Title: Final Girls
Author: Riley Sager
Start date: July 18, 2017
Finish date: N/A…Abandoned
Warning! Some spoilers ahead.
I’M SO SAD AND DISAPPOINTED. I was really excited for Final Girls because not only did the premise sound interesting, but I also have not read a really good thriller/horror this year yet.
To simply put it, I couldn’t care enough about the story or the characters; especially not pill-popping heroine Quincy. When you find yourself not giving a single fuck about the “tragic” protagonist, then there’s something clearly wrong, and unfortunately, throwing the book out the window and jumping ship is the quickest solution.
Final Girls is about the aftermath of a massacre similar to that of Friday the 13th slasher films. We follow Quincy Carpenter who is struggling hard with trying to live a “normal life” with her boyfriend. Everything is fine and dandy until a fellow final girl Lisa randomly commits suicide which triggers a series of events that cause Quincy to revisit her own trauma.
What a hot mess of a book.
First off…Xanax, Xanax, Xanax galore!
EVERY single page mentioned how often she pops a Xanax. Oh she just woke up? Better take a Xanax. Girl was pretty much readying herself for her next dose as she was taking her current ones. Her dependency on a prescription drug was supposed to elicit some sort of sympathy for her, but I found the plethora of Xanax mentions distracting. It was just too much. Other than symptoms of her shaking when she was aching for a dose, there wasn’t much else to show us what could’ve been an understandable drug abuse as a result of her trauma. It seemed like this was simply dropped in there to garner pity for her character.
And then this bitch had the audacity to say this:
“…I had a hard time relating to these vulnerable girls who had endured rape, physical abuse, disfiguring car accidents. Their trauma was far different from my own. None of them knew what it felt like to have their closest friends snatched away in a single instant. They didn’t understand how awful it was to not remember the worst night of your life. I got the sense my lack of memories made them jealous. That they too wanted only to forget. As if forgetting were somehow easier than remembering” (p.34)
This paragraph rubbed me the wrong way. Comparing one form of trauma with another totally different set? Even after admitting it’s different, she dug right in and played the woe-is-me-my-tragedy-is-so-much-more-traumatic-than-yours card. Her character leaked right into the privileged Mary-Sue category here and I immediately stopped liking her. I don’t know if it was Sager’s intention to make some readers stop caring for such a self-righteous protagonist whose head is so far up her own ass, but hey, it was effective in that sense. Her special snowflake self irritated the hell out of me particularly when she claims how her loss of memory of that night made others jealous.
I wanted to read more to find out what happened at Pine Cottage, but so much of the first half of the book was focused on the dull and mundane every day of life of Quincy. I expected more to happen when one of the other final girls showed up at Quincy’s doorstep, but it only caused her boyfriend to turn into an asshole. By the time the narration started focusing more on Pine Cottage, all the flat characters begun merging as one and I couldn’t focus on who was who with their dull and very cliched personalities.
Surprisingly, this book won’t turn me off from reading further works from Sager. I didn’t find his writing horrible. My main issue with Final Girls is the pace of the story and how extremely unlikable the protagonist is.