We can’t stop raving about Final Girls here at the store! Below, you’ll find an review of Sagar’s new novel, from our new MysteryPeople contributor Matthew Turbeville, who may have read more mysteries than we have. (If that’s possible…)
- Review by MysteryPeople Contributor Matthew Turbeville
Riley Sager’s Final Girls was a hit before it was even released, and deservedly so. With critical praise from authors like Stephen King, the book was destined for success: “The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.” There’s no falsehood to this statement—including the remark about Gone Girl. Final Girls shares remarkable similarities to Gone Girl, as well as many other crime blockbusters of recent years. Yet the most enticing part of Final Girls may be its initial concept: the story of the girl who got away.
The book revolves around Quincy, a young woman whose life seems perfect. She has a baking blog, a perfect boyfriend, and a quiet life—until several events conspire to bring her past to life: Quincy, a woman with her vices (an addiction to Xanax and soda), is troubled for a reason. She was the sole survivor of a mass murder nearly ten years prior, and is still coping with the aftermath.
“With rapid twists and turns, incredibly complex characters who will stop at nothing to get—and protect—what they want, Sager’s debut is a nonstop, propulsive and compelling thriller that will sink its hooks into you and drag you along until the very last page.”
Sager, a huge fan of slasher films, takes the idea of the final girl—the girl who is pure enough to survive a slasher film—and applies it to the crime genre. How can one be pure enough, in a realistic world, to survive a killing spree? Maybe the girl in question isn’t actually pure enough, and that’s where the twist in Final Girls lies. How far will one go to survive—at whatever cost—and also what drives someone to kill—whether murdering a stranger in cold blood, or killing the people closest to you?
Final Girls is perhaps one of the most interesting thrillers to come out of this new era of crime fiction: it is a book that explores womanhood, and what it means to have the pressures of perfection weighing down on a “final girl,” and whether the final girl actually exists. With rapid twists and turns, incredibly complex characters who will stop at nothing to get—and protect—what they want, Sager’s debut is a nonstop, propulsive and compelling thriller that will sink its hooks into you and drag you along until the very last page. And as any survivor knows—of crime fiction or in a slasher film—the last page is only the beginning.
Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Lisa Unger will delight in Final Girls. With similarities to Jeff Abbott’s blockbuster novel Blame (loss of memory, the idea of choosing whether or not to remember traumatic events), the demented and scorned characters of Gone Girl, and the incredible darkness of a Stephen King novel, there’s surely something for everyone to enjoy.
You can find copies of The Final Girls on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.