Reviews for Final girls : a novel

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

As a teenager, Quincy Carpenter endured a terrible event at a cabin in the Pennsylvania woods. As the lone survivor of a massacre (one she does not remember), she was labeled by the press a "Final Girl," making her one of three such survivors. Ten years later, Quincy has rebuilt her life in New York City, with a lawyer boyfriend and a popular baking blog. The policeman who saved Quincy that fateful night still checks up on her regularly. Lisa and Samantha, the other two Final Girls whose stories are told as the book unfolds, play important roles, especially when Samantha gets in touch with Quincy to help her realize her internal anger. Soon, the suspense ratchets up with a mysterious murder, violent late-night escapades in Central Park, and the appearance of multiple suspects in past and present crimes. The tale builds to a fantastic conclusion that will have readers thinking of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. VERDICT Sager (a pseudonym for a published author) is a "new" star in the making. This brilliant horror/psychological thriller will fly off the shelves. [See Prepub Alert, 2/1/17.]-Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Quincy "Quinn" Carpenter, the heroine of Sager's uneven thriller debut, and five college friends spend a weekend in the Pennsylvania woods at the remote Pine Cottage, where a knife-wielding maniac kills everyone but her. She is only spared because Officer Cooper ("Coop") shoots the culprit. Quinn, who remembers no details, isn't the only lone survivor of such a massacre around the same time: Lisa Milner survives a sorority house attack, and Samantha Boyd fights off a motel killer. Lisa is the only one of the three who embraces the media's "final girl" label-a trope familiar to horror movie buffs, referring to the girl who survives the bloodbath-and even writes a book about her experience. Quinn wants nothing to do with her fellow "girls," and 10 years later has settled down in Manhattan with a boyfriend, a baking blog, and lots of Xanax. Then Coop shows up and tells Quinn that Lisa is dead, and the nightmare starts anew. Sager does a good job building suspense, but some readers may find the book's themes of casual male power and female subservience after trauma deeply unsettling. Agent: Michelle Brower, Folio Literary Management. (July) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

When Quincy Carpenter walked away from the Pine Cottage Massacre, she was inducted as the third member of the most exclusive club no one wants to join-the Final Girls. Quincy doesn't remember what happened, but when the first Final Girl is found dead of an apparent suicide and the second shows up on her doorstep, it quickly becomes apparent that what started at Pine Cottage may not be finished. VERDICT Filled with twists, turns, unreliable characters, and references to horror film culture, Sager's debut psychological thriller promises to keep readers guessing until the very end. Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

An original take on a familiar pop-culture motif.The "final girl" is a trope familiar to film scholars and horror-movie fans. She's the young woman who makes it out of the slasher flick alive, the one who lives to tell the tale. After she survives a mass murder, the media tries to make Quincy into a final girl, but she refuses to play that part. Instead, she finishes college, finds a great boyfriend, and builds a comfortable life for herself on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She's managed to bury her trauma under a mountain of Pinterest-ready sweetsshe runs a successful baking blogand psychological repression. Then another final girl, a woman who's tried to be a mentor to Quincy, dies of an apparent suicide, and the cracks in her carefully constructed world begin to show. Reporters come looking for her. So does Samantha Boyd, another survivor. It's clear that Sam is trouble, but precisely what kind of trouble is one of the mysteries of this inventive, well-crafted thriller. Quincy might look like a model survivor, but that's only because she's managed to conceal both her reliance on Xanax and her penchant for petty theft. Quincy is convinced that she and Sam can help each other, but Sam's bad habits mesh a little too neatly with Quincy's own. As she begins to lose control, Quincy starts to doubt Sam as she gets ever closer to truths she's managed to suppress. While most of the book is written from the heroine's point of view, Sager weaves scenes from the night Quincy's friends were slaughtered into the narrative. This is a clever device in that it gives readers information that Quincy can't access even as it invites readers to question her claims of memory loss. Also, knowing the outcome of this horrible event makes watching it unfold nerve-wracking. This is not to say that readers can feel secure about knowing what they think they know. Sager does an excellent job throughout of keeping the audience guessing until the final twist. A fresh voice in psychological suspense. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Quincy Carpenter became a Final Girl when she survived the massacre that killed five of her college friends. Along with Lisa Milner and Samantha Boyd, who survived other, similar attacks, Quincy achieved instant fame as a rampage killing's sole survivor. She remembers little about the Pine Cottage attack besides fleeing through the woods to be rescued by a cop, Coop, who was searching for a patient who hadescaped from a nearby psychiatric facility. Coop shot and killed the knife-wielding suspect, creating a connection between the two of them that's helped Quincy navigate a decade of Final Girl notoriety. Now, as Quincy feels she's moving forward, Lisa's suspicious death thrusts all the Final Girls back into the spotlight. After years in hiding, Samantha appears at Quincy's door, and they bond by challenging each other to shake their fears with steadily increasing risks. Their alliance feels unbreakable until one of their maneuvers ends in a crime, and Sam uses their secret to control Quincy, who can't fight her rising paranoia and becomes convinced that Sam played a role in Lisa's death. Sager cleverly plays on horror-movie themes from Scream to Single White Female, creating an homage without camp. Despite comparisons to Gone Girl (2012), this debut's strong character development and themes of rebirth and redemption align more closely with Flynn's Dark Places (2009).--Tran, Christine Copyright 2017 Booklist

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