Originally published: 13 July 2021
Author: Grady Hendrix
Published by: Titan Books
Length: 400 pages
Listening Dates: 3-7 July 2021
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 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 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.
I love a horror movie – it is my absolute go-to genre when choosing a film but weirdly I rarely choose to read horror. When I was invited on the bookstagram tour for The Final Girl Support Group, I loved the blurb so I had to jump on board.
This is the story of Lynnette and a small group of other women who have been the last surviving member of a serial killer. One survived a summer camp where a killer went on the rampage because his son died while some of the camp leaders were having sex. Another survived her boyfriend and his best friend killing their school friends while wearing a creepy mask. Another survived her mentally ill brother escaping an asylum and coming after her while she was babysitting. Sound familiar?
The group of women meet regularly in a support group with a therapist who works with them to try and help them deal with what has happened. While some of the women have made good lives for themselves, either by helping others or by making money selling their stories and movie rights, Lynnette hides herself away in her caged apartment with only a plant for company and has formed no attachments, so she can run at any moment. When one of the women is murdered, it becomes apparent that someone is trying to pick off the final girls one by one.
I just loved this story so much. I loved the nods to some of my favourite horror films of all time but in this book, the movies were based on real events rather than fiction. I loved the very different women who are featured – Julia who despite being in a wheelchair has never given up; Dani who moved to a ranch to live with her girlfriend, Marilyn who made a lot of money from what happened to her and Heather who is a drug addict and quite frankly not very nice.
I have since ordered two more of Grady Hendrix’s books to read – both of which I had my eye on before I realised they were authored by Hendrix and I’m very excited to read them. Twists galore, a very clever plot and plenty of gruesome scenes, I think I may have discovered a new favourite author. The Final Girl Support Group may well be one of my books of the year.
Thank you to Eleanor for sending me a finished hardback copy of the book. There has been an Instagram tour all week along with some giveaways so check out the bookstagrammers below:
And check out my Instagram post for the chance to win your own copy!
About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Grady Hendrix’s novels include Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, We Sold Our Souls, and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. He’s also the author of Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom of the Seventies and Eighties, which won the Bram Stoker Award for “Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction”. He’s been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award, and tweets @grady_hendrix