Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Final Girls by Riley Sager

Quincy, Lisa, and Sam are the Final Girls. Dubbed so by the media, the three women were the sole survivors of three separate, horrible crimes. For Quincy, the moniker is an ever present reminder of the day her best friends were murdered. But she herself has very few memories of that terrible night. 

Then Lisa is found dead. The verdict is suicide, but Quincy isn't sure. And when Sam shows up at her door, she becomes even more certain that Lisa wouldn't have killed herself. Together, the remaining Final Girls begin searching for answers, but as they do, Quincy starts to wonder if she can truly trust Sam - or anyone. And as their investigation gets closer to the truth, she starts to remember.

"Final Girl" as you may know, is a term coined to describe the last woman standing in typical horror fare. There are multiple books and movies that bear the name (the film starring Taissa Farming and Malin Akerman is my favorite so far). And given that Riley Sager's debut (Riley Sager is apparently a pseudonym for a previously published author) has been hyped as THE thriller of the summer, blurbed by no less that Stephen King himself, you can imagine I was pretty excited to get my hands on a copy.

The attention this one is getting is not completely unfounded, but I think my own expectations of it may have been too high.

Quincy is a survivor. She's on meds to keep her stable, and abuses them to an extent, which is understandable. And she's shielded by the fact that she has virtually no memory of the crime that claimed her friends' lives. But when Sam appears in her life, she goes off the rails in a way that I didn't quite think worked.

She trusts Sam, as a fellow survivor. But we already know that she's made a point of never really interacting with the other final girls. She's spoken to Lisa a few times but Sam has remained hidden and fairly anonymous from the world. So I wasn't completely sold on the fact that Quincy would trust Sam so quickly. Her attraction to the fellow survivor, who is admittedly more outgoing and manic, and her quickness to follow just didn't quite mesh with the caution I thought Quincy displayed when the book began.

The story progresses quickly, with Quincy soon setting off to find out what really happened to Lisa. And it turns out Lisa herself had been keeping information on all three of them, which kicks off Quincy's returning memories.

It's a truly lightning fast read, with plenty of twists and turns. And overall I thought it was a lot of fun, certainly perfect for summer as promised. But I also thought it was just a bit thin in terms of development. I wanted more from the characters and the plot as a whole. I wanted to sink into the story and get lost, which never really happened, unfortunately.

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