Final Girls by Riley Sager

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: Tense, exciting and very dark. A thriller that is irresistibly readable and sure to be a 2017 summer smash.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: July 2017
Publisher: Ebury Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1785034022

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A 'final girl' is the last girl alive at the end of a horror movie, a gruesome description which has defined the life of Quincy Carpenter, as much as she tries to persuade you differently. Quincy, the sole survivor of a teenage massacre, has spent her adult years trying to put the past behind her. But when another 'final girl' dies, the media, who have always been obsessed with the girls' dark glamour, swarm upon her. And to make matters worse for Quincy, the other 'final girl' a survivor from another massacre, who has been in hiding for years, appears on her doorstep. Suddenly, Quincy is not only able to move past her past, her past starts to intermingle with her present and she is drawn back in. Was the first 'final girl's death an accident? Why has the second 'final girl' come out of hiding? And what isn't Quincy telling us about her own massacre?

I devoured this book. I picked it up on a Saturday morning and had to force myself to put it down so I could get on with my weekend because I could have easily read it in one sitting. You are drawn in immediately by Sager, who introduces you to the massacre and to present Quincy on alternate chapters. Quincy doesn't remember what happened, so as what happened does unfold, you find out at the same time as she does, which is beautiful writing.

A warning to the faint-hearted, parts of this book are disturbing. However, that is absolute praise for the book in my opinion, without the darkness, it could have been drawn in to spoof. Sager keeps the tension running throughout the whole story; at points you feel barely able to breathe. As the reader, you don't know who you can trust. And Quincy is a superbly unreliable narrator, who, like other characters, keeps her own agenda hidden, even from the reader.

I think this was a really strong idea for a novel. The title and concept of 'final girls' is interesting and clever. It could all be something you have seen in the news but from the survivor's perspective. I also think this book questions descriptions, like Quincy's disdain for being part of the 'final girls' club and the difference between a victim and survivor. She is a really dark and interesting protagonist, wonderfully crafted to be completely damaged but appearing whole on the outside. She's an ideal narrator to take you through this story.

As I mentioned, this story drives forwards from the first page. I read it at top speed wanting to reach the conclusion but when I did get there, I found it a bit confusing. I don't think the ending is as well thought through as the rest of the book which was a tad disappointing but overall, I still thought the story was irresistible. This should be a summer smash and I look forward to reading more of Sager's work.

I also want to mention that the book itself is beautiful; the copy is absolutely lovely. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Bookbag for my review copy.

If you like the sound of this book, I would highly recommend The Widow by Fiona Barton another story that will keep you guessing right to the end.

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