As soon as I read the premise for Final Girls, I knew I had to read this book. I’m a sucker for slasher films like Friday the 13th or Halloween, or just horror in general. This seemed like such an original concept: three girls who each endured something out of a horrorfilm, with each being the sole survivor. The so-called Final Girls. One survived a massacre at her sorority, one at a motel and one at a cabin in the woods. We read the story from the perspective of the ‘Pine Cottage Murders’ survivor Quincy Carpenter.
This sounds intriguing, tell me more!
I know, right? It’s about what happens after those films end. I like the concept of the ‘final girl’. Slashers just end when the police finally arrives, but that moment is only when Final Girls begins. It’s years later from the events at Pine Cottage and Quincy is leading her life as baking-blogger. You know what, let Goodreads tell you more about the plot:
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.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, 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.
Is Final Girls as thrilling as a slasher film?
It’s not as good as any original film, but it’s better than all the unnecessary sequels. What’s cool about Final Girls, is that Quincy remembers hardly anything from that fatefull night. Her brain just shut off so she only has the beginning of the massacre (her best friend coming out of the woods, bloodied) and the ending (Quincy being saved by the police) in her memory. So, as reader, you know as much as the main character.
Obviously, something happened that night and it’s up to Quincy (and you!) to figure out what exactly played out at Pine Cottage. This is a much better plot than most detective ‘whodunnit’ novels. It also helps a lot that the main character is just normal, and not a smartypants detective. The only police in the story, is the officer who saved Quincy that night and stayed in her life as a friend from afar.
And while Quincy might be described as a bit vanilla, she is interesting enough. It’s nive to have such a very normal main character for a change. Sam, the other Final Girl of importance in the book, is much more intriguing and secretive. These two together make for a very interesting and unusual couple. The interaction between Quincy and Sam is what makes the book come alive, besides the events at Pine Cottage.
Because every so often, there’s a chapter in between the now, which takes place at Pine Cottage ten years ago. So very slowly, all the pieces come together. It all starts off really cliché: six teens go and spend some time at a cottage far away from everything. They have the time of their lives untill… dundunduuuun. There’s a lot of blood, and five dead teens. I liked the fact that Quincy is pretty rich due to all settlements/lawsuits she and mostly the parents of her dead friends made. It made total sense and it’s once more a great look into ‘what happens after…’
Should I read Final Girls?
If you like horror/slasher films then this is definitely the book for you. If you like original thrillers without a detective/police main antagonist, this is also the book for you. And if you like books with strong female characters, go and read about Quincy Carpenter and Samantha Boyd. If you don’t like any of these three or you just really love spoilers, I have a treat for you. Find out more about the Final Girls ending right after the next image. If you still want to read the book spoilerfee, this review has ended for you here! Go order yourself a copy instead of reading any further.
BEWARE, SPOILERS ARE COMING!
Still here? Great. I made a huge mistake while reading Final Girls. I liked Cooper SO MUCH, I just had to Google if he made it out of the book alive… Haha, so shame on me. Because obviously, Cooper was the real killer at Pine Cottage. And he killed Lisa. And almost Sam as well. So this came as a huge surprise for me! The cop who saved Quincy, didn’t save her at all… He was just there, got infatuated by her and since she lost her memory, he just had to stay in her life.
In a thriller, there are always just a handful of characters who are possible subjects. At some point, I even thought Quincy’s boyfriend was a bit dodgy, since he happened to be out of town during Lisa’s murder. And Sam was just a too obvious choice, although I can imagine people not stupid enough to Google Cooper’s fate can stick with her as possible murderer to the very end.
But still, even though I knew that Cooper was not as good as I thought, it was a surprising book. The events at Pine Cottage (both in the past and the present) played out really nicely. I recommend Final Girls to everybody who still wants to read it after reading these spoilers.