Final Friends by Christopher Pike

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Final Friends by Christopher Pike

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Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: An extremely welcome reissue for one of the classic teen horror trilogies of the past 25 years. Massive recommendation.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 480 Date: July 2011
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1444901306

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When Jessica Hart and her friends end up at a new school, she decides to throw a party to get to know some of the cute guys there. It seems like a great idea at the time – but it will have far-reaching consequences which will mean their senior year will be nothing like they expected.

Christopher Pike was hardly the only author to be churning out young adult horror novels at an impressive rate in the late eighties and early nineties, but he was almost certainly the one who managed to keep quality levels high for the majority of his work. This trilogy – re-released after nearly a quarter of a century – was undoubtedly his best writing, though. He takes a wide group of friends and rivals, fleshes out pretty much every character to the point where they’re both sympathetic but also a possible suspect for a murder, and writes such snappy dialogue that even the chapters in which not all that much happen just fly by.

While Pike is generally thought of as a horror author, it’s something of a misnomer to label this as horror at all, in many ways – although the crime committed is horrific, this is a huge departure from the supernatural stuff which was prevalent at the time. Instead, it’s a gritty thriller but with enough light relief in the developing romances to be a breeze to read, and keeps you on the edge of your seat as you try to work out who the criminal is.

Finally, I was surprised to see that the three books were being released in two parts, with this volume containing book 1 and the first half of book 2 – but the break seems natural, and works well. I can’t wait to get my hands on the second part to remind myself just how it ends!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: My other favourite teen horror writer of this era is LJ Smith, who’s had several books re-released recently. I’d highly recommend the Forbidden Game and Dark Visions trilogies in particular. You might also enjoy The Piper by Danny Weston.

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