“Ever wonder what happens to those final girls? After the cops eliminate them as suspects, after the press releases their brace-faced, pizza-cheeked, bad-hair-day class photos that inevitably get included on the cover of the true crime book? After the candlelight vigils and the moments of silence, after someone plants the memorial shrubs?

I know what happens to those girls,” (Hendrix 5).

Lynnette Harker is one of six real-life final girls. After surviving two horrifying instances as a teenager, doing the press-release and being loved by sickos around the world, Lynnette and the other final girls fifteen minutes are up. For the past decade Lynnette and the other five final girls have been meeting with their therapist Dr. Carol Elliot who has provided a safe space for them to talk, to bond, to put their lives back together after surviving a horrifying unimaginable situation. But when one of the women misses a meeting Lynnette’s worst fears are confirmed: someone knows about their group and is picking them off one by one. But what makes a final girl a final girl is that she doesn’t die, she fights, she survives, and that’s what Lynnette is going to do.

Alright Grady Hendrix, I already loved The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, you can stop being amazing at any time now (but actually don’t, please keep writing I need all of your books!). Though honestly, I had a harder time getting into this one than The Southern Book Club’s, I may love horror but I HATE scary movies (STOP MANIPULATING ME WITH MUSIC AND JUMP SCARES!) so when the final girls were introduced I was a bit annoyed at the vagueness of their backstories, not realizing until talking with a friend who read this book and adores horror movies that each of the final girls backstories are based on actual movies. So that’s my own fault for being confused for that, but I also had to suspend my disbelief a bit because Hendrix’s world is wild. It’s a world where final girls are real, where the monsters who stalk them can be shot six times in the chest and still come back for revenge. Once I accepted the world it was easy to get fully immersed in the story, and what a story Hendrix has to tell.

There are so many good things about this book. Getting to be inside Lynnette’s head is wild and really gives a good idea of the trauma of a final girl and how one might react and live after their horrifying event, a what if to after the movie ends. Hendrix has such a talent for writing female characters, Final Girl Support Group was so good at showing how women survive, how they are labelled as victims, how the story can be turned around to make them less sympathetic. In this novel Hendrix shows how the world wants a certain type of survivor to admire, and if the woman doesn’t fit the mold she is vilified.

While obviously set in a horror movie world, I thought Hendrix also provided a great commentary on murderino’s, particularly how most fans focus their attention on the killers and their crimes and ignore the victims, not even acknowledging their names or remembering that they were real people. I absolutely love that Hendrix decided to send this message in this book, especially with how popular true crime is, I think it’s so real and so important and I love that Hendrix’s horror always has a meaning. It’s not just scares and gore, there’s always a reason to the horror he’s telling.

Grady Hendrix, I’ve already read two of your books in 2021 let’s see where I can get by the end of the year. The Final Girl Support Group is a must-read for horror movie buffs and horror fans, because Hendrix is a writer that you need to read!

tfgsgPublication: July 13th 2021
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 352 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Borrowed (Thanks Andrea! 🙂 )
Genre: Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Adult
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤
Summary:

“In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.

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