The Final Girl Support Group: Novel Review

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, I spent most of mine doing yardwork again! I also wanted to show you some of the new art I’ve done, which is available on my Threadless shop on a variety of products! These two designs are wolf themed, click to shop now!

Let’s head on to the review! And don’t worry, this book only recently came out so I am keeping this review spoiler-free! I do have a spoiler-line to mention something I really enjoyed in the novel but avoid that if you haven’t read the book yet.

The Author

I’ve actually reviewed Grady Hendrix several times already. You can find my reviews of his novels; My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Horrostor, and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by clicking those book titles.

As such, I’ve covered his bio pretty thoroughly so let’s talk new news, shall we?

Super exciting is the fact that My Best Friend’s Exorcism is in production for a film adaptation directed by Damon Thomas and starring Amiah Miller, Chris Lowell, and Elsie Fisher.

In addition to that, The Final Girl Support Group has already been picked up for an HBO Max show adaptation, headed by Charlize Theron and her production crew.

The Novel

Like his bestselling novel The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, Grady Hendrix’s latest is a fast-paced, frightening, and wickedly humorous thriller. From chain saws to summer camp slayers, The Final Girl Support Group pays tribute to and slyly subverts our most popular horror films—movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream. Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she’s been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Then one woman misses a meeting, and their worst fears are realized—someone knows about the group and is determined to rip their lives apart again, piece by piece. But the thing about final girls is that no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

– The Final Girl Support Group Amazon Landing Page

What happens to the girls left over after the massacre? Hendrix takes six of them and lays them out bare. From the society that treats them as nameless pieces of meat to the men who want to slay them, these women are just trying to pick up the pieces. Fans of slasher movies will recognize certain tropes, certain series, certain horrors, which makes this novel an extra treat.

But it also serves as a commentary as to how the media view women in horror. The final girl, the foil to the male slasher. The appetite of horror fanatics for the kills that thrill them the most.

The Review

This novel was very refreshing while also invoking such a strong feeling of nostalgia that I went ahead and re-watched the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Hendrix manages to breath new life into the slasher movie tropes, giving a complexity to the final girl character that was badly needed.

This book sucked me in right away. Lynnette was a character that I instantly wanted to know more about, her fear and paranoia was infectious. Is she a likeable character? That’s debatable. The women in this novel (the final girls to be specific) have their bad sides, their good sides, their flaws, and their strengths. But, in my eyes, that’s what makes them so relatable and realistic. My heart ached for them, especially the protagonist Lynnette.

One thing all the final girls have in common is that they are fighters and they want to move on, even if their stalkers/fans/the world won’t let them.

Also, can I call out that I get anxiety taking care of plants? A year ago, as a house warming gift, a friend gave me a bonsai tree. Yes, a bonsai tree for the plantphobic person (yes, I am aware there is a real word for this). They swore it was “an easy bonsai” but are any bonsai easy? Anyway, Hendrix definitely triggered that anxiety with Final Plant. Just read the book. You’ll see.

The action in The Final Girl Support Group is fast, it’s furious, it’s gripping. Hendrix also lays down the lore that horror fans will be familiar with — Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Micheal Myers, Ghostface, and more — while expanding on it.

The twists and turns will leave you breathless, the showdown is shocking and bloody, and the ending will break your heart.

What more can you ask for?

I honestly couldn’t put this down. And by that I mean, I read it in a day — seven hours of straight reading because I didn’t want to stop. By far, this has been my favourite of Hendrix’s novels. If you’re a fan of the classic slasher movies, if you’re a Hendrix fan, or if you’re just looking for a great horror novel — you need this one on your shelves.

10/10

Also, keep an eye out. I have decided to test out twice weekly posts — book reviews on Mondays and movie reviews on Thursdays. So be sure to check back in on Thursday for my review of The Empty Man.

x PLM


WARNING — SPOILERS AHEAD — WARNING

Can we just take a moment to talk about the Dream King? In the case of all the other final girls, the killers are just men — humans, plain and simple — if a bit disturbed. But it’s made clear that the Dream King is something else.

Chrissy had him visit her and create a shrine, which Lynette can’t even describe. After that, she has a new outlook on poor Heather and even mentioned, near the end of the novel, that she thinks Heather is out looking for the Dream King (are the drugs a gateway?).

This is terrifying because it implies a world where, while the majority of the killers are just disturbed individuals, there is at least one that is truly supernatural. I love it. I love it so much.

That’s all I wanted to say. It made me so hungry for more that I re-watched the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies. *chef’s kiss*

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