Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Genre: Fantasy
Published: October 10, 2017
Pages: 369


Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.


I bought a copy of this book before my first year at Hogwarts as it was on the list of books needed for my Introduction to Magic and Mayhem class (it's a new class at Hogwarts offered only to the non-traditional students like myself). It makes sense that we'd need to learn the rules of magic having spent so many years living our lives as muggles. Anyway, bought the book for class, but enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. 

I'm accustomed to school books being really dry and rather boring, but apparently that only applies to muggle school books if this is anything to go by. The way the rules are laid out, with examples to show just why they are so important in the first place, was actually really interesting. We were only required to read a couple chapters a day for class, but I found myself using my contraband time turner  to stay up all night reading it (and then going back in time eight hours so I could still get a full nights sleep before my alarm went off of course). Pro-tip, according to chapter 23, using a time turner to get more sleep is apparently a big no-no, but if they don't catch me doing it, I'll be fine I'm sure. 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is interested in learning about magic, but now that I think about it. I shouldn't have said that. I should not have said that. Forget you heard that and pretend like this review does not exist. 

I give The Rules of Magic seven dragon heartstring core wands. 

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About the Author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York. 

Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review. 

Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.

Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

Alternate Reviews

Once again, I'm being lazy. Check Amazon or Goodreads for some real reviews of The Rules of Magic, there are lots of them. 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: September 5, 2017
Pages: 384


Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program (that's actually true, and I'm excited to actually read this book when I have time, but let's not let the truth distract us from this review). I entered the giveaway because I was pretty sure this book was about ice sculptures that come to life, like in Toy Story but ice sculptures. Who wouldn't want to read that story. 

So I wasn't exactly right about what the story was going to be about, but I wasn't entirely wrong either, which is kind of a first. So this is a fairytale retelling that is really kind of a rip-off of the tv show, Once Upon a Time. The conflict between Mina and Lynet is so much like the conflict between Regina and Snow. I don't necessarily blame the author though, because since OUAT has changed the cast, I kind of want a return to that old feeling anyway, so even though it seems like a rip-off, it was a welcome rip-off, like good fan fiction. 

While I was reading, I couldn't help thinking about how Lynet would probably be super easy to beat if only Mina knew that she was made out of snow. Seriously, you just pull out a high powered blow dryer and melt the bitch, problem solved, right. Surely it would be that easy. At least it should be that easy. So it was lucky for Lynet that Mina didn't know that about her because it meant she had a fighting chance, and I really did want her to win. I also wanted her to to come clean with her stepmother and tell her how much she respected her because that might have solved all their problems anyway. 

Overall I give this book 3.5 poison apples. 

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About the Author

Melissa Bashardoust received her degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, where she rediscovered her love for creative writing, children’s literature, and fairy tales and their retellings. She currently lives in Southern California with a cat named Alice and more copies of Jane Eyre than she probably needs. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is her first novel.

Alternate Reviews

Being lazy, just check Goodreads or Amazon for real reviews of this book, or you know, Google it. I'm sure there are several blog reviews of this one because I've seen it pretty much everywhere it seems. 

Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen by Shoshanah Marohn

Title: Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen
Author: Shoshanah Marohn
Genre: Humor
Published: March 18, 2015
Pages: 126


New, updated second edition with black and white pictures! 

It's Paris like you've never seen it- ugly, unromantic, and hilarious. 

Pure as newly driven snow, three teenaged girls arrive in Paris, with little money and a large passion for art (especially art where lots of people die gruesome and terrible deaths). Immediately, they are constantly propositioned by men. Everywhere. Anything they do, men ask to have sex with them. They don't say hello or how are you, they just ask to have sex with them. Why do the French men like them so much? What is wrong with these people who won't let you walk ten feet without asking to have sex with you? Will the three of them even survive the trip? Sketch drawings of every Frenchman who approached them complete the hysterical telling of this ill-fated tale.


My husband bought me a copy of this book when I was planning a trip to Paris with some of my friends. I'm not sure what he was trying to tell me with this gift, but we all know that I love to read so I'm sure he only had the best of intentions with absolutely no ulterior motives at all. 

I figured since my husband very intentionally bought this book before my trip, I should read it before heading to France though, it only seemed right. I'd like to be able to say that this book had a lot of helpful information, but mostly while I was reading I was really confused about why any of the things mentioned would be a problem. For instance, you're apparently supposed to avoid coffee shops after like two pm because thats the time of day when they magically become dens of iniquity, or something like that. Seriously, it just seemed ridiculous. 

