Cover Image: The Final Girl Support Group

The Final Girl Support Group

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Member Reviews

2.5/5 Stars

I'll start off my saying that I'm usually an avid fan of anything having to do with the trope of the infamous "final girl". Riley Sager's "Final Girls"? Yes. Todd Strauss-Schulson's "The Final Girls"? Double Yes. 

So the idea of a "final girls" support group, one where multiple disillusioned and hardened women get together to support one another and review their individual traumas while fighting against someone out to eliminate them sounded A-mazing. However the execution of "The Final Girls Support Group" fell a little flat for me. 

It's clear that Grady Hendrix loves the horror and "final girl" genre and it's also clear that "The Final Girl Support Group" is meant as an ode to all the final girls that have permeated the horror genre and the slasher/horror genre as a whole. However, as someone who is a thriller fan but has not really delved into the horror genre this book is based on, I had a hard time filling in the histories of the final girls and the motivations of their killers. It's clear that the final girls have backstories synonymous with final girls of the horror genre, but without that knowledge it's hard to gain that information from the book alone. The book relies on your knowledge of slasher films and without that knowledge it can feel like jumping into a book during it's sequel. I wonder if this is also why I had a hard time resonating with the characters and their relationship with one another through the support group. 

Ultimately I felt that this book was not meant for me as an audience member and so I got lost in the nuanced background of it. I also had such a difficult time getting through the book that I ended up DNFing about 1/3 of the way. 

If you're a fan of the final girls and the slasher film genre this is probably a good fit for you. However without that knowledge and love of the horror genre, I'd say skip it. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Grady Hendrix for the advanced reading of "The Final Girl Support Group" in exchange for an honest review.
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First of all, if Dani isn’t your favourite you’re wrong. Second, I loved this book. I was apprehensive at first because I was worried it would too closely resemble Riley Sagers Final Girls but it was not at all the same story. Although if you like one I do recommend the other. Hendrix took the classic final girl trope and extended the story. No, not a sequel, although we all know every good final girl gets her sequel, but after... way after. These are grown women still fighting the monsters they put to rest decades ago. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a touchy feel good story, this is a slasher through and through. And it is amazing. 

Lynnette is a fantastic mess of a protagonist in the best possible way. Often times when a protagonist is this much of a mess it’s hard to follow along with their bad decisions but Hendrix wrote her in such a way that you root for her while still understanding the poor choices she makes. She isn’t a character who came back from a tragedy unscathed and she won’t even pretend she is.

The way Hendrix writes is unique and it grabs you from the first page. This is my first book of theirs but it will definitely won’t be my last. The author is clearly a fan of pulp classic horror and it shows. I can’t wait to read more from them! I would love a prequel short story of each final girl of their stories from their point of vue. The book did a great job of giving us all of the information we needed but I can only imagine reading the stories as they unfold. 

Since reading The Final Girl Support Group I have purchased and read (almost) every other book Hendrix has written. I can’t get enough!
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In all honesty, this was my least favorite Grady Hendrix book which is really saying something because normally I really enjoy their work. For the first time that I can recall I think a movie version of this book would have been better than the book itself.

This book took different horror movies (think Halloween, Friday the 13th, Scream, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc.) and took those final girls from each movie while they get together for group therapy to help each other through each of their own personal nightmares. Sounds promising, right? Which it was in the beginning. I thought this was going to be a book I loved since I'm a huge horror movie fan and the topic of final girls has always intrigued me. Then the middle of the book started to get a little slow for me only because some of the events that took place seemed so out of left field and farfetched that I was having a hard time engaging in the story. It was great how strong all of these women were and how resilient they had become throughout the years but I just couldn't connect with it.

I know this book is being portrayed and marketed as a horror novel but I need to disagree with that. Never once throughout the book was I scared and none of the "jump scares" worked for me. Another reason why I think the book would have been so much better as a movie. To me this book was more of a psychological thriller more than anything with the only horror aspects thrown in being the comparison to the horror movies.

All in all, not a bad book but I feel like it could have been done a lot better.

*Many thanks to Berkley Books for the free copy for my honest review*
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I really enjoyed this book! It was a really interesting take on the final girl trope and I thought the main character was a really interesting unreliable narrator. I would definitely recommend to friends who enjoy the horror/thriller genre.
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This was my fourth Grady Hendrix book, and it ended up falling somewhere in the middle for me. The concept was brilliant, and I enjoyed the idea of exploring the aftermath and trauma of women who survived mass murders. I also loved that the book included extras (therapist notes, etc.) between chapters (in theory). Unfortunately, the plot fell apart for me, and I found the twists a little too sensationalized.

However, I should note two things.

