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Final Girls: A Novel Kindle Edition
|Length: 352 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.”—Stephen King
“A terrific read!”—Karin Slaughter, New York Times and international bestselling author
“Sager does an excellent job throughout of keeping the audience guessing until the final twist. A fresh voice in psychological suspense.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sager cleverly plays on horror movie themes from Scream to Single White Female, creating an homage without camp. Despite comparisons to Gone Girl, this debut’s strong character development and themes of rebirth and redemption align more closely with Flynn’s Dark Places.”—Booklist (starred review), "The Year's Best Crime Novels"
“The tale builds to a fantastic conclusion that will have readers thinking of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train. . . . This brilliant horror/psychological thriller will fly off the shelves.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“You know the cold dread that washes over you while you’re watching a slasher flick? That’s how you’ll feel reading this blood-spattered mystery.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Part thriller, part horror story, Final Girls borrows riffs from Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Single White Female, but remains its own sophisticated creature. . . . Taut and bloody, this chilling mystery invites Gillian Flynn comparisons. Readers should prepare to sleep with the lights on.”—ShelfAwareness
“Stephen King dubbed this page-turner about three women with a seriously grim bond the ‘first great thriller of 2017.’ So yeah, it’s good.”—Cosmopolitan
“A twisty thriller that keeps you guessing whodunit.”—Family Circle
“In horror movies, the 'final girl' is the one young woman who makes it out of a slasher film alive. But in Sager's story, Quincy, who survived a mass murder, refuses to play into the 'final girl' trope. Instead, she creates a fulfilling life in NYC. Then, a woman like her dies of an apparent suicide, and Quincy's well-crafted facade gradually begins to unravel. This one will keep you guessing until the very last page.”—PureWow
“Final Girls is a twisty horror novel that will keep you perched, terrified, at the edge of your seat until the very last page.”—Bustle
“Sager quickly ratchets up the mystery and the psychological suspense in classic slasher-movie fashion . . . [and] takes time to delve into the head of the main character, creating an emotionally charged experience readers won’t soon forget.”—BookPage
“The tone of this book is absolutely spot on—more Dark Places than Gone Girl—but it’s creepy as hell and it evokes the best qualities of ’80s slasher movies.”—Book Riot
“Far and away the best thriller that came out this year.”—PopSugar
“A cleverly devised, expertly written psychological thriller.”—Fresh Fiction
“Final Girls is the reason they came up with the term ‘page-turner.’ ”—PopHorror
“Riley Sager’s loving ode to the slasher film, Final Girls, was 2017’s perfect summer read.”—CrimeReads
“Readers won’t want to put this intense thriller down on the beach blanket—though that blanket may come in handy for hiding under during some of the book’s scarier moments.” —The Deseret News
“The Final Girls need you. You must sit down with this book, you must read. You must start flipping pages, faster, faster, faster. The Final Girls are tough, everything survivors should be. But the new threat is clever, ominous, even closer than you suspect. You are about to gasp. You might drop the book. You may have to look over your shoulder. But you must keep reading. This is the best book of 2017, the Final Girls need you.”—Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Find Her
“Final Girls is a compulsive read, with characters who are at once unreliable and sympathetic. Just when you think you've figured out the plot, the story pivots in a startling new direction. . . . A taut and original mystery that will keep you up late trying to figure out a final twist that you won't see coming.”—Carla Norton, bestselling author of The Edge of Normal and What Doesn't Kill Her
“Part psychological thriller, part homage to slasher flicks and film noir, Final Girls has a little bit of everything: a suspicious death, a damaged heroine, an unwelcome guest who trades in secrets, and not a single character you can trust. Plenty of nail-biting fun!”—Hester Young, author of The Gates of Evangeline
“There are uncommon books and films that crack the ‘safe place,’ that have us forgetting it’s only a story. Nobody knows exactly how this is done, but when it’s done, we know it. Final Girls is operating on that plane; you will check your own arm for a wound a character suffers, you will look across the room when a character hears someone coming, and you will wonder if you yourself have the mettle to endure being a Final Girl.”—Josh Malerman, author of Bird Box
“Smart and provocative, with plenty of twists and turns, Final Girls will have the reader racing breathlessly toward its shocking conclusion.”—Sophie Littlefield, award-winning author of The Guilty One and The Missing Place
“Phenomenally drawn characters and an intriguing premise make this one of my favorite books I've read this year. An outstanding novel.”—Hollie Overton, bestselling author of Baby Doll
“Captivating and compelling, with a refreshingly brilliant premise, Riley Sager is one to watch.”—Lisa Hall, bestselling author of Between You and Me and Tell Me No Lies
“An intriguing, original idea. We’ve all shuddered at bloodbath stories—but how does the survivor cope? It made me think outside the psychological box. Fresh voice, great characterization, and unexpected surprises. This stayed in my mind because it was different.”—Jane Corry, Sunday Times bestselling author of My Husband's Wife
About the Author
- Publication Date : July 11, 2017
- File Size : 1438 KB
- Print Length : 352 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01MCXUTIU
- Publisher : Dutton; Reprint Edition (July 11, 2017)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #14,588 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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You all know the feeling you get when you first read the synopsis of a new book, and in that moment you JUST. HAVE. TO. HAVE. IT.
