more tension built and made the big scenes even more impactful.  This book definitely had me at the edge of my seat.
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Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones! 

I think this book is a love letter to slasher movies. People who are obsessed with Jason, Freddy, Halloween etc will be completely hooked on this. I think the plot is very interesting. I love how jade sees the  world: as a slasher movie. The way she can relate everything back to a slasher movie takes talent.

Here’s where the book lost me: THIS IS A ME THING! I personally have never seen the slasher movies Jade references throughout the whole book. I think a lot of the wit and charm of this book went over my head due to that. It makes me want to watch all the movies and then reread the book. Another thing that was hard for me to get through was the writing style. Again I think this is a me thing (blame my small mind) but the sentences would ramble on and by the time I got to the end, I’d have to go back and reread what it was saying.

Overall, I think the whole concept is super fun but I wish I was more of a slasher fan so I’d get the references! I would recommend to all who are fans of slashers (like jade!!)
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This is my first SGJ. I've heard such great things about his horror stories, I just knew I had to read this one.

This follows a girl, with a rough past and home life, who is obsessed with slasher movies. When murders start happening in her town, she is convinced this is the start of a "slasher cycle". The book was broken up between real time and past papers about slasher movies that our protagonist wrote for school.  This would help out anyone who wasn't familiar with the popular slasher movies.

However, I will say that if you aren't familiar with the classic slasher movies, you may be really confused at some of the banter and overall themes. I found out protagonist to be very unlikeable (I don't think she is meant to be likeable). However, it took me out of the story.

It was a VERY slow start, and it made me not want to pick up the book. Overall, I decided on a solid 3 star rating. I know that is an audience out there for this, it just wasn't necessarily me.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this eBook in exchange for a review! 

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones tells the story of Jade Daniels, an outcast who loves slasher films. Jade lives a challenging life with an abusive father and a mother who is out of the picture. Suddenly, blood is spilled in the small town of Proofrock, and Jade believes that a slasher film is unfolding before her very eyes. 

Let me start by saying that I am a huge horror fan. I love horror across many subgenres, including the slasher. My favorite parts of this book were Jade's "Slasher 101" papers that are interspersed between chapters. I was very excited to read this book. However, I just don't think this book was for me. It was dense. It was very much a slow burn. I honestly struggled to get through this book. The last quarter of the book definitely picked up the pace, but I still found myself feeling unsatisfied with the ending. I don't know if the book was just too "literary" for me so to speak, and I ended up missing the depth and meaning? But I just honestly didn't love it.
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First, I just want to say I did enjoy this book.  I did struggle with the pace as I feel like the first 1/3 of the book was painfully slow.  I appreciated all the movie references. That was pretty awesome. This story just fell a little flat for me and I felt like at times it was hard to follow.  I definitely think all horror fans should read it because the last half of the book was really good!

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the #gifted copy.
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A young girl obsessed with slasher films thinks one is coming to life in her small town. A slow build-up that pays off in the end. Stephen Graham Jones is a master of suspense and horror. 

5/5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Books, Gallery / Saga Press for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This story has a ton of heart, and I enjoy the way the author uses horror to explore family and community violence. but ultimately its pacing issues let it down. If you can make it to 70%, you're rewarded with an explosive setpiece that speeds to the book's conclusion. up until then, things are very slow and the author gets carried away with the horror trivia. If you're a fan of slashers, the more obscure the better, you will really get a kick out of it!
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I absolutely loved this book! Jones is a powerhouse in gory horror. I did think the beginning was a little slow and if you aren't used to his style, it may be hard for you to get into. My suggestion is if you like horror, to get used to his style. I haven't been disappointed yet. 

In My Heart Is a Chainsaw, we get to see a new kind of final girl. I loved Jade and her quirks. I hated that many of the things she did and said were a coping mechanism for a horrific past. I loved how Jones made me root for her. I found some of the other characters to be a bit flat. I can't even remember the name of the girl she had picked out to be the final girl right now...she was so dry and unlikable to me. I think it may have been intentional, though. If it wasn't, it ended up working. I definitely recommend this one to any horror fans. 

There are lots of CW for this one including sexual abuse, alcoholism, and murder and gore.
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My Heart Is A Chainsaw is an eerie and provocative tale about Jennifer “Jade/J.D.” Daniels, who is obsessed with slasher films, their killers, and the concept of the final girl. So much so, she is convinced that her small town is in the beginning stages of a slasher arch. 

When Jade meets Letha Mondragon, she is convinced that her new classmate is meant to be the final girl of the coming massacre. With a copy of A Bay of Blood and her history papers on the topic, Jade hopes it will be enough for Letha to learn what is needed to fight and win. Is Letha truly the final girl or are Jade and the rest of the town in for more than they thought?

Jade’s fixation on the slasher genre is well known but no one could have imagined what it was covering up. In an unpredictable twist to the story, a secret that Jade has subconsciously been carrying around with her is exposed and explains the timing of Jade’s obsession. This leads to apologies, murder, and understanding. 

The book switches between third-person narrative to a first-person by way of Jade’s extra credit history papers. It is somewhat difficult to get used to but once you realize its place within the story, it suddenly seems to fit somehow making it more interesting and unlike anything I have read before. It is full of twists making it unpredictable. I’m intrigued to see what the author writes next. 

