Review: Final Girls (Holy Shit My Head’s Still Spinning)

By Riley Sager

My Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Goodreads Rating: 4.23

Genre: Psycho Thriller/Mystery/Slasher 

Publication Date: July 11th 2017

Format Read: Phone Ebook

Goodreads Summary: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.  Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.  That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Overview…

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! It was one of the most incredible psycho thrillers that I’ve ever read, kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and had a very, very good ending that helped pull the entire piece together.  I first came across this book when Stephen King (yes, THE Stephen King) recommended it via Twitter, and I cannot explain how excited I was to receive an e-ARC and have the opportunity to read it.  The best possible compliment I can give the book is that it reminded me somewhat of a Gillian Flynn novel, and was definitely up to her standards, although of course it was uniquely Riley Sager.  But, if you enjoyed the likes of Sharp Objects and Gone Girl, I can promise you that you will adore this can’t-put-down read.

The Plot…

Wow.  Just wow.  That’s really all I have to say for this section.  Sager did such a good job of creating a plot which moved quickly enough to be an edge of your seat read, but not so quickly that you felt as though it was rushed.  Although there were elements of “action” throughout, there were also plenty of scenes which took their time to unfold, and the fast paced scenes were all the better for it.

Although there were plot twists, very good ones, it always seemed realistic, and in fact probable, after the fact.  That’s something that I love about this book.  It never felt like they were stretching to create a plot and thereby doing something which didn’t fit with the natural character flow.  Twists were VERY, VERY surprising, but in hindsight you could see how/why.

What I think made this book special was that throughout the book, Quincy can’t remember what happened to her at Pine Cottage, the place where all of her friends were killed by a psycho named Joe and she was brutally injured.  Because of the way it unfolds, you know that there is something more to the story but you don’t know what.  To pull you in, Sager occasionally utilizes flashbacks to Pine Cottage so that you see what is happening slowly, as present day occurs.  I think this offered a good change of pace and kept you hooked the entire time.

The Characters…

The main character, Quincy, has a lot of issues that she attempts to cover up throughout the novel.  She seems afraid of facing her real self in a way that makes her at once vulnerable and strong.  Even though she is a Final Girl– supposedly the toughest and the strongest– she has a plethora of weaknesses, and everything seems real.  

Sam, the other mainest character, is a deeper, more mysterious personality, and that helps add a lot to the book.  Whereas Quincy’s emotions are all laid out there for the readers to see, Sam is a mystery who you struggle to uncover, and yet she somehow seems so developed the entire time.

Reasons I Loved It…

It was overall an amazing read.  Thrillers are always exciting, and I loved this one because the whole premise was likely to happen.  3 mass murders, 3 female survivors, all lauded by the media…. It’s just so cool and such a 21st century thing.  After the general concept, Sager did a great job at actually DOING something with her plot and bringing it to life.  It would have been easy to make a flat story line, but Sager did the opposite.

Ugh Moments…

Umm this is a 5 star review so I don’t really think there are any?  Like I honestly can’t think of any flaws whatsoever and that’s worrying me slightly? I’ll edit this if I think of anything.

Diversity and Triggers…

I can’t really think of any diverse characters in this novel whatsoever, so you aren’t going to get any of that.  

As far as triggers, there are TONS of mentions of mental illness.  Quincy has anxiety and just a generally messed up brain and has to take Xanax for it.  Her mental disorder causes her to steal things and drink too much wine, but IMO this is a normal reaction for someone who saw all of their friends murdered in college??  It never stereotyped or grouped all illnesses together, so it wasn’t making a comment on mental illness in general.

There was also a boy named Joe who was locked up in the mental institution, escaped, and murdered all of Quincy’s friends at Pine Cottage.  That being said, once more it is not stereotyped and there is other development with this character.

Obviously, the book contains violence, including many deaths, stabbing, and strangulation which, although to me that sounds exciting, may be worrisome to others.  Also there are drug and alcohol references.

Summary…

IF YOU READ ONE THRILLER THIS YEAR IT HAS TO BE THIS ONE.  I know it’s early to say this, but I think it might be one of my favorite reads of 2017, and it most likely would have been in the top 5 of 2016 as well.  I will be on the lookout for more of Riley Sager’s books in the future, because it was that good.

Oh Also Look at the Other Cover…

I used the cover up top of the one I actually read, but there is another (prettier) one that I couldn’t resist sharing.30215662

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Disclaimer: Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Also, I am an Amazon Affiliate, so if you are interested in purchasing this book (which you totally should be) use my link and I will receive a small comission 🙂

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Author: Joce

I read and I write about it. If I'm not online or with my nose in a book, I can probably be found at the basketball court.

20 thoughts on “Review: Final Girls (Holy Shit My Head’s Still Spinning)”

  1. Hell yeah!! Welcome to the club!!! My review of this book has been sitting in here for months now!! 😂 😂 😂
    The flashbacks were perfect! They came in the exact time and gave just enough information to make you go crazy!!hahaha And Joe… 😢 😢

    This is my only 5* read of the year so far, and I know it’s going to be on the pole!! No doubts about that! I actually prefer the american cover 100 times more… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I heard I couldn’t post the review for months I almost died because I was so excited to talk about it 😂

      But everything was so perfect and this is one of my favorite thrillers ever, never mind just this year.

      I’m a sucker for pink and black combos so I think that’s why I liked the other cover better. I actually requested on Netgalley to get that version and then realised why I was declined 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahah I am no lover of pink…hahaha
        Well, the pink one is UK and Europe based I guess, so it would have been impossible!hehe
        If it wasn’t for the size difference between US and UK editions I would grab the black/red one without a doubt…
        But yes, just like it happened to you I wanted to talk non stop about this, and it’s funny that I’ve probably read more than 30 books since then but I still have the memory about this book pretty much alive!! In fact I wouldn’t mind at all rereading it, when I get my hands on an actual physical copy!!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I feel like it’s gotta be someone who published under a different genre/someone with a bad rap for some reason because why else. Also while reading I felt like the author was a girl but maybe not???

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I thought it was a man… hahaha
            But truly, didn’t give it much thought because I thought from the beginning with that name that it must had been a man…
            But well, I am pretty sure X usually writes in a completely different genre, that must be it, but to have Stephen King blurb a “debut”… hell I am just so curious!! Plus X was very nice, I think X was the first author who answered me on instagram… 😲

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Oooh I could actually see it being a man!! And yeah it’s gotta be someone big for King to have reviewed it… maybe it is king! And I think I assumed it was a woman because I only know female “rileys”

            Liked by 1 person

          4. hahaha I actually don’t know anyone by that name, and no one famous comes to mind either… but I guess I picture a woman before I picture a man with that name, I don’t know!haha

            Liked by 1 person

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