Sunday, October 8, 2017

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Genre: Thriller
Published: July 11, 2017
Pages: 342


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-fiancĂ©, 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.


I found a copy of this book at a cabin in the woods that I was staying at with a few of my best girlfriends for a weekend. It was Valari's idea for us to get the cabin in the woods, and for some reason everyone else went along with it even though a cabana on a beach would have been a much better choice if you ask me. 

Anyway, since we were in the middle of the freakin' woods and there was nothing to do but drink and talk, and the other ladies are major lightweights and had all already passed out for the night, I decided to occupy my time reading this book. Big mistake. Huge. You see, I'm pretty sure that reading this book set off the horrifying chain of events that I endured that weekend. 

Sure, we were safe that first night because the sun was starting to rise as I was finishing the book, but Saturday night was a bloodbath free-for-all. It started when Judith went outside to get some more firewood. She was gone for so long that Bekah and I went to look for her, thinking maybe she'd tripped over something and hurt herself, she's rather clumsy you see. We found her in the woodshed with an ax through her skull. 

I tried to convince the rest of the girls that we needed to leave, right then, but we'd all been drinking and no one wanted to risk getting in an accident by driving drunk, which I couldn't really argue with, but I insisted that we all stay together for the rest of the night because everyone knows that you don't go anywhere alone in a horror movie. 

Things were going great until Sofia needed to pee. I insisted that I go with her to the bathroom, but she swore she'd be fine and didn't need a babysitter. After she'd been gone for twenty minutes, we broke down the door to find her suffocated by the shower curtain. We never even heard her scream. 

After that, Bekah and Valari took my warnings a little more seriously, but not seriously enough. When Bekah's phone battery was about to die, she went to her room "just for a second" to grab the charger. It's not like we even had service in the cabin, but apparently she needed a charged phone for something, reading an ebook maybe. The killer had other plans for the charging cable though. Apple gets a lot of crap for how flimsy their charging cables are, but the killer had no problem strangling Bekah with hers. 

With just Valari and me left, we weren't taking any chances. We sat our butts down on the couch in the living room with no intention of moving. But then the lights went out. Obviously we needed to go check the breaker box, and neither of us was going alone. But that's where we saw him. It was dark, just a small sliver of moonlight coming in through the window, glinting off the butcher knife in his hand. I knew what I had to do. 

I used all my force to kick Valari's knee from the side, shattering it and sending her to the ground. Then I ran, and ran, and ran until I reached the road and managed to flag down a passing car. I can only guess what happened to Valari. I just hope the killer made it quick for her. 

I give The Final Girls one bloody knife for being the precursor to the worst weekend of my life. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Riley Sager is a pseudonym for an author who has been previously published under another name. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley is a writer, editor and graphic designer who now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Riley's first novel, FINAL GIRLS (called "The first great thriller of 2017" by Stephen King), will be published in 2017 in the United States, the United Kingdom and more than twenty countries around the world.

Visit Riley at and on Twitter @Riley_Sager.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of Final Girls, just click any of the following links. 


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