First, I read the e-ARC via kindle, and I was unable to zoom into the extras. I tried at first, but it was so difficult to read the tiny writing that I gave up and skipped them. Which really sucks, because I love extras like that in books!

Second, I enjoy written horror but am not big on film horror. Unfortunately, I think I missed a lot of references, as I was unfamiliar with the slasher films that were being referenced throughout the story.

Someone with more slasher context might have enjoyed this one a bit more.

Thank you Berkley Pub for providing  a free advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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THIS NEEDS TO BE A MOVIE.
I really loved the premise and characters-- a handful of dramatically different women, bound together by trauma and the respective mythologies woven for each of them by Hollywood, form a friendship of sorts via their support group, only to be forced to fight for their lives yet again when they're hunted down.
Brilliant concept.
But I struggled with the writing. I found the action sequences tricky to follow on the page, and I kept getting the characters mixed up. Seeing it play out on screen would've made both of these more easy to digest, and therefore I could've enjoyed the plot and stylized approach more.
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The Final Girl Support Group reads like a great slasher flick. I am normally not a fan of books that heave me questioning the protagonist’s mental health, but Grady Hendrix managed to balance that in a way that wasn’t gratuitous or infantilizing. I already ordered it for my high school library, and I think my hard-core thriller lovers will thoroughly enjoy this.
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I wanted to love this one so much!

I went into this book hoping for a story in the vein of all my favourite slasher horror movies. While there were aspects that were related to the classics, such as each of the final girls was based on the final girls of the movies (Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc.) the actual plot itself wasn't slasher film-esque.

I'll be completely honest and admit there was a lot going on in my personal life when I read this book which very well may have impacted my enjoyment of this story. It wasn't bad and it did keep me guessing (I didn't guess the end), it just wasn't what I was looking for at the time. That being said, this was my first Grady Hendrix book and I do intend to pick up more of his works in the future as I did enjoy his writing. I found the characters compelling and I enjoyed seeing his portrayal of some leading ladies I already knew and loved.

Thank you to Netgalley, and Berkley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Lynette Tarkington is a final girl. In horror movies the 'final girl' is the one left standing. The one who fought back and defeated the killer who just brutally murdered everyone else in the film. The 'final girl' is the one people tend to forget about after the movie is over.  The madman, the killer, people remember.

Lynette Tarkington is a final girl for real. Twenty-two years ago she survived a massacre and every day since then her life has been defined by this one event. By surviving. And she's not the only one. For many years now, Lynette has been joined by final girls Marilyn Torres, Adrienne Butler, Dani Shipman, Heather DeLuca, and Julia Campbell in Dr. Carol Elliott's Final Girl Support Group.

Meeting for years, that is, until one of the girls missed a meeting. Lynette is sure that this is the first sign of more horror to come - that someone has found out about the support group and is going to take them down, one by one, until there is only a final, final girl left.  Unless they can stand together and fight back. They've had each others' backs for a decade and a final girl knows how to be the last one standing.


Author Grady Hendrix is an absolutely brilliant horror writer. In everything I've read by Hendrix to date, I've felt like I was right there, in person, observing the story as it unfolds. These stories take place in the real world, with real people trying to live an ordinary life but something beyond their control is interrupting them.

Hendrix toys with the reader with the central character, Lynette Tarkington.  Is she right, or is she paranoid?  Is there a legitimate threat or is Lynette's PTSD overwhelming every aspect of her life? Her apartment has a safe room and a cage that will trap unwanted visitors.  Is this the behavior of a sane woman?

Hendrix keeps the reader guessing about so many different things (Is she crazy? Who's behind this? Is the ex-cop out to get her? Is Lynette even an actual Final Girl?) and is always moving the story forward that this is a joy to read.

Looking for a good book? The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix is a modern horror story rooted in reality that will keep you guessing and on edge until the last page.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you for allowing me to view this title!

This was a fun read! Like many have said, if you enjoy slasher films this book is for you. My biggest complaint about this read, the characters. Lynnette was pretty awful and the other girls were so similar. Overall a good read and I will continue to pick up books by Grady Hendrix!
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Creepy and unforgettable are the best words to describe this book. You won’t sleep until the last page is turned and when you do sleep it will be with the lights on.
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as a slasher lover, i was SO excited for this and i did and up enjoying it quite a bit. i don't really have my typical critiques or notes - i just had a good time reading it and found it really fun and entertaining. i don't think it will be end up on my favorites list, or be one i think of or recommend often but i did like it!
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Grady Hendrix brings his trademark horror written with some humor and wit to this books.  The narrorator is completly unreliable and this really propels the story along.  If you liked any of Hendrix past work then you will enjoy this.
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The Final Girl Support Group is about exactly what the title states: a therapy support group for girls who have survived (and killed) the attackers who murdered their families or friends. Our main character, Lynnette, suffers from extreme paranoia, anxiety, and depression. When one of the girls in group is murdered, Lynette becomes coninced that someone is killing off the final girls. 