But then I actually went to France and OMG guys, I'm pretty sure this book kept me from getting some exotic French STDs. You may think that you've got this amazing willpower and don't need tips on how to avoid having sex with random men, and you're probably mostly right, but French men are like an entirely different species, and they're nearly one hundred percent irresistible. If I had not already read this book, I would have fallen on so many French dicks while I was in Paris. It almost certainly would have ended my marriage. So if you are a woman (or a gay man) with a significant other planning a trip to France at any point in the future, you should absolutely read this book first. You and your partner will thank you. 

I give Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen 37 condoms. 

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About the Author

Shoshanah Lee Marohn is an insignificant author who would like to express her deepest appreciation that you are even reading this. If you are a purchaser of one of her obscure books of doodlings, rest assured that you have made her day. 

Shoshanah lives on a farm in the Midwestern United States. Her hobbies include sighing deeply and making sculptures of strange woolen creatures. In the future, she hopes to achieve enough success to eat countless pints of fresh blueberries.

Alternate Reviews

I'm being lazy right now. For alternate reviews, just check the book info on either Goodreads or Amazon to see what real people had to say about this book. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Title: A Dog's Purpose
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Genre: Fiction
Published: July 6, 2010
Pages: 319


This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here? 

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose? 

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.


My children have been begging for months upon months for us to get a dog. I have been very resistant to this idea because EVERYONE knows that when kids get a dog, it always ends up being mom who gets to walk it and clean up after it and all that other not-so-fun stuff, and I am a cat person. So my son thought he would sucker me into agreeing to getting a dog by giving me a copy of this book to read (because he knows how much I like to read). 

Now I'd have to be real hard-hearted to not read a book given to me by my eight year old, and I'm not that hard-hearted, so I cracked the cover of this book to see if it would enlighten me as to what a dog's real purpose is other than being an expensive shit factory. Spoiler alert, it didn't. 

I mean, I suppose the story was cute enough, especially while the dog was Bailey, and I can understand why my kids would want a dog from that portion of the book, but boy did it leave out a bunch of the work that goes along with raising a good dog. And if the dog's purpose is to ultimately come back when my son is a lonely bitter old man, we're just going to have to hope that my son never ends up becoming a lonely bitter old man because this book did not convince me that cleaning up a dog's shit is worth that. Sorry son. Mission failed. 

I give this book 2 slobbery dog bones. 

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About the Author

W. Bruce Cameron is the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, The Dog Master, and the A Dog's Purpose series. In 2011 he was named Columnist of the Year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He lives in California.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of A Dog's Purpose, just click any of the following links. 

The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Harrison

Title: The Dirty Book Club
Author: Lisi Harrison
Genre: Chick Lit
Published: October 10, 2017
Pages: 320


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Clique series comes a novel about the importance of friendship, and, of course, the pleasure of a dirty book.

M.J. Stark’s life is picture-perfect—she has her dream job as a magazine editor, a sexy doctor boyfriend, and a glamorous life in New York City. But behind her success, there is a debilitating sense of loneliness. So when her boss betrays her and her boyfriend offers her a completely new life in California, she trades her cashmere for caftans and gives it a try. Once there, M.J. is left to fend for herself in a small beach town, with only the company of her elderly neighbor, Gloria, and an ocean that won’t shut up.

One afternoon, M.J. discovers that Gloria has suddenly moved to Paris with her friends to honor a fifty-year-old pact. And in lieu of a goodbye, she’s left a mysterious invitation to a secret club—one that only reads erotic books. Curious, M.J. accepts and meets the three other hand-selected club members. As they bond over naughty bestsellers and the shocking letters they inherited from the original club members, the four strangers start to divulge the intimate details of their own lives… and as they open up, they learn that friendship might just be the key to rewriting their own stories: all they needed was to find each other first.


I heard a rumor that a member of my book club was masquerading as THE Lisi Harrison to write a tell all memoir about the club, and frankly, that's not cool. First of all, she's not the real Lisi Harrison. And on top of that, she could have at least been upfront with us about what she was doing so that we could decide if we wanted to be included in her little story. I don't even care that she's marketing it as fiction, because after reading it, it is super obvious that this book is about our book club. And honestly, I'm livid right now. 

See, she basically paints me as this huge slut, and that's totally not accurate. Just because I sleep with a different guy almost every weekend and have taken to calling all of them bae to ensure that I don't call them by the wrong name, is no reason for her to look down on me. Not all of us have cobwebs sprouting between our legs like she does, just saying. And what she said about Steph's husband, totally uncalled for. Seriously, she's lucky she already moved and left the book club or else she would be dealing with us, and you do not want to see a pissed off Amanda after a couple glasses of wine. 

My advice to you, don't buy this book unless you want to read a whole bunch of lies and half-truths written by a bitter, salty old hag. She's just jealous that she can't hang with the rest of us. 

I give this book one floppy dildo. 