It goes beyond elated anticipation. It's a NEED!
Yeah, well, that was me when I first stumbled across 'Final Girls' by Riley Sager. I'm a sucker for slasher films-- Modern, 80's retro, Italian giallo... I simply love the horror field in general, truth be told. Anything likened to that area of obsession falls along the vein of must have/must see/must read. So, to say my eagerness to read this novel was bursting at the seams would be a gross understatement.
I've expended so much energy these past few days just abso-freaking-lutely HATING this book, that I really can't force myself to write up this review much further. If you're reading this, though, just know that the plot is predictable, the characters make dumb decisions nearly every page (because if they actually HAD IQs greater than a chipmunk, there would be no plot progression or story), the detectives are so awful at their jobs that I wondered what alternate universe this was happening in, and the entire book itself felt like a cheap, PG-13 thriller your great Aunt or fellow pre-teen friends might find "chilling":
"OMG, I'm soo scared."
"Oh Em Geee, I knoww."
It really isn't that hard to put together who the killer is; I've seen more slasher films than I've read books. But I was hoping the writing would at least be on par with other suspense thrillers I've read and loved.
This book could have been redeemed with anything unique or witty or clever, but it remained generic and bland and redundant in its idiocy.
Riley Sager seems to think the "twists" were more clever than they actually turned out to be (predictable and stupid, in actuality).
Long story short: I'm ticked off. I thought I was going to enjoy this one more than I did, and I'm severely disappointed and frustrated and will never trust another book like this again.
Top reviews from other countries
Quincy or Quinn is the protagonist who survived the slaughter at Pine Cottage. The book starts with her escaping the carnage and running to the safety of a police officer who was at the scene. It is the Pine Cottage chapters which form the basis of her memories. After the incident she has total amnesia about what had happened at the cottage and it is as her memory gradually returns that our views shift one way and the other. All these chapters are in the third person which allows the author to be more objective and explain what happened with the other characters, even though these are Quincy’s memories, so there are some restrictions on what is revealed. For example we do not know exactly what happened to Janelle, but as she stumbles out of the wood into Quincy’s arms we know her throat was cut. The interspersing of the Pine Cottage chapters throughout the book form the basis of the tension and the intrigue, although circumstances in Quincy’s life do act as trigger points for her memories.
Quincy has two men in her life, Jeff her partner and Coop the officer who was at the scene of the murder at Pine Cottage. Both are involved with law enforcement, Coop as a police officer and Jeff as a public defender. The author does not make it clear if this is a need to feel protected following her experience, certainly her use of Xanax would suggest she is suffering the after affects. Her choice of profession, a cake blogger and baker, also suggests a withdrawal from society. Into this sedate world comes Sam/Tina another final girl, a survivor of another massacre. She enters the story just after we find out the first final girl Lisa Milner is dead, presumed suicide. Introducing herself as Sam she explains she changed her name in order to avoid the press and publicity. Her role in the story is to provoke, to make Quincy angry, to disturb her neatly ordered life, to shock her into remembering what happened. This she does very effectively and makes us question deep down what Quincy is really capable of? Perhaps what we are all capable of, deep down?
Lisa’s death provides the suspicion needed to prompt Quincy into looking at Sam/Tina’s background and provides another strand of intrigue and tension in the book. We also learn about Joe’s background, the man accused and convicted of the Pine Cottage murders and how he had spent time in a mental institute. This reinforces the guilt of the criminally insane and plays into the hands of readers assumptions of what must be true. Yet at the end of the book Joe’s name is cleared.
My main criticism is the ending. From chapter 38 onwards where the memories start flooding back things get messy and confusing. This may be deliberate on the part of the author who wants to show Quincy’s distress and confusion as she tries to put the remaining pieces into place. In terms of the reader I found it difficult to follow. I am not sure the perpetrator of the crime was exactly logical either. I’m not convinced we needed to know the background of Tina’s story either. The chapters detailing the time after Pine Cottage seemed to slow the pace. Her role was one of provocateur and I’m not convinced readers would necessarily be emotionally invested in her character.
Overall I thought this book was really good and will definitely go on my favourite shelf, despite the ending.
Quincey's degradation with the arrival of Sam Boyd was overdone, rushed and unbelievable. As indeed was the entire character of Sam Boyd in general. Undoubtedly messed up beyond belief, but aggravating so rather than believably or empathisably so. The author also seems to have a band-aid view of virtually irrevocably damaged relationships seems naive to the point of cringe-worthy so what could have been touching aspects... aren't. Even the moments in the past just before the massacre are somehow angst ridden and tedious.
And the ending. Dear God, the ending. It's as though the author couldn't quite figure out what to do with it and so just pulled a name out of a hat and ran with it, little caring how unbelievable or forced it would seem. The fact that he forces an entirely new character in within the last fifth of the novel is a desperate attempt to shoehorn the forced solution even though it really doesn't fit. That is just desperation.
