Writer: Grady Hendrix
Publisher: Titan Books
Publish Date: 13th July 2021
Reviewed By: Dean Asquith
My Rating: 🏹🏹🏹🏹🏹
In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?
Lynnette Tarkington survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. 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, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
A tense thrill ride through the eyes of a not so final girl. Grady Hendrix treats us to a story that will hold your attention tightly and not loosen its grip until you have closed the back cover.
The Final Girl Support Group is a modern thriller set post teen slasher movie era. It follows the activities of Lynnette Tarkington and the rest of a group of ‘Final Girls’ belonging to a support group run by Dr Carol Elliott. The premise of following the survivors of your typical slasher horror movie is a very unique and interesting one. It provides a unique mental perspective from the survivors of atrocious crimes and in some cases multiple attacks. Lynette from the beginning seems different to the other final girls and this becomes more and more apparent as the story progresses. Each final girl survived their attackers and all dealt differently with the aftermath. Some went on to become rich beyond their wildest dreams, some went on to become recluses, like Lynette and others turned to drink and/or drugs! They all continued to have one thing in common at the end of the day though and that is that they are Final Girls and more than others clutched to this existence more than others.
This is my first time reading something by Grady Hendrix and I have to say that I am amazed by his writing. It can sometimes take a lot to hold me into a story and many books in my past have been put to the side with me saying “I’ll try that again another time” and subsequently never returning. There were never any worries of that happening with this book. Once I began reading, I was hooked. Grady is masterful with storytelling. Each character has a distinct and interesting personality and backstory that individualises them. Grady doesn’t allow this to isolate aspects of the story or character from it. He maintains connections whilst encouraging individuality and this masks for an incredibly interesting read.
I really enjoyed that at the end of each chapter we got to read some extracts ranging from interview notes, news articles and more. They added a sense of realism into the story.
The story doesn't let up and each chapter increases in quality and in mystery. This book really is one of those ‘just one more chapter’ stories, for me it was more “just 3 more chapters”, and this went up more and more the further I got into the book. I’m a huge fan of thriller/horror books and this is up there as one of the greats for me! If twists, shocks, suspense and addictive characters are your thing, then please give The Final Girl Support Group a read. Grady Hendrix really is one to watch and The Final Girl Support Group will be on the bestsellers list come its release.
Be sure to go and order this absolute MUST READ! Here is a link to help you find out where to buy no matter where you are in the world:
“I used to think it was weird that we met surrounded by Sunday school art, but now it’s the first thing I look at every month after checking my sightlines and my exits.” - Lynette Tarkington.