This book totally freaked me out - not only is it a nail-biting thriller, with twists and unpredictable turns, the way that Lynnette thinks, her extreme paranoia had me questioning every decision that she made and those made by the people around her. She's an unreliable narrator, and that makes it so hard to guess what's going to happen next. The snippets from police reports, books, and movies created for the book's lore really added to the sense that the 'final girl' has been completely sensationalized by the media in this world. I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next from Grady Hendrix.
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Fun horror is hard to pull off but he does it. I loved every nod to slasher films, particularly the chapter titles.
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Consistently impressed with Hendrix's ability to weave just the right amount of humor into a truly splendid piece of horror. This piece feels incredibly timely as well with the return of a lot of classic horror movies that feature prominent final girls. Highly recommend this to any horror fiend!
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Loved this book so much, I tore through it in a single day. I’ll admit at first I was confused about the bits of final girls stories I read because they were Friday the 13th, Scream, and Nightmare on Elm Street scenarios, among others, and I was just like wait…..what?? But once I figured out what the author was doing, it made me love the story even more. Great nod and feelings of nostalgia for the slasher flicks I grew up on, and there were twists I didn’t even see coming. Only thing I personally didn’t like was the constant mention of “males killing females and everybody’s okay with it”. At one point I was with the feminist views mentioned, thinking it was a specific part of certain things, but with the constant mention of it I quickly got annoyed and it’s the only thing that could have stopped me from finishing the book.
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QUICKISH TAKE: Okay, so let’s talk about Grady Hendrix’s THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP. I mean, what even was that?! A fever dream of a book, I found the story to be incredibly entertaining in a “batshit, bonkers, what is happening, why can’t I stop turning pages” kinda way, and I think the polarizing reviews circulating on #bookstagram are a sign that I wasn’t alone here in simultaneously loving and loathing this book.⁣
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The story revolves around a group of “final girls”- young women who have survived massacres- think Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween or Adrienne King in Friday the 13th or Heather Langenkamp in Nightmare on Elm Street (had to Google those last two!)- who band together and form a support group in the wake of surviving each of their own respective real life horror movies. When someone begins killing off members of the support group, the women must band together, confront their past traumas, and live to fight another day one more time.⁣
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Fun concept, and classic Grady, he does a nice job playing with classic horror movie tropes in a really fun way (even for someone like me who hates scary movies). That being said, this book is all over the place…tone, character development, whacky twists (I’m sorry, did you say summer camp panic rooms!?), and some over-the-top gore (a flashback scene featuring the main character is possibly one of the more f*cked up things I’ve read…and not in a way that is additive to the story at large). I did love the interlude at a final girl museum from hell, but half the time I was reading this book, I thought the characters were imagining what was actually happening, and the ending reminded me a lot of another recent horror movie that tried (and failed) to flip the slasher genre on its head (no spoilers!).⁣
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Overall, if you’re a fan of Grady or the horror genre, there are definitely some things to dig about this one, but it’s probably more of a buyer beware situation. As for me, it was definitely an entertaining vacation read!
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[4.25/5] Like all of Grady Hendrix’s stories (at least the ones I’ve read so far), this was a very unique read. It definitely gives off the ‘80’s slasher’ vibes it promises - but with a modern twist. I didn’t love it as much as The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampires, but it still had that Hendrix feel to it that makes a story compulsively readable.

What I liked:
-interesting plot (if a little predictable at the end, but only some parts)
-unique voice
-epistolary story style with letters, articles, etc. scattered throughout (this is my jam 👏)

A few parts did feel a bit repetitive, and I wanted to get to know the side characters better. But overall, it was twisty, action packed, and dug deeper than just a story looking to scare, with themes ranging from the effects of trauma to society’s obsession with killers. Definitely worth reading if you’re a horror fan!

**Thanks to Berkley Publishing for the gifted e-ARC.
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Every horror movie has a final girl, the one who was brave enough or maybe just lucky enough to make it through to the end. But real life has final girls, too, those who managed to outlast a serial killer's final attempt to take yet another life. Those girls may have survived the killers, but certainly didn't come through their experiences unscathed. Five who have been meeting monthly with their counsellor are seriously paranoid, but, this time that doesn't mean someone isn't out to get them. They seem to be disappearing one by one, and the police are pretty convinced that one of them is the murderer. Wild and clever, witty and engaging, this one had me listening non-stop. The final girl theme seems to be popular right now, and this one is one of the best.
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