Title: My Best Friend’s Exorcism
Author: Grady Hendrix
Published July 11th, 2017 by Quirk Books (first published May 17th 2016)
Genre: Horror, Fiction, YA
“The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act … different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby.
Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries — and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?” –Goodreads
*This book touches on themes of self-harm, suicide, and sexual assault*
Like I said in my Roll for Initiative review, Stranger Things has become my personality recently. When walking around The Strand, I saw the cover of this beautiful book with its VHS design and ’80s-style art. I grabbed it and knew I had to take it home with me immediately.
I am going to preface this (because I am rather negative about the book) by saying that I loved this book. I am so happy I picked it up even though it will add extra weight to my suitcase when I leave New York.
While I do not read horror often, so I cannot give its horror aspects an expert review, I did think it did well.
It did have great horror scenes, but there was nothing that made me not be able to sleep at night. I might not have been able to fully immerse in the horror scenes or it just was not a thriller-type book.
Writing-wise the book was so-so. I thought some parts, especially near the end, there were great descriptions. We got some vivid characterization of the two main characters. But then sometimes, things were confusing and not fully explained. Hendrix did not tell us how certain characters got from point A to point B, especially with the side characters, Glee and Margaret.
The biggest flaw for me was the prologue/first chapter. The one thing about most horror/murder mystery books I have read (like You’re So Dead) is they spoil the ending in the first chapter. They show that they get through all of their struggles in the first chapter of this book. You know that nothing bad is really going to happen to the main character because she is sitting in her cushy office at the beginning of the story.
Also, when we get to the end, it does not loop back around to the first chapter, and it doesn’t really take about the exorcist dying like it says in the first chapter. (None of this is a spoiler btw because I am still talking about the FIRST chapter.)
The first chapter revealing the ending is such a buzzkill.
The last little bit I didn’t like was the use of outdated, politically incorrect language. I felt that many of the instances used could have been left out. None of the references were necessary to the storyline, like a super racist spirit day theme, and could have been left out. An ’80s timepiece can still be good without the use of racism, ableism, sexism, and many other things touched upon.
Now you might be thinking: Wow I really don’t want to read this book because Kat gave it such a bad review. NO! Read this book! I still loved it!
Yes, I hated the first chapter thing, and it took me out of the suspenseful moments because I knew the end goal. I was so happy with how it ended and I even cried.
If you are a reader of this blog, you know that means that I was so enamored by this book to actually cry. Despite the book having a major spoiler in the beginning and not having a spine-chilling plot (mostly because of the first chapter), I still loved it.
The whole book had this crazy tale of adventure and touched on friendship in a weird, but heartwarming way. Let me tell you that the last 150 pages were worth everything. It gained a whole extra star just for making me cry!
I loved it and I am sure you will too.
As always, thanks for reading,
Star Rating: 4