Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls
by Riley Sager

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.

Quincy Carpenter, Samantha Boyd and Lisa Milner – what do these ladies have in common?

They survived three different kinds of massacre. They were the last women standing. They were the Final Girls.

Ten years ago, Quincy and her friends met a horrific tragedy in the remote Pine Cottage, but only one girl survived. The press people hounded her for months, her story was vehemently featured in all TV news channels, newspapers, tabloids, podcasts and on the interwebs. She endured it all, until she could finally moved on.

Until Lisa Milner, the original Final Girl was found dead. The second survivor, Samantha Boyd who initially had gone missing suddenly appeared in Quincy’s doorstep, and soon they found themselves in Pine Cottage again, reliving the manslaughter that happened a decade ago, fearful, anxious, scared to death. Literally.

This has been a bone-chilling, mouth-gaping, mind-boggling suspense thriller that had me wide awake at night even after reading it. The deaths, the ripper, the screams, the blood, the weapons, the murderer – everything was a haze and for the rest of the story, I thought I got the murderer right. Until I was deep into the latter chapters when I realized, my guess was wrong. I was mistaken not just once, but thrice.

I won’t further go into detail about the plot or story because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But know this, Riley Sager’s writing is clean and fresh and chilling and something to look forward to. If you’re a fan of thrillers/suspense/whodunnit mysteries, Final Girls is a good pick!

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