I received a request to review this back in December* before everything happened with my mom and before we moved and I’m just now starting to play catch up four months later. Right as I’m finally making progress on my backlog of ARCs and galleys I start to request more. When will I learn?
This was a super fast read and it kept me engaged, yet I still have mixed feelings on the book. I went back and actually lowered my rating on Goodreads from four stars to three stars. I think it deserves 3.5, but didn’t feel it deserved the round-up. I’ll let it marinate for another week and decide if I’ll keep it at 3 or bump it back to 4. I’m going to try not to spoil the book, but I can’t guarantee it so read the Goodreads synopsis here and decide if you want to read past this.
The premise of the Final Girls is that there is one survivor from every horrific group/mass murder (think horror films) and that those survivors have an inseparable bond. In this book there are three of them and we spend the bulk of the story with the protagonist Quincy who is simultaneously a badass and a baby.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and the characters, but not enough for the two major problems of the book to be overshadowed which sometimes can be the case. The two things that really bothered me about this book were the over attention to details and the big reveal at the end. Don’t worry I’m not going to reveal it, just talk about the way it happened.
The overly detailed passages at some point worked really well, like when Quinn runs through the forest. It gives a sense of heightened perception. But when you overly describe so many other things it makes me feel like you’re writing a book for the first time and that is not the case with Sager, at least according to Goodreads. He’s written under other names and I can’t help but wonder if a stronger/more diligent editor could’ve made this book have even more of an impact. Or tell him not to write like this book is a film adaptation shooting for a movie deal.
The second thing bothered me even more than this! As this is a murder mystery you expect a bit of a whodunnit. What you don’t expect is a bait and switch instead of a misdirection or red herring. I’m not even mad I didn’t see it coming, I’m mad because there were so many details that were purposefully excluded that it never even crossed my mind who was who. Seriously, I got to the reveal and was like wait, what, how in the world is this even remotely possible and then the book was done five pages later without much of a real wrap up. It just irked me, you can’t write a book with only one hint at who is who and pawn it all off on the protagonists lack of memory that they discover in the last 10-15 pages of the book. Boo and Hiss.
Recommendation: It’s a fast read so if you like thriller/suspense novels give it a go. If you’re less enamored with unreliable-ish narrators pass.
*I received a copy of Final Girls from the publisher in return for my honest opinion. No goods or cash were received.
Opening Line: “The forest had claws and teeth.”
Closing Line: “‘I’m here,’ she said, ‘to teach you how to be a Final Girl.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers highlight to read.)