Format: E-Galley, 352 pages
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
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.
Final Girls, by author Riley Sager, isn't to be confused with the 2015 "The Final Girls" slasher comedy film featuring Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, & Nina Dobrev. Nope. This isn't a story about characters being sucked into a movie, and then finding themselves being targeted by a Michael wannabe who cuts his way through the film in a comedic and dare I say, over the top way. Instead, this story about a woman named Quincy Carpenter who is the sole survive of a bloody rampage called the Pine Cottage Massacre.
"You can't change what's happened. The only thing you can control is how you deal with it."
Since the synopsis pretty much tells you all you need to know about this movie, except how it ends and who the villains are, let's chat about the story itself. Have to say that this story had me going for awhile. Why you ask? Because Quincy has zero recollection (Dissociative Amnesia, repressed memories) of her time at Pine Cottage. Her addiction to Xanax and grape soda is a curiosity that takes time to understand. Her failing to respond to an email because she was either too busy, or didn't want to bother, was an issue that could have been resolved quickly. How are we to trust an unreliable narrator who was able to survive when her friends weren't as lucky?
How are we to trust that Quincy didn't kill her friends in a fit of rage? Quincy's dreams and nightmares are filled with guilt and grief that still linger 10 years later. But, why? Then strange things start to happen. Lisa Milner, the first so called Final Girl, is found dead apparently by her own hand. A second girl named Samantha Boyd, who was the second named Final Girl, suddenly shows up at Quincy's door after disappearing without a trace. Sam is a woman who has some issues, and those issues start to affect Quincy's life. Quincy's life with her boyfriend and her cooking blog and her relationship with the cop who came to Quincy's rescue after all her friends had been murdered, suddenly gets turned upside down.
In this story, Final Girls is another name for Pretty Girls who end up covered in blood, or are the last one's to survive. They are often the one's who stop the killer before the killer can get away with his demented crimes. Final Girls alternatives between present day, and the past. This is a story that will truly keep you interested in finding out if Quincy was actually a villain, or if someone else is responsible for the things that have happened to the so called Final Girls. There are plenty of twists to give you just enough of a shock to be impressed.