So.........., "The Final Girl Support Group" by Grady Hendrix is an absolute rollercoaster of a read, and I found it fun and fabulous. I couldn't resist diving into it. Picture this: a gripping tale that flips the script on classic horror tropes, focusing on the survivors rather than the slashers. Hendrix weaves a narrative that's part thriller, part homage to the horror genre, and all-around unputdownable.
As a librarian, I appreciate how the author skillfully incorporates elements of suspense, mystery, and a touch of humor, creating a literary concoction that keeps readers hooked from start to finish. The nods to classic horror movies and the examination of the psychological aftermath for these "final girls" add layers to the story. It's a wild ride that balances chills with an exploration of trauma and survival.
For any library collection, this book is a must-have, especially if you've got patrons who love a good psychological twist on horror. "The Final Girl Support Group" is not just a novel; it's an experience, and I'd totally recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh take on the horror genre. Happy reading!
This was the era of final girls. I’m still a bigger fan of the orginial Final Girls book and since then other books have come out with a similar vibe. Still a good read.
I've loved everything I've ever read by Grady Hendrix, and this one was no exception - I actually think it's probably one of my top favorites of his moving forward. The blend of modern with homages and nods to lots of my favorite slashers from the 80s and 90s was amazing, and I had such a fun time reading this one despite it being a horror / thriller book. Hendrix has a way of making his characters feel fully fleshed out, like people I know in real life and have been friends with for years. I end up rooting for all of them, even the sillier, more caricature-like ones. This was just excellent, loved it from start to finish.
With Hendrix's trademark humor and nods to the horror genre, The Final Girl Support Group offers a look at what happens when a group of slasher "final girls" comes together. It's a ton of fun, and highly recommended for all horror movie and book fans.
I really enjoyed this one! It seemed a little similar to Riley Sager's "Final Girls" (similar in name too), but overall I thought there were enough difference to separate this one from the rest.
I thought the pacing was well done, however it was a tad longer than it needed to be (as I feel most of Hendrix's novels to be). I also didn't love how these women in this support group were at each other's throats all the time, especially given what they all know the others to have been through, even after all this time.
However, the overall premise of this book was interesting, and I loved the setting. This book would be great as a movie honestly.
I finished this book in a day because I HAD to know what happened. I do not usually finish any 300-page books in that amount of time just because of the limited time I have throughout the day, but in every spare minute I had you could find me reaching for my Kindle. ❤️ There was no build-up to the drama in the book and it starts right away in chapter one capturing the reader with the main character in a final girl support group feeling targeted by superfans of final girls who would want to kill them off one by one. The author's writing style with mixed media such as newspaper clippings, online articles, etc. makes the book feel more authentic and breaks it up. I love it when thrillers include this aspect in their stories! I think the best kind of thriller is when the author even makes the main character a suspect in the plot. As the reader, we get tidbits from other characters and even the main character herself about how unreliable she is and unstable. Leaving you thinking about who to trust and who is telling the truth. I Found out that the author used ideas he gathered from thriller movies such as Summer Slaughter, Panhandle Meathook, Slay Bells, Gnome Coming, Babysitter murders, and Deadly Dreams to write this book. I didn’t even know these movies existed and thought the entire book that when he referred to these names for the final girls' murders he had made them up, but they refer back to the original thriller movies. Excited to look them up and check them out now 🙌
Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read an early reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really good read. I was very confused about where it was going for some time. But the way the author pulled it all together in the end was great and meaningful. I loved the comment about death not mattering that it was just the ! At the end.
Last year saw several horror novels achieve the kind of mainstream success that has mostly eluded the genre since the 1990s. Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians and Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic both cracked the bestseller lists and received widespread critical acclaim for tackling serious issues and increasing representation while still delivering legitimate chills. Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires managed both feats as well while being a more purely “fun” tale. He’s hoping to repeat that success again this Summer with The Final Girl Support Group, a novel that both repeats and builds on some of the themes from last Summer’s hit, while also being a very different beast entirely.
The story operates in a world in which popular slasher movie franchises like Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Scream (along with some less popular entries like Silent Night, Deadly Night) are all based on real events that befell a diverse group of women. Each of them is known by the media as a “final girl”, a term that fans use to describe what is perhaps the most common trope of the genre. As one would expect of being the sole survivor of an incredibly tragic event, the women struggle with various psychiatric issues and deal with them (or not) in their own ways and meeting regularly with a therapist for group support sessions.
Lynnette is one of these girls, and is perhaps the one dealing with her trauma the worst out of the group of 5. She keeps herself locked in her apartment with the curtains drawn most of the day, only venturing out when absolutely necessary, and has several extreme security measures in place. When one of the group winds up dead, it is no surprise then that she is the first to begin to suspect that someone is out to get them all, while the others just write it off as paranoia. Her erratic behavior does little to help her cause, even as further attacks occur against her and the others, so she sets about trying to find out just who could be after them, and how she can stop them.