Voluntarily reviewed after receiving a free copy courtesy of NetGalley, the Publisher, and the author, Stephen Graham Jones.
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"Horror is not a symptom. It's a love affair."

As Texas finally begins to trade the insufferable summer heat for the cooler weather of fall, I'm finding myself craving a good scare. I've always had a soft spot for the horror genre. There's just something about the thrill of being genuinely terrified by the words on a page that I find exhilarating. The chilled air and the promise of spooky thrills from a master horror author like Stephen Graham Jones were too much of a good thing for me to pass up when his publisher offered me a copy of his latest novel My Heart Is a Chainsaw. I was first introduced to the writing of Jones through his last novel The Only Good Indians. While I had a pretty mixed reaction to the characters in that work, I couldn't deny the ritualistic brutality of the horror. That story unsettled me in a way that still gives me chills when I think about it. Naturally, I was anticipating that this new novel would do the same. 

Being a teenager is tough. For Jade Daniels, a senior in high school, her young adulthood has been downright unbearable. Her mom left her dad many years ago, and Jade only sees her when she visits the local dollar store where her mother works. Jade lives with her father, an abusive alcoholic who spends most nights in a drunken haze reliving the glory days with his best friend. At school, things aren't much better. She's an outcast, more comfortable on her own than with any friends. It isn't like there are people lining up to befriend her anyway. Her teachers are equally uninterested. Jade is on the path to dropping out of her final year in school. It's safe to say that things are pretty terrible. 

Jade finds refuge in an unlikely source. She's obsessed with horror movies. Her encyclopedic knowledge of the genre knows no bounds, but she has taken a special fascination in those classic slashers that see a masked villain exact revenge on the place and people who did them wrong. So thorough is her knowledge that Jade has decided to submit an essay on the lurid history of her own town as a last-ditch effort to successfully graduate from high school. She narrates her own story, corroborated by a cast of eccentric locals, in the same style as the horror films she reveres. But Jade isn't prepared for what is about to come next. She's about to find herself and her town in the center of a very real horror story. 

My Heart Is a Chainsaw is a love story of sorts. Not in the traditional sense, of course, but as an ode to the kinds of slasher movies of the '70s and '80s that clearly influenced Stephen Graham Jones's affinity for the genre. I imagine that the character Jade's own reverence for those horror classics mirrors that of the author who brought her to life. Like the films that are referenced, this work balances gore and humor while driving home a deeper message around family, community, and revenge. I found Jade to really be an acquired taste. At first, she was kind of annoying, seemingly bringing much of her problems on herself. But as I got to know the character more, I was really moved by her journey through both her personal problems and the horror story that unfolded around her. At times, My Heart Is a Chainsaw slows to a crawl, especially as Jones devotes much of the middle section to character development. Fortunately, the slower parts pay off as the final act plays out in gruesome glory. Stephen Graham Jones has written a really fun novel that works as both a thrilling horror story and an homage to the films that inspired it. It was the perfect read to kick off the fall season.
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Thank you Netgalley for an ARC of My Heart is a Chainsaw for an honest review.

Based on the description of this book, I thought this is something I would really enjoy... A coming of age story with a horror theme.

I did enjoy the main character and seeing her interpret everything as a horror movie and her writings to her history teacher. 

But, unfortunately, this book felt very poorly executed otherwise. I felt that the idea of where the story would end was constantly changing and not in a good way, more in an undecided way.  I thought the end would at least redeem the book for me and I think it ruined it further. 

Perhaps just not the book for me.
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Lyrical, timely. Told in parallel style. It’s not your classic soldiers against the Indians. There is integrity, such quiet dignity from the  Native Americans , seeking only to be left alone. Yet a force compels each side to an end neither wants nor evades.
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I'm a big Stephen Graham Jones fan, and I picked this book up because I knew I'd like it.  I had no idea it was going to be about before reading it because I requested it without even reading the description.  I say this because it puts it in context for the fact I am not a big slasher movie fan.  I'll watch one if it's on, but I'm not a connoisseur of the form.  And this book is way more complicated than your typical slasher movie. 

Jones renders Jade Daniels with perfection. She's a traumatized half-Native teen who has become obsessed with slasher movies.  Instead of clunky info dumps throughout the narrative, we get her encyclopedic knowledge of the form via essays that read like love letters.   For those of us who have only seen maybe a dozen such movies, these essays are essential reading and provide a Slasher 101 course.  Yet, they also show us so much about Jade's psyche...they practically scream "someone, please see ME."   

There's plenty of good horror in this book, but I really cared about Jade seeing herself as a truly unique and worthy final girl. I was rooting for her all the way.
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My Heart is a Chainsaw is a creative and deeply descriptive tale about a troubled misfit who uses slasher films as her escape.  In doing so the reader is drawn into her world and mind. 
This one was another hard to get into book for me, but it all came together at the end. I admit, I cheated a bit. When it seemed slow I went back to some spoiler free reviews for encouragement to keep going. Keep trucking through Jade's language of what seemed to be on a level all her own. I took that advice. No matter how many references to movie killers, real life ones, and references.....and I was rewarded at the end. 
So keep going. Fall into the world a bit. Let it overtake you but not too much. You will not be disappointed.
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