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About the Author

Lisi Harrison worked at MTV Networks in New York City for twelve years. She left her position as senior director of development in 2003 to write The Clique series. That series has sold more than eight million copies and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two hundred weeks, with ten titles hitting #1 and foreign rights sold in thirty-three countries. The Alphas was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and Monster High was an instant bestseller. Her latest YA series is Pretenders. Lisi lives in Laguna Beach, California, and has been a proud member of her own dirty book club since 2007.

Alternate Reviews

If you would like to read some legitimate reviews of The Dirty Book Club, just click any of the following links. 

Origin by Dan Brown

Title: Origin
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Thriller
Published: October 3, 2017
Pages: 461


Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.


I found a copy of this book abandoned in a locker at a train station when I was on my way to Barcelona. There was a post-it note on it, but it was written in Spanish, so I haven't a clue what it said, but I assume it was "Free for whoever wants this book." It was a rather handy find as I had forgotten to bring a book with me, and had a rather long train ride to look forward to. 

So long story short, I spent my train ride reading this book. It had me so enthralled that I almost missed both of my connecting stops (I didn't, but I almost did). Anyway, by the time I got to Barcelona I'd finished reading the book and it was a rollercoaster. But then, I got off the train and there was a dude there holding a sign with MY name on it. Now, I wasn't expecting to be meeting anyone there, and dude looked kind of sketchy so I pretended to be a Russian prostitute to evade his attention. It totally would have worked too if stupid Becky Johnson from high school hadn't been at the train station and called out my name when she spotted me. Since the jig was up, I was left with no choice but to run as if there were bulls chasing me. 

So I ran up and down tiny side streets and alleys that were barely wide enough for me to fit through, but sketchy dude stayed on my tail the whole time. Finally, I just couldn't run any longer because frankly, I'm a wee bit out of shape. I think he was glad when I stopped too though, because he was absolutely panting up a storm. Anyway, after he caught his breath, he told me he simply wanted his book back. He never did tell me how he knew my name though. 

I give Origin three Picassos. 

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About the Author

Dan Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and, previously, Digital Fortress, Deception Point, and Angels and Demons. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. He lives in New England with his wife.

Alternate Reviews

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Make Your Own Sex Toys by Matt Pagett

Title: Make Your Own Sex Toys
Author: Matt Pagett
Genre: Self-help/crafts
Published: February 1, 2007
Pages: 128


Giving new meaning to the expression "take pleasure into your own hands," Make Your Own Sex Toys is a witty yet practical guide featuring how-to directions for 50 inventive DIY accoutrements. Readers can whip up the Knitted Willy Warmer for cold winter nights, get turned on with the Electro Stimu vibrator, or assemble the Mutual Member double-dildo to cheer up a lonely friend. Practical information plus easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams ensure professional results even for the crafting novice. With quick-reference sidebars, crafty improvisation ideas, and handy shortcuts, Make Your Own Sex Toys is sure to get the creative juices flowing.


I was gifted a copy of this book at my bachelorette party. And can we just talk for a minute about what a bunch of cheap asses my friends are. Instead of buying me sexy lingerie or actual sex toys for my bachelorette party (like most people do), they bought me this freakin' book instead, expecting me to do it myself. I thought marriage was supposed to be the end of doing it myself, but apparently I was mistaken. 

Now I'm not the type of person to let a book go to waste, so I read this anyway, hoping that it would give me some good ideas for cheap sex toys to spice up my new husband's and my love life (you know, after the honeymoon phase was over of course). After spending fifty thousand dollars on the wedding of his dreams, we just weren't going to have a lot of wiggle room in our budget, so anywhere I can save a buck or two is a good thing. 

And I wish I could say that this book has some great ideas, but I can't say it honestly. I mean sure, The Willy Warmer is kind of neat, I guess. But I'm not sure how well they stand up to the test of time because my husband keeps asking me to make more of them and I can never find them around the house when I go looking for them. And I tried the pleasure beads myself and ended up in the ER having splinters removed from my va-jay-jay. Pro-tip, do not insert wooden objects in your body. 

I'm honestly really disappointed that this book doesn't have better ideas in it, because my love life took a serious nosedive pretty much the minute we got home from the honeymoon. We haven't had sex in almost two months, and our wedding was only three months ago. I've spent more time doing it myself since getting married than I did before I met my husband. When we were dating, I thought his desire to abstain was a religious thing, and I totally respect that, but now I'm beginning to think that maybe there's something wrong with me. I really just wish he'd look at me the same way he looks at his best friend, Matt. 

But for now, I'm off to enjoy a cucumber (tip #34). 

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About the Author

Matt Pagett is an author, artist, and illustrator living in Brighton, U.K., whose work has appeared in numerous books, magazines, on record covers, and gallery walls.

Alternate Reviews

You're just going to have to check the reviews on Amazon for this book. No self-respecting book blogger would review a book like this. 

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. 

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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.