Despite being heavily inspired by several classic movies of the genre, this book feels much more like suspense than horror. While we do get descriptions of the different events that befell the women as girls, things mostly play out like a straight thriller with bursts of action. Since the girls’ backstories are based on actual movies (though each has a new title here, presumably for copyright reasons), they have a built-in familiarity for anyone who has seen the movies being referenced. This can be good in that it offers up some fun callbacks, but bad in that it effectively removes one of the bigger openings for unbridled creativity that the plot affords. Aside from Lynnette, none of the other women are particularly well-developed, so it’s a good thing that she is an interesting character, though this is likely to disappoint some who really enjoyed the bigger focus on the group’s dynamics in Hendrix’s previous novel. All that aside though, this is a fun read, which builds up some well-earned tension by the end, and features a central mystery around the killer’s identity that fells both hard-to-guess and satisfying. ★★★★
I like Grady Hendrix, but this was just...fine. No real complaints, other than it felt gratuitously graphic at times (the death of a character with cancer was particularly tough to read) and that the reason I wanted to read this book because I liked the idea of "final girls" finding community with each other, but there was no real community to be found here. Just very meh about it, honestly.
Having read Hendrix's work before, this premise intrigued me.
Lynette, one of the final girls you hear of in all the horror movies, realizes that all of her other final girls are in jeopardy after she goes to her latest support group. These final girls are real. though. They aren't the girls you see in films, they are real and they are what the films are based on. Not many people may know that, but there are some sadistic fans that do and obviously some fans want to make sure these final girls don't survive in real life either.
I don't know what it is, but this book had such a great premise that I was expecting the book to pick up really quickly. Lynette was a great main character, you had suspense of some of the final girls being killed off right away. But, I don't know. Something about this just didn't land for me right off. I'm not sure if was Lynette as the narrator of the book or it was the fact that I almost expected this to be a little more horror movie esque?
If this were like a horror movie, I would have expected to have had a villain with a more concrete face in mind earlier on and you don't have that. I think that's why I struggled the most with this.
Thanks for the ARC!
I’ve come to look forward to Grady Hendrix books. I do love the concept of the Final Girl and it was interesting to have Final Girls build community with one another but still have to face one final horror. Only complaint is the very graphic death scene from someone dying of cancer. Extremely triggering and added nothing to the plot for me.
Grady Hendrix is quite a surprise! I’ve heard lots of good things about his work, but this was my first time reading a novel from him. I really enjoy the balance of satire and scares. The support group meet ups were unexpectedly hilarious. I will definitely check out another Hendrix novel.
It was okay. Different from what I normally read. I would probably pick up another book by this author just to see if I really do like the author’s books or not.
I feel like reading HOW TO SELL A HAUNTED HOUSE right before TFGSG was not the best choice.
The beginning almost killed it for me. I thought it was painfully slow with very little to chew on. Meager. The last 35-40% really picks up. LOVE the disability visibility and all around badassery.
Is this my favorite of Grady's? No. But there are bits of it that are unquestionably impressive. 3 stars
I desperately wanted this to be a five star read. Grady Hendrix mixes social commentary and humor so deftly in his novels and this one wasn't quite as humorous as his others and I did want the characters to be a bit more complex and fleshed out. I had some trouble keeping track of the characters and each of them feeling distinct enough to be memorable, but I also think this would make a great movie or show.
I will still get and read every Hendrix book and I think for fans of slashers this is still a highly satisfying read with good twists and turns.
I truly, truly wanted to like this book. The premise was interesting and the book it could have been would have been amazing.
Instead, we get to follow someone obsessively obsessed with finding monsters around every corner and not working on her trauma. Maybe I'll try reading it again to see if it just needs another go-around, but I'm not moving mountains to choose it.
Thank you Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she’s been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece.
Overall this was a very fast read! I liked the mystery and the nods to all the great horror flicks. It has a bit of realism in it and that some of these girls have some injuries that last forever. Lynnette is an interesting protagonist and I felt that she was isolated a lot despite being a member of this group and I liked watching her come into her own.
As someone who loves slasher/horror films, this book was great! It was the perfect mix of gore and humour and kept me on my toes. I loved all of the main characters and it was such a fun story.
This is my second Grady Hendrix book. It was an entertaining one in the fact that premise is so unique. I love when a genre has been done from different angles, but then an author comes along and finds a new angle. I had high hopes for this book, but found the execution lacking. It didn’t reach the depth I was searching for and I felt as if the author was trying to convey a message but wasn’t able to get it across. I do like the writing style and would be picking up a new Hendrix book in the future.
This is amazing! Just a few minor quibbles. I was never quite sure how old the final girls actually were. We never really meet Adrienne so I kind of.. . don't care that she died. I know it was going for over the top slasher style showdown, but uh, some of those injuries seemed pretty game ending.