“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.” (Source: Goodreads)
Final Girls by Riley Sager is yet another title with far too much hype, much to my chagrin. I expect thrillers to have a bit more of an edge to them, but this book is more of a slow simmer. Much of the guessing is conveniently cut out by the blurb which I feel to be more of a spoiler than most reviews.
The story focuses on Quincy’s day to day life, then her struggles with Sam when she shows up to disrupt Quincy’s lifestyle in the wake of Lisa’s death. During this time period, flashbacks riddle Final Girls. This element is one I hoped to find exciting, but it only serves the purpose of helping the story drag dreadfully.
In some ways, I think Final Girls tries too hard to be something it isn’t. I’m aware many readers devoured this book and even my idol, Stephen King, sings its praises, but it simply doesn’t sate my own hunger. There’s too much left wanting and far too many things that seem to be more for the sake of convenience. I also felt there are loose ends that were never truly wrapped up – such as the manipulation of Quincy’s mind. I definitely would not categorize this as horror.
I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. My review is unbiased and written freely of my own will.