Hell, I've nearly convinced myself to downgrade the rating to a single star...
Dubbed by the press as the ‘Final Girls’ and evoking a macabre teen horror movie memory of the last girl standing are the young and pretty all American girls who are the sole survivors of noted massacres over the years. Three women who are bound together by their tragedies a decade after the atrocities and the shock news of the suspected suicide of the most vocal and positive of the trio, Lisa Milner, leaves just two standing; baking blogger, Quincy “Quinn” Carpenter and Samantha Boyd whose whereabouts is unknown. Lead character and narrator is Manhattan dwelling Quinn who ten years on from the massacre that left her companions at Pine Cottage dead is still piecing together the fallout and diligently working on her baking blog and living a settled domestic life with caring fiancé and public defender, Jeff. Quinn refuses to kowtow to the victim persona that the media demands and is doing her best impression of conducting a normal, functioning adult life, aside from the odd Xanax and five-finger discount slipped in as necessary coping mechanisms!
Quinns’s sole contact from the Pine Cottage trauma is the Pennsylvania state trooper who rescued her, attentive and dependable Franklin “Coop” Cooper. When Coop reports that Lisa’s suicide was staged and is now considered a homicide, Quinn is understandably rattled and with the press keen to moot the suggestion that someone might be intent on finishing what the massacres failed to do and slaying the remaining Final Girls, her anxiety escalates. Already feeling vulnerable the arrival of the other Final Girl in the form of hard drinking and confrontational wild child, Sam Boyd threatens to destabilise Quinn’s ordered life still further. Seeking to befriend Quinn, much of the psychological suspense of the middle part of this book is primarily concerned with the fluctuating emotions of Quinn who questions whether she can afford to trust Sam. More worryingly, could there be an alternative agenda behind Sam’s fascination in urging Quincy to confront her own memories of Pine Cottage? Regardless of these concerns Quinn needs little persuasion to be hijacked into a darker and riskier underworld where getting angry and living dangerously rules. Her gullibility and swift descent into senseless violence in late night Central Park stretches credibility and aside from the obvious action element, this diversion adds nothing to the greater plot.
Admittedly Quinn is a fairly superficial character with little evidence of real depth and the story that unfolds lives and dies on her supposed psychological repression of the events of the massacre of Pine Cottage, which she claims to have no memory of. Author Riley Sager cleverly uses flashback sequences to suggest that there might be more to the exact nature of the events at Pine Cottage, thereby raising the question of Quincy’s reliability and the prospect of her memories being somewhat selective. The jaunty narrative is no frills straightforward and undoubtedly works well as the voice of a twenty-eight-year-old Quincy in turmoil. In the final third of the novel the flashbacks comes with increasing frequency and the tension ratchets monumentally higher with the details of Sam’s past and whereabouts becoming clearer and Quinn belatedly starting to sense the greater danger. As the denouement reveals exactly what went on at Pine Cottage and makes apparent Sam’s true motivations for tracking Quinn down readers are advised to fasten their seatbelts and hold on tight. Littered with twists and underpinned by a brisk pace, Final Girls is a tongue in cheek look at the outrageously far-fetched storylines of horror movies as opposed to a depraved tale that is likely to trigger nightmares, however some of the violence midway might put off readers who shy away from gratuitous violence.
In short, Final Girls is an uneven debut with a bizarre volte-face change in the personality of lead character, Quincy “Quinn” Carpenter and a pointless diversion into violence (female vigilantism and then some).. but gosh, more importantly it is also insidiously good fun and I enjoyed every minute of a tale which had me fooled! Four stars for sheer page-turning entertainment and some very wry humour!
Review written by Rachel Hall (@hallrachel)
My rating for this wavered between a 2 and 3 because although there were things that I really didn't like, Final Girls did have its saving graces. The novel is well written from the point of view that the writing never got in the way of telling the story. Despite some saggy sections, I found it easy to read and devoured it quickly (or maybe it was those night shifts). The basic story premise was a good one, but I though some parts were overdone and others underdone.
Riley Sager tries hard to make the characters interesting and keep the reader guessing with hints and vagaries and twists and turns. Unfortunately she often overdoes it and this made it difficult to connect with any of the characters and the plot a bit messy. Sager certainly isn't the first thriller writer to make her protagonist's actions unfathomable but that's not much of an excuse.
For quite a while the novel meanders about with the occasional scene that hints that everything might not be what it seems. The longer, more frequent scenes are told by Quincy in present tense, 1st person POV. Every now and then, the reader is treated to flashback of the events at the cabin, told by Quincy... in past tense, 3rd person POV. Huh? I'm not a fan of present tense (I realise that this is a personal preference), and I'm even less of a fan of needless tense/POV changes.
Eventually things come to a head and after some action and a few more red herrings the climax is reached and everything is revealed. Although things were a bit messy, it all moved along nicely and was quite entertaining for the most part. Well done if you worked it all out in advance. I didn't find the ending particularly satisfying, more so as Sager dragged things a bit longer than was necessary. All in all, Final Girls probably deserves 2.5 stars and I'm sure many readers will enjoy it.