Can Grady Hendrix do any wrong? After reading his latest novel, the answer to that question is a resounding NO. The Final Girl Support group is brilliantly written, taking a kind of tired trope and turning it on its head. The result is a rollicking, fast paced ride that you couldn’t get off if you wanted to, which you won’t. I couldn’t put it down. So excited for this book to come out so I can buy my copy!
I was never fan of horror movies, especially the "girls in jeopardy" slasher flicks. This book is a fictional look at what happens to those "final girls" - the ones who survive (and usually kill) the killer who terrorized their little slice of the world. It's feverish and over-the-top. And just like in slasher flicks, you think the monster is down and then <cue eek eek shrieking violin music> he is not.
There is A LOT of violence in this book, but somehow it's not grisly. Gratuitous? Probably. The descriptions are somewhat matter-of-fact, which somehow, I dunno, mitigates the gore.
I did not love this book as much as I did The Southern Book Club's Guide to Vampire Slaying. That book was a love song to budding feminists, and this book kinda sorta tries to be, but it's not until (literally) the last sentence of the book that it is.
I'm going to need more stars. I went into this somewhat reluctantly because, and maybe it's just me, I feel like final girls are the topic of the moment and I'm kind of ambivalent on them. Nevertheless, it turns out there is room for one more - especially this one at the head of the pack.
A slasher movie on paper.
I enjoyed this comedy-horror romp into a world where slasher movies are just Hollywood's version of the real thing. Where girls are beset by Ax-weilding psychopaths on a somewhat regular basis.
Ultimately, a strong story of trusting in yourself, and relying on a support group when times get tough.
I still haven't gotten over how much I loved The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, so I was very excited to read this, and it did not disappoint. Somehow Hendrix found a way to make me care about what happens to these girls even though I didn't necessarily like some of them very much. This book is extremely twisted and dark, in a good way, but also fun and clever. This is a must read for horror fans!
The two things I see being said the most are: 1) Is it like Final Girls? 2) The characters, particularly the main character, are unlikeable.
1- I see you saying "it's been done before" and to that, I say this: give me all the final girl content. Final girl content is a bit *niche* I suppose, and so while there's a similar thread in nearly all final girl books, films, and shows, I think that most of them are different enough that they stand apart from one another and that there's enough room for them all! Books/movies/etc. have a long history of doing final girls reaaaal dirty (or on the flip side, getting so girl powered up that it's pandering and cringey), so any chance I get to see this trope flipped on its head I will take it. Inject it directly into my veins, sear it into my eyeballs, bc I love it. These characters have stared insane, seemingly unkillable masked killers in the face and lived, so yes I want to see niche content where Freddy or Jason or Ghost or who tf ever runs (or fast walks, bc serial killers never seem to run - ya know?) for their lives in fear of these pissed-off surivor women. This sh** is my jam, ya'll.
2- What is it with needing every female character to be palatable and perfect?
Anywhos. The book.
This book was so much fun. I sped through it, gasped in horror, laughed, and literally sat at the edge of my seat. Grady Hendrix really *knows* horror, and he does it so, so well. There are strong callbacks to horror franchise favorites like Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and the like, and it was really cool to pick up these references as the book goes on. There's a crime book meets horror feel here, and it works. My only wish is that I would have had the opportunity to spend more time with the other final girls - especially Heather - but I'll cross my fingers and pray to the publishing gods that Grady Hendrix will someday gift us with shorts for each final girl. Highly recommend.
And finally, thanks for the ARC Netgalley/Berkley Publishing Group/Grady Hendrix. It was a wild ride!
If there's a novel that so intensely brings home to this reader the cost of being female, it's this one! Heartwrackingly detailed, the violence level and gore are way high, but the character arcs (multiple), the puzzles, the mysteries, and the quest for "why" (even when not conscious in some of the characters), all combine into an unforgettable story. I could not forget THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP if I tried.
Caution: the recounted as well as the present events in this novel may well be triggering to some readers, as may the intermittent movie reviews and quotes. Violence level is extreme, also use of profanity. Human evil is rampant.
As someone with a love of the “final girl” trope, I found this book to be phenomenal. Grady Hendrix has a great way of telling a story, but also mixes social commentary throughout. Why is society so obsessed with the murder of women? Why do some women find themselves obsessed with male serial killers? The women in this book all deal with trauma in their own way, but still felt realistic. It also tackles trying to move on when society won’t let you forget. Not that this book is 100 % serious, the dialogue is snappy and hilarious. I laughed out loud multiple times.
I’m giving ten gazillion stars and getting out of here!
There are some incredible books written by extraordinary minds make you feel everything at the same time and once you finish them you feel speechless because no words will be enough to reflect your emotions! This book is great example of these extremely fantastic reads and Mr. Hendrix proved one more time to us he is a true literature prodigy!
I’m die hard fan of Southern Book Club’s guide to the slaying vampires. It was my favorite thriller book of the last year. He knows how to construct the complex bonding of genuine female friendship and develop rich memorable, survivor, kickass women characters we adore!
At this book: his amazing heroines are true survivors of the massacres, kicking the asses of monsters, real last women standing who try to learn how to move on their lives after being endured brutal violence and fought against the real psychopaths!
There are six of them left behind: ( actually they were lucky number seven but one of them idolized the villains who turned their lives into mess, becoming traitor, leaving their devoted group! Yes, I’m talking about Crazy Chrissy who is one of the most terrifying villanelles I’ve been introduced lately!!)
Lynnette Tarkington keeps punishing herself, turning her house into her own cage, living like a ghost with no proper ID, social life, keeping her address as a secret, always looking behind her back.
Now the leader of their group who brought them together for joining final girl support group is dead! Lynette’s address is compromised as Julia visits her accompanied by reporter who wrote their story. As soon as they gathered at her place, somebody start shooting. Lynette runs away leaving wounded Julia and dead reporter behind!
There is a book outside spills out their dirty secrets and there might be someone targeting last women standing. One of them’s house is bombed as the other one gets into custody after uneventful confession of a criminal which triggers more trauma!
Are all of these vengeful events coincidences? Is Lynnette really getting more insane? Are all of those conspiracies created by her unhealthy imagination?
I think I loved each of the women differently. Feckless, flimsy, entertaining Heather, posh, well mannered, recovering alcoholic Marilyn, activist, know it all, furious Julia and of course Lynnette: fighting against her guilt feelings and self flagellation, misfit of the group because she didn’t kill her monsters : she just left them torture her!
The realistic violence and true reflections of distorted minds in the book were so blood freezing and impeccably executed! I also enjoyed the movie articles about teen slashers produced based on those women’s real traumas! I loved the author’s tribute to the popular culture references, slasher movies!
There are tons of things made me fall hard for this book and I’m telling you: this will probably stay as my best horror/ thriller reads of the year.
It was soul shaking, dark, gory, spine tingling, mind spinning adventure!
Twists are well played, the riveting action chapters, surprising revelations, survival instincts of the characters with increasing tension were impressively well executed!
I LOVED IT SO MUCH!
I need more works of the author ASAP! His skillful writing style is addictive! I read it in a half day and now I’ll search for 364 more days to find something as great as this marvelous journey!
Millions of thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing For sharing this freaking amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
This was my first Grady Hendrix book and now I'm eager to read more. I love the "final girl" trope and enjoyed Hendrix's satirical take on it. It was action-packed, bloody, suspenseful, and psychologically twisty. I also enjoyed the flashbacks to police interviews, magazine articles, and movie reviews in between chapters to tease out the characters' back stories. It had a few inconsistencies I questioned as I was reading it, and there were a few other characters and scenes I wish had been more fleshed out. But overall, I really enjoyed it and will probably re-read or listen to it on audio when it's officially released.
This is everything I’ve ever wanted.
“The Final Girl Support Group” is exactly what it sounds like, a collection of women who have endured the horrors most people only have nightmares about and have come together to lean on one another only after so many years going over the past some decide it is time for a break only for the death of one to bring them all back together.
This book is everything.
The set up is fascinating as we follow Lynn who is so deeply traumatized that the group is the only thing she has going for her and those moments where we follow her through her routine makes you all the more sympathetic for what it means to be a survivor.
Each woman has a harrowing survival story ripped straight from our favorite horror classics and it is interesting to explore what would happen to these girls after the credits roll and they try to put their lives together. There’s a lot of self medication and poor decision making that you can’t blame any of them for and as much as I would have loved a story on them healing this book takes us on a completely different journey to get them to that point.
Having someone hunting the infamous “final girls” is such a fascinating yet terrifying idea. Knowing what they have endured and wanting to be the one to get them in the end is something we see all the time with people going out of their way to become copy cats or just simply fans and going after victims when the killer no longer can and this book explores the crazy and the cult like fascination people have with monsters and what happens when it’s taken too far.
This book is rough and gory and I loved every second of it finishing it in a single sitting but man do I wish I had gone slower just to savor every bloodthirsty bite.
**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
This book!!!! A fictional novel dedicated to anyone that loves horror which I do. Horror, troupes, horror related chapter headings, final girls...it’s all here. I absolutely love this book and I know you will too.
Hendrix has done it again! This time, he tackles the trope of the Final Girl in horror movies and the various psychoses they suffer after surviving massacres. There are a variety of characters that makes each Final Girl easy to distinguish. WARNING: The main character/narrator is not very likable, but she goes on quite a journey of self-discovery.
Sometimes gory, sometimes amusing, this is definitely a read for horror fans. It has twists and turns throughout that had me guessing on the "real" killer with a satisfying ending to the story.
I legitimately did a little dance when I checked my email and saw an approval for this book from the publisher. Grady Hendrix’s previous book, ‘The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires’, disturbed me in the best way AND AND I’ve been obsessed with this niche ‘the final final girls’ trope since I read the Riley Sager book when it came out a few years ago.
This was everything I needed it to be and more. The premise was very similar to Riley Sager’s ‘Final Girls’ but the story
was absolutely NOT a wash-rinse-repeat scenario and it’s super fascinating to see how two different authors can take a similar idea and develop it into two completely different tales.
I’m not sure how a book can be fun and scary at the same time, but that’s what we have here. ‘The Final Girl Support Group’ is creepy, dark, frantic, and twisted and... well, it’s fun! Honestly, it’s exhilarating. It’s well-written, dryly funny, and includes a lot of nods to slasher film pop culture and, of course, borrows from all the best slasher film tropes. The main characters were heavily flawed (duh! they’re horrifically traumatized people!) and admittedly, they’re not terribly likable, but you still find yourself rooting for them - it’s impossible not to.
All the moxie! Loved that this kept me guessing until the end. Every Final Girl was interesting and excellent. I'm a sucker for survival thrillers and I devoured The Final Girl Support Group in one sitting.
This was a very interesting read. I liked the way the author modeled the Final Girls in the group after real scream queens. Fans of the slasher genre will really appreciate this book. I will say the twists are a little muddled, but I did read the book in one evening. It is very entertaining!
ATTENTION GRADY HENDRIX FANS! The Final Girl Support Group will NOT disappoint. Not a fan? I think you mean not a fan, YET. If you've never sunk your teeth into a Hendrix work, The Final Girl Support Group is a perfect place to start & get hooked. Grady knows that we love our thrills, and he always delivers. And always, he delivers in his very-Grady way with meta-analysis of every horror trope perfectly embedded into his reimagining of a genre.
The Final Girl Support Group tackles the subgenre of slasher horror and final girl mythos through the hypothetical: What if all those horror movies from the late 70s to early 90s were really real? And what if those final girls knew each other? What happens to a final girl when their franchise is done, but their pain is still present and monsters are still out there? Explore Grady's take on the slasher genre. Whether you're a final girl aficionado or horror novice, this book will strike a chord as it pulls at the the fabric of what makes this horror subgenre truly horrible.
Only someone as conversant in horror tropes as Grady Hendrix could bring us a horror novel that's both a loving critique of the genre and an expansion of its possibilities. Focused on the plight of several "Final Girls" from different real life murders that were made into horror series, the novel explores our collective attraction to the survivors of these gruesome stories and asks what survival means if you're never free of the past. In true Grady Hendrix fashion, the novel is equal parts humor and pathos, invitation and indictment. The monsters, as always, are us, but so too are the heroes. Women's friendships and networks of care are the weapons of survival in Grady Hendrix's stories and that is what makes him one of the most interesting and exciting writers in the genre today.
I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I have been a huge fan of Grady Hendrix since I first found Paperbacks from Hell and went back and read his novels, they never disappoint. This is another great read, not to be confused with Riley Sager’s Final Girls, this is its own book. Grady takes you on a wild ride with plot twists and turns right from the beginning. This book captured my interest right from the start and I couldn’t put it down. With an interesting cast of “broken” women who have fought to survive after tragedy struck, this book will have you along for their wild ride.
Fourth time is the charm for myself and Grady Hendrix. I enjoyed his other novels enough, but wasn't blown away by them. Well, this time I'm blown away. Like his other novels, this one includes a cast of flawed characters who aren't necessarily likeable. However, by the end I was rooting for every single one of the protagonists in all their damaged glory. I loved the nods to tropes and famous slasher stories, just enough nostalgia for this horror fan. I would highly recommend this one, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars.