Cover Image: The Final Girl Support Group

The Final Girl Support Group

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Grady Hendrix books are a whole vibe. Readers know to expect dark humor, playful references to pop culture, and genuine scares. The Final Girl Support Group maybe takes his typical vibe even a step further potentially icing out horror fiction fans that aren't as well-versed in horror movie tropes but readers that enjoy both horror formats will receive this as a Hendrix love letter specifically to them.
Serial killer survivors participate in group therapy sessions because they live in constant fear and relived trauma. Some of the "final girls" have been immortalized in bio-pic movies depicting their legacy.
Hendrix doesn't pull any punches and this book definitely crosses into brutal slasher-film descriptions of gore and violence.
I'm a horror fiction lover whose passion doesn't extend to the movies so this was not my favorite Hendrix novel
but I was entertained enough to enjoy it.
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Did you all see that The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix is being made into a HBO series? 🔪

I just now read this book a year or so later after it’s publication from Berkley. It was mostly well received last year having won Best Horror on Goodreads + having a decent 3.6 average + over 60k ratings.

🔪 I’m not a horror film aficionado, so I don’t get all of the references and homages in this book. There are some iconic influences from 70s + 80s slasher films which the author also discusses in the end of the book.

I don’t think you need to know everything about these tropes or references to enjoy the book, but it would certainly enhance the value if you did.

🔪 The book centers on the theme of “final girl,” which is the instance in which a woman survives assailant or certain demise in a horror movie. A group of IRL final girls (those who survived unthinkable horrors) meet for a decade in a therapy support group. They grow from their unique experiences having shared that one common characteristic with each other, but that’s really the only thing keeping them together much to the disdain of our paranoid MC, Lynette. Going to the meetings is paramount for her. Unfortunately, the group beings to unravel when one member is killed and a potential leak threatens to reveal their confidential info. It’s a race against time to ensure everyone’s safety and to quell disaster.

🔪 In my view, this can be summed up like.... an imaginative idea of what life would be like for a horror movie survivor (if they were real) after it’s all done. Therapy/PTSD, maybe they’ll go on a talk show. Then what? Would someone obsess over them and want to hurt them? Would someone obsess over them and want to SAVE them? That’s the Q imagined and answered by Hendrix.

🔪 I thought the book’s first 50% was great and then it fell apart for a bit, and then it’s resolution was a bit disappointing for me but overall I found the author’s writing refreshing and entertaining. I loved the dynamics of the group at first and trying to find out who the Judas betrayer was 😂 The 60% ish middle - ending was where I started to get a bit confused and antsy, but I’d reckon this is a standard 3/5.
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I downloaded The Final Girl Support Group thinking I would love it because I enjoyed The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires. Well, I like it. I didn't love it like I thought I would. It was probably more to do with not being a big fan of slasher movies. They are too intense with gruesome murders, and I couldn't shake the feeling I was watching a slasher movie in my head.
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Reading something by Grady Hendrix always leaves me second guessing throughout the entire book. Similar to his other novels, Final Girl Support Group has a slow start as he builds the world that we are entering. In this case he is setting the scene for the final girl trope and we are experiencing a similar build as the beginning of a good suspense horror movie. I had really high hopes for this book, and while it fell short it was still enjoyable. This is for fans of slasher horror movies and it deals with heavy content such as the trauma that these girls are working through in being the final girl. I loved the incorporation of slasher flick lore and the pov that we were given but overall I did not enjoy this as much as I wanted to. Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP by Grady Hendrix
Publication: Berkley Bks on 7/13/2021

      A roller coaster ride of fun as Henrix pays homage to the Slasher Horror Films we’ve all loved … A Nightmare On Elmstreet …. Scream … and The Texas Chainsaw Masssacre.  Told from the point of view of Lynette Tarkington …. a real-life final girl survivor of a massacre and impalement.  She’s been meeting with a therapist, Dr. Carol Elliot and five other “final girls” in a support group aimed at putting their lives back together.  This gem focuses on the victims on not the killers. But, don’t worry … there’s plenty of blood, gore and dread, along with multiple twists and unexpected turns.  It is fast-paced fun filled with menace, fright and brimming with dark humor and creepiness.  Everything unravels after one member of the group is murdered.
     Any aficionado of horror and / or slasher films will love this entertaining homage.  The final girl will “never give up”. Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Books for supplying an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review.
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3.5-4 stars. I thought this had a slow start, there was a lot going on but I wasn’t feeling the pull in to read. By midpoint it was much better. Very twisty and some expected graphic violence. A slasher book, paying homage to all the slasher movies. 
Because I'm not a fan of this movie genre, each character was harder for me to understand.  In the end this book didn't wow me as some of his earlier books did.  I didn't feel connected.  I understood the fear these women had a a "final girl", but it was also extreme.
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I’ve tried really hard to love Hendrix work and after three books, I just don’t think I enjoy how he writes women. I love the Final Girl trope but this one was just not it for me.

The Final Girl support group was boring and lackluster filled with annoyingly written women and no plot.
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Grady Hendricks never fails to mix horror and some comedy together, and I absolutely love that. I also love the entire Final Girls concept, so anything related to final girls and I am THERE. I love horror, all types, and love love love series with a good final girl. (Nancy and Sydney are my top favorites. Especially Sydney because Scream gets very meta sometimes.) I should stop. I could go on about Final Girls FOREVER.

Anyway, I was on board for this crazy train. And crazy it was! I'm not going to give too much away, and in my opinion it's relatively easy to figure out who is involved in the final girl takedown. But the journey there was gory and crazy and fast paced.

While each girl in the group has her own horror story (and movie made based on the horror story) you can definitely see which real world horror movies these girls stories are based around (Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, ect....). Then the book turns into its own slasher story. We are just along for the ride, on the run, and trying not to die along the way. There are some twists and turns that keep things exciting too!

I love how Grady Hendrix also tries to impart knowledge of final girl lore into his book. I appreciate that, as a lover of the trope.

So this was a fun read. The best trigger warning I can give is if you don't like slasher horror movies and all the bad things that go along with those movies, you may want to steer clear of this. But otherwise, have fun!!!!
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I absolutely flew through this book. If you are at all a fan of 80's slasher films, do yourself a favor and pick this book up. We follow our lead, Lynette, as she goes through life with severe anxiety and paranoia. At the onset of the novel, we, along with the support group, find out that an original final girl has been murdered, and it's Lynette's belief that they are all being targeted. This sets her and the reader off on a deranged adventure from the basement of Lynette's therapist, to the home of a new Final Girl, to a creepy house in the woods, and beyond. Hendrix does an amazing job of getting inside his character's head, really allowing the reader to feel the anxiety along with her. You'll be on the edge of your seat from the very beginning.
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A horrifying thriller about a group of "Final Girls" who survived attempted murders only to find themselves stalked by a deranged killer again. This one definitely tipped into the too violent and gory and terrifying for me at times, but then again I literally couldn't stop listening to is and stayed up most of the night finishing it which is a pretty good recommendation.
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While the concept of the Final Girl isn't new, Grady Hendrix successfully makes the reader feel for the character, giving her qualities of friends we may have in real life. This novel kept me furiously turning pages to follow the main character. Would definitely recommend!
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i have a lot of thoughts, but this is the fastest-paced hendrix novel yet. it moves along at breakneck speed, and whole playing "spot the references" is a lot of fun for a slasher fan such as myself, the real treat is the way in which the author engages with the real-world ramifications of masked killers, and brings everything into the modern age. there's more than a hint of behind the mask, scream 4, and tragedy girls in here, making this an excellent point on the spectrum of this horror subgenre.

what makes it work is that these are real, broken people, and the way hendrix looks at just how these women all would've responded to the trauma they faced, rather than focusing in on the killers themselves. not for nothing did i read this immediately after watching the netflix true crime series, murder among the mormons, which faltered as it focused in on the murder-y bits for two episodes, before really digging into the fraud, forgery, and personal issues of its focus, mark hofmann.

hendrix knows that the truly interesting and lasting impressions are of the flawed people and what makes them tick, rather than just reveling in the blood, gore, and mess. there's plenty of that, to be sure, but telling this story from the point of view of those affected, but with empathy and honesty, makes the fgsg something which will hopefully change the slasher narrative and infuse it with fresh blood (sorry. i'll see myself out).
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So many twists and turns (something I also appreciate with horror movies in general)! I liked that all the women were different and complex and sometimes unlikable, but I still wanted to know more about their stories and what was going to happen to them (slightly disappointed that we didn't find out more about Heather's story because it was the weirdest one but alas). Lynnette was an interesting POV to tell the story from, but it was nice seeing her grow and change throughout the story. All in all this was a very interesting take on a classic horror tropes and was decently creepy (at least for me but I'm not a big horror reader).
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me early access to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I did not finish this book - it was not for me! I liked the authors other books, but this one did not work for me!
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I didn't love this one and DNFed it at about 30%. I thought it was a little hard to follow with all of the characters and it just didn't do it for me the way I hoped it would. It's possible it was a case of right book, wrong time. I might give it another go at another time and see if I like it better.
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Hendrix does it again! The tension starts pretty quickly as we explore the fallout in the lives of Final Girls. The characters are well developed and the pacing keeps the reader on their toes. Not wanting to give away too much, I can only say that Hendrix knows this genre and is able to keep even the savviest of readers off kilter.
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Hendrix never fails to entertain. Reminds me a bit of Stephen King in his style and pop culture references. Like a classic eighties paper back original horror novel with a twist   Read it and enjoy!
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This is what I was craving when I read Riley Sager's Final Girls a few years back. It was a fun book to read also on the back of watching the newest Scream. So many fun nods to fans of the genre and while I could see the twist coming, Hendrix never fails to provide a good time!
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Grady Hendrix, usually the master of creepy disturbing horror and accompanying dark humor, misses the mark slightly here. Following his usual formula - a group of vastly different women taking on a power attacking them and theirs - it feels just slightly unkempt, not quite polished enough. Scenes that worked really worked, but there are long stretches in between filled with characters whose motivations and actions don't make much sense. The finale felt a little rumpled too. The villains didn't make much sense to me and felt like a bit of a cop out in comparison to his other books. Really cool concept, and loved the incorporation of the industry of slasher flicks, but this one just didn't quite come together like I wanted it to.
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I’ve been a fan of author Grady Hendrix after first reading My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and loving the nostalgia that comes to life on page.

In THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP, I was once again brought into the original storyline of a group of heroines that survived a killer, and it instantly brought me to the days of watching slasher movies I loved!

*many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the gifted copy for review
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