It’s Riley Sager week here at Jessica’s Reading Room and we will bringing you reviews of all five of his books this week! Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Final Girls. Kim gave it 4 stars while I gave it 3 stars.
Author: Riley Sager
Published: July 11, 2017
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. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
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.
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars
Holy. Crap. I didn’t see that twist coming at all. Normally, I get a sense, even just a twinge, but not with this book! And thankfully, it’s not a twist that made me feel stupid for not getting it. This is the second Riley Sager book I’ve read and I liked this one best. It didn’t feel like a recycled story and I was much more satisfied with the ending. My only real problem is that I really didn’t like Quincy. She was just prickly and kinda dumb acting. For claiming strength after surviving as a “final girl”, she seems weak and like she doesn’t really think for herself. She’s a follower and that clashes with her survivor persona. But it’s definitely a page turner that I couldn’t put down! This is another good one for Criminal Minds fans, with more of a focus on the victims. I liked it a lot!
Jessica’s Rating: 3 Stars
Dates Read: September 23-30, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
Final Girls is Riley Sager’s debut novel, but I am glad I did not read it first. I’ve basically been going backwards and have read his books 5,4, and 3, followed by this one and I still have his second one to go. His novels have gotten better than his first with books 3-5 all getting 5 stars and this one getting 3 stars from me.
As we read, we get two time periods with Quincy: The past where she survived the massacre that left her friends all dead, and present-day Quincy dealing with life in general and then the effects of final girl Lisa committing suicide and meeting another final girl Sam and them forming some kind of relationship. It helped that I did like Quincy and was rooting for her, while Sam just rubbed me the wrong way so many times!
I was interested in this novel the whole time and it will keep you on your toes. I also had several different thoughts as to who the ultimate villain was, and there were several twists that occurred towards the end. But that final reveal of the villain I guessed wrong, but I was also not surprised by. I do read lots of thrillers and enjoy NOT guessing the twist and getting my mind blown, so for me Final Girls was a decent novel and I did like the ultimate ending.
With only his second book left to read, I do really enjoy Sager, but recommended his third novel Lock Every Door the most! We will see what happens once I have finished The Last Time I Lied to see if my favorite Sager novel changes!