Cover Image: The Final Girl Support Group

The Final Girl Support Group

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Member Reviews

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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My first Grady Hendrix book will definitely not be my last. Part thriller, suspense, mystery, action-adventure, and a lot of fun for something so dark. He does horror-humor so well.

And a very likeable, but also unreliable and questionable narrator, with just great characters all around.

The story is perfectly horrible and amazing at the same time, and you can't find that balance in most books.

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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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Roller Coaster Ride for Horror Aficionados

In horror movies, the final girls are the ones left standing when the credits roll. They made it through the worst night of their lives…but what happens after?

From chain saws to summer camp slayers, The Final Girl Support Group pays tribute to and slyly subverts our most popular horror films—movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream.

Lynette 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.

But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

Anyone who’s a fan of horror movies will recognize the movies referenced and the characters utilized in this roller coaster ride of a book. I found this book brilliant, fun, and incredibly well thought out. While I haven’t read any of Grady Hendrix’ other novels, I can tell you that I adored this one.

One of the reasons I really enjoyed it is the level of detail and thought that went into each piece of the story, each character. If you know anything about horror movies, even slightly, you will pick up on his references. Each final girl is from some of the most popular horror flicks out there and that’s what makes them engaging. You get a look at what might be once they grow up, what kind of real life trauma they would have endured but also it is a love letter to the genre of speculating on what would happen if the films had all been real. And it is clear to me, that even while slyly poking fun at the films, it also pays homage to each movie. 

The main character, Lynette is far from perfect and yet, never gives up. Her actions are believable, her motivations easy to understand, and her pain can be empathized with. Most women have had occasion to look behind themselves on a dark street and many have endured similar trauma. While men might enjoy the horror tropes, this book will resonate most with women. And while those who’ve been traumatized might not want to read this, most women will connect with all the final girls and their travails. 

The plot is intense and each twist and turn will keep you turning the page. While a fan of horror films will guess some of the surprises, there are a few that keep you on the edge of your seat and enough suspense to keep you guessing throughout the book. I love the way real world actions are woven with action and suspense. Like I said, I loved this book. If you love horror movies, I highly recommend checking out this new book on the Final Girls of all your horror films. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 horror movies.

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Even with the controversy surrounding this book and another of a similar premise..I loved it! Hendrix is such a creative genius!! Will read anything he writes.

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The premise of this book was very intriguing and had my attention. This is a fast paced horror/thriller that keeps you on your toes. It's intense, it's dark, and quite different from anything I have ever read before. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC.

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I'm a big Grady Hendrix fan already, so I was predisposed to like this book. And it did not disappoint. This is a little darker and deeper than his previous novels. Hendrix always has such catchy, clever titles and that makes you expect a catchy, clever book. This one's a little more serious under all the meta 80s slasher movie references. And that's a good thing. I went thru hating AND loving all of the final girl characters (as well as patting myself on the back for recognizing the various slasher film Easter egg scattered throughout. It ends up being a powerful statement about women and surviving and the need for community.

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This book was not for me. I don’t know if this was meant to be satire, but to me this is the only way it would make sense. If it was intended to be satire I think it fell flat. If not, then I’m afraid the characters were absolutely unrealistic and unrelatable and the plot bizarre. I just could not get on board with this idea and these characters.

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A few words to describe this book: extremely unreliable narrator, kick ass action, and girl power! First half of the book was spent me trying to keep calm while reading a very anxious narrator’s worst case scenario plans. The second half was more fast paced and had a few gory scenes and lots of action. This is my second Grady Hendrix book and this one I liked much better than Horrostor. I do recommend this book only if you enjoy horror/thrillers.

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THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP was an absolute blast from beginning to end. Hendrix expertly and lovingly pays homage to the slasher film genre, and all the final girls populating the titular support group will sound familiar to fans of the genre. This book walks a very fine line-- it takes the pain and trauma endured by its main characters absolutely seriously, recognizing the grave consequences of survival and loss. At the same time, it's a tremendous amount of fun that will keep you guessing till the very end.

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The Final Girl Support Group
by Grady Hendrix
Pub Date: July 13, 2021
Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the ARC of this book. I am not a horror fan but thought I would try this book. It had a bit too much gore for me, but it was a good story.
Others will love it.

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I liked this book a lot more than I liked Horrorstor, let me start with that right off of the bat. It's kind of a weird experience reading a person's first book and then their newest book with almost ten years of development in between. Compound that weirdness with the very peculiarity of having read Riley Sager's Final Girls recently as well, which was similar yet vastly different, and I had a very multi-faceted reading experience with The Final Girl Support Group.

This book breaks down very nicely into a four-act structure, at least in my head. The third act dragged a bit for me, but that's because the rest of the book was absolutely fantastic and I burned through it as fast as I could to find out what happened next. The main character is interesting, although like any good slasher movie/book you do find yourself screaming at her a couple times to not do the dumb thing, but you still always want her to survive and can't help but feel for her. I've seen some criticism online that the other characters in the book aren't as fleshed out or developed as they could have been, and that's a valid observation, but at the end of the day this book isn't their story, and I feel that Lynnette got a great story to develop through for herself. On a serious note, the book also addresses the disposability and consumption of women in the Slasher genre and what it says about society, not in a beat you in the head preachy kind of way, but in a "Have you ever stopped to think about how messed up it actually is" kind of way.

I definitely recommend this book to read.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Grady Hendrix’s latest novel, THE FINAL GIRL SUPPORT GROUP, is an open love letter to the slasher film genre. His other books have touched on exorcisms, vampires, heavy metal rock bands and the scariest of all— a haunted IKEA-like store which comes in the form of an IKEA catalog. In his latest thriller, Grady turns his attention to the Final Girl trope from ‘70s and ‘80s slasher flicks.

Lynette Tarkington survived the Santa Claus killer and lives like a prisoner within her own life. Her only true friend is a houseplant named Fine. Her secluded life makes sense when the reader learns about the massacre that claimed Lynette’s family, as well as her gruesome injuries from being impaled on trophy antlers hanging from her parents’ living room wall.

When Lynette does leave the safety of her cage-like apartment, it’s to attend a support group with five other women; “Final Girls” in their own right. Now, of course, the fan-fare has died down and each is dealing with their trauma as they reach middle-age.

Psychiatrist Dr. Carol is the only outsider trusted by all the women, to the extent that they can actually trust anyone at all. They barely trust each other. Most of the time is spent fighting amongst themselves, mainly because the only thing that bonds them all is their shared experience of surviving bloody massacres. Many have had movies made about their tragedies and a few in the lower income bracket are still living off royalties & selling paraphernalia to their crazed fans.

When Adrienne, the founding member of the support group; is murdered, Lynette sees it as one giant conspiracy to bring all the final girls to the grisly ends they all narrowly escaped. Yet, due to Lynette’s obsessive paranoia, no one believes her. Not even the other “final girls”.

While some of the final girls start suspecting each other of targeting their inner circle, the stakes continuously get higher and there are seemingly less places to run.

This fast-paced horror thriller is sure to quicken your pulse and make you think about what actually happens to the girls when the movies end, the fanfare dies down and the news media moves on to the next horrific tragedy. The reader is left wondering who the real ghouls are in these situations— the sadistic killers or the media perpetuating the bloodlust.

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I'm a Grady Hendrix fan and continously handsell and restock his books in my bookstore. Horrorstor gave me pure popcorn pleasure. Southern Book made me, a hardened reader, cry at the end with emotion for the characters. I apologize for finding The Final Girl mediocre compared to its predecessors.

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As a fan of horror films and books, I thought I knew what to expect from a novel featuring final girls. I knew there would be action...gore...a more than a heaping spoonful of female badassery. But I didn't expect Lynne's bright neurosis. I didn't expect the exploration of survivor's guilt, of moving on from serious trauma, of not giving up on people who want to give up on themselves. Grady Hendrix has taken the trope and turned it on its end, which we expected, but he also took care in crafting wonderful, flawed, beautiful, realistic female characters. A must-read for any horror fan!

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I've never been a huge fan of slasher movies, but this is an exploration of what happens to the "final girl," or the last one standing after the credits roll. The Final Girl gives an in-depth glance at the damage done to these women, even 15 years after the movie ends.

This one surprised me. It was interesting, different, and I thought about it when I wasn't reading.
Hendrix gives a unique spin on a familiar trope - excellently weaving in the premise that the slasher moves we all know are based on these fictional women's experiences. It was fun to piece together which woman goes with which film franchise.

Overall, a